Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

DL Advisory Agenda

June 21, 2007 1:30-3:00 p.m. CMAST 406

Blackboard Boot Camp Update
• Title III DL Pioneers Final Reports Quick Overview

Introducing our new group for Phase II DL Team – I will be looking to our first dl team all help mentor these folks starting in the fall.

Tammy Powell
Meg Rawls
Louise Brimmer
Elaine Fuge
Bob Malone (English Adjunct)
Lynn Stevens
John Baucom
Shannon Cotnam
Marj Gross
Donna Galley

• Spring Online Course Evaluations – Overview and Concerns

Still need aggressive professional development program into the Fall and Spring semesters based on student evaluations – especially focused on instructional design and online teaching methodology.

• Student Services and Academic Support Online Components (Create Sub-Committee to explore this issue)
Serving the Online Learner

Excellent Article on Serving Online Learners

SYSTEMS AND SERVICES for recruiting, advising, and support of online students have seldom been at the top of the list when planning online and distance learning programs. That is now changing: Forces pushing advising and support services into the foreground include recognition of the student learner as “customer” and the increasing expectations and demands of government and business in our global information economy. The recent release (September 2006) of the Spellings Commission report, A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of US Higher Education, notes a lack of systems that track the progress of individual students over time and across institutions—and is sure to increase the focus on these systems.”

Online Tutoring Services
SmartThinking
Class of One
Central Peidmont CC – How They Do IT?
Houston CC Online Student Services

• Faculty Technical Performance Standards Update
leveloftechskills.doc
• Online Course Peer Review and Certification

Once we get ALL CCC faculty (including adjuncts) BB Certified the next step is to establish an experienced peer review team to begin evaluating each online course offered at CCC. I see this as a long term goal over the next 3 years starting in the Fall of 2007.

• Q & A

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Comments on: "DL Advisory Agenda" (8)

  1. I feel very good about the issues we addressed in our Thursday meeting. We have accomplished a great deal in DL at CCC the past year, however there is a lot more to do in the coming months as we prepare for SACS and as we continue to offer more online course options to our students. I hope you all left our meeting with a sense of urgency as far as the work this committee MUST do and the issues we MUST address in the coming months. I look forward to working with the sub-committee of Mark, Doree, Tammy and Don as we begin exploring and researching some viable options for offering online student services to our students here at CCC. This is a high priority item for this committee, so I ask that you post any ideas, thoughts, findings, resources, ect. to this blog. You don’t have to be on the sub-committee to post your thoughts and ideas on this important initiative. Think of this blog as a repository for our research and conversations on the various dl issues we face in the coming months.
    Thanks for your dedication to DL at CCC and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns relating to the various challenges ahead.

  2. […]  https://dlccc.wordpress.com/2007/06/16/dl-advisory-agenda/ […]

  3. I think we first need to define our terms before proceeding. Not only that, but we need to think about who our on-line students are currently, and will be in the future. Otherwise, the concepts of on-line “counseling,” tutoring, and advising can feel overwhelming. One simple term to grasp is on-line tutoring. We all can imagine what that might entail, even though on-line tutoring may be difficult to implement. On-line tutoring involves not only the relevant subject material, but a certain comfort-level with the software application used to tutor.

    On-line academic advising, if limited to degree completion requirements, and required forms to effect a change or make a request, can be pretty easily done over the Internet, or by email. I think we are headed in the right direction already by offering check sheets, and forms on-line.

    On-line counseling is not so easy to define. Most of what we do as counselors does not produce anything tangible. What we counselors strive to do, in an educational setting, is to create an environment which is non-threatening and accessible. The way we do that is mostly non-verbal. Even with a webcam, this would be hard to replicate. We already do a fair share of information sessions over the phone or by email. Even if we had a discussion board, as some schools do, that’s still just conveying information. That’s not the counseling that the neediest students require.

    I think that today’s student who is successful with an entirely on-line education is the student who would be successful in any setting. Some students just don’t need a lot of support. It’s the needy students who struggle with on-line courses. Needy students get more out of the college experience than just an education. The college acts as a support system for these students. So the question becomes how far are we willing to go with this on-line venture? Will we always have the option of a traditional setting?

    As we forge ahead, converting more programs to entirely on-line, we may find that a process of voluntary segregation will take place. Our current on-line students are already a step ahead of our traditional students. As long as we continue to provide enough programs in a traditional setting, this trend may continue, and this segregation may not be a bad thing. It will ensure that the neediest students remain on campus, where there is the best support.

    We have already found that our advanced students do not need the warm fuzzies that we counselors attempt to provide. So it may suffice to provide information-based advice for the distance learning student. Of course this all hinges on whether we continue to provide enough programs traditionally. That’s key. There has to be a realistic choice. As long as the neediest students can opt to stay on-campus, it may be enough to provide advice via discussion board, email, and telephone for our on-line students.

    (Note: I do think the future of community colleges will witness the counselors dealing with only special populations. Soon, our claim that we spend 90% of our day with 10% of your students may become a reality.)

  4. Mark,
    You bring up some excellent points and raise some very good and valid questions.

    “So the question becomes how far are we willing to go with this on-line venture? Will we always have the option of a traditional setting?”

    In all honesty Mark I think our students (clients) are already dictating their educational needs to us – we are already seeing trends aways from students signing up for the traditional classroom courses (in many curriculums) to wanting more online offerings. Education is fast becoming market driven and if CCC is going to remain competitive we must offer our prospective students viable options (and support systems) for attaining their education and flexibility in taking their courses. If there is a need for offering both online and seated classes then we should meet that need, but if there isn’t I don’t see why we should offer traditional classes just for the sake of it.

    If we continue to train our faculty to teach effectively and seamlessly in the online environment, I believe we are going to continue to see less and less of a need (request for) seated courses. We already have the instructional delivery technology to teach just about any course online or as a hybrid – my goal is to get ALL our faculty harnessing and using this technology to teach (and assess) their course content just as effectivley online as if they were in a classroom – it can be done.

    Agreed…advanced students don’t need the traditional college support systems the “needier” ones require and that is an issue and vaible concern we must continue to address.

    One final note…I think there will come a time in the very near future when we will stop differentiating between the traditional classroom and the online environment – it is all just teaching and learning and I want to see us break down those walls and be able to seamlessly weave between the 2 approaches.

  5. I don’t think we have the time to wait regarding on-line tutoring. Academic Support as well as instructors do get phone calls from students needing tutoring assistance, but these students can’t make it to campus.

    The issue I see in Academic Support is the lack of full-time personnel skilled in the use of technology. Let me be frank, Gale Swann is the only full-time employee working in Academic Support, and funding has been cut for contract tutors.

    Patrick, I believe, your idea (and generous offer) of using Title III money to invest in a program like SmartThinking or Class of One is realistic. This may be an appropriate “short-term” solution, which will give the College time to develop a long-term plan for Academic Support.

  6. Patrick Keough said:

    Doree,

    I understand the situation in Academic Support and it is unfortunate that we don’t have the personell to do this in house – please keep in mind, I said we could look into the possibility of Title III helping with a program like SmartThinking – it is going to be up to Don and the parameters of the Grant to see if this is even possible, although with that said, I do think it is the way to go in the short term.

    Our sub-committee is going to have to make a recommendation to Fran and Gail on this issue in the very near future.

  7. Here are some ideas for what on-line counseling could look like.

    Remote Counseling Proposal (Distance Learning Students):

    1. Counseling Front Page: This page will cover the options available to students, and offer some basic text-base advice and suggestions. It will also list our office hours, which will emphasis that some options will only be available during office hours, such as email and instance messaging.
    2. FAQ Link: This link will include links to the CFNC Career Key, Admissions page, Financial Aid page, curriculum links, tutoring link (when available), along with text-based advice and suggestions.
    3. Discussion Board Link: This will be modeled after a standard discussion board, where any user can create a new thread, post comments, reply to another user. It will be monitored by the counseling staff. May need IT to evaluate any security concerns.
    4. Instance Messaging Link: This option will enable students to communicate with a counselor, either by typing, webcam, or both. The student will have to employ Windows Instant Messaging, or Skype.
    5. Email and Telephone Link: This link will provide basic contact information, along with our office hours.

  8. All these things can be done now Mark…lets move forward incrementally on this. Let’s get with Pre-Ah and begin building this as a link off the DL pages – let’s try and get together in the next 2 weeks and start designing this – you can be our test pilot for online counseling.
    thanks for your input and thoughts on this important issue Mark.

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