Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

We are entering the final months of receiving our Title III grant. Looking back over the past 5 years I feel very good about what we as a college have accomplished in Distance Learning with the various instructional initiatives Title III enabled us to pursue. All in all I believe T3 has benefited the college and all our distance learning endeavors. Looking back I would have to say that pre-planning and fluid “open / transparent” communication between the T3 Project Director and myself the Director of Distance Learning was one of key’s to the success of our campus wide distance learning professional development initiatives.

There is no doubt in my mind that the faculty and staff at Carteret Community College are more proficient both technically and in their online teaching methodology because of the funding and support that came from Title III. Since the inception of the grant the Distance Learning department has conducted over 150 DL workshops to approximately 1500 “repeat” college staff and faculty in these professional development activities, in addition to proving funds for off campus conferences, workshops and seminars.

Once CCC received the grant the first thing our T3 Project Director Don Staub did was have me create a T3 Blog to post anything and everything that related to Title III at our college. This was an effort to make the entire process transparent. Anyone can go to the T3 Blog and our CCC Distance Learning Blog and learn about all the professional development and college enhancement activities Title III supported through grants and the purchase of instructional and distance learning technologies.

The following are some of the primary distance learning highlights “successes” supported by Title III.

Distance Learning Pioneer Program
Online Tutoring Service Pilot Program
Blackboard Boot Camp
NC3ADL Regional and State Wide Conferences
Online Retention
• Peer Review “QAP” Online Course Evaluation Project
Assessing Distance Learning
• Moodle “Train the Trainer” Project
Moodle Migration Initiative

As of now over 50 staff and faculty have participated in the DL Pioneer Program which has positively impacted the online courses we offer here at CCC. Faculty have more tools and technology for doing an effective (and innovative) job teaching their courses in the online environment and have been given training both on campus and off in a variety of e-learning and instructional design “best practices”.

As we head into the final months of the grant it is imperative that we expand on the strong foundation Title III has helped us build here at Carteret Community College. There’s no doubt that the culture here at CCC has changed for the better as far as embracing technology and the latest instruction design best practices for e-learning. Our online courses incorporate a variety of “rich media” in order to address the different learning styles of our students. This would not have happened so extensively across campus if it wasn’t for the aggressive and ongoing training provided through T3 funding and support.

Our challenge is to put procedures in place so we can continue expanding upon the many successes T3 has helped us attain in Distance Learning over the past 5 years. The Distance Learning Advisory committee is in the process of developing a policy and procedure manual for distance learning. Many of these policies and procedures have been inspired by what we learned through all our T3 sponsored projects and initiatives.

Our goal is to continue to build on the momentum we’ve gained over the past 5 years thanks to the Title III grant. We have seen the culture at CCC change (evolve) over the past 5 yeare to embrace technology and online tools and applications in order to be on the “cutting edge” of online education – Title III has been a catalyst for this change in attitude and has added to the confidence of our staff and faculty to make the seamless transition from the traditional classroom environment to online instruction.

Video and Written Testimonials by Staff and Faculty.

Joseph Croom from CCC Student Services commented about a Title III sponsored conference, “This was an amazing conference, it was my first NC3ADL conference…something that made me really open my eyes. I learned so much about student services, and how to make sure that they are accessible by all. I was able to meet so many different people, from different jobs, at different colleges that brought a variety of perspectives on DL, and its place in the world today. I was able to get many new ideas that I plan to work with my department Student Services and the college overall to make Carteret Community College a great place to work, teach, serve and learn.

I thoroughly enjoyed going to the sessions on the NCCCS Help Desk, the Online Student Services, Google Apps for Education, and the great Skype presentation on Moodle.

Though it scares me, it excites me…stepping out on the ledge…driving the engine of Student Services, getting them up the hill and down the other side. I came back with great suggestions, so much energy, and great comments…the Registrar’s Office decided today to add live chat to their website.

I am so excited about the ideas swirling in my mind…causing waves of DL energy!! I hope that I will be able to go next year and the regional meeting in March….!!!!

CCC Anatomy and Physiology Instructor Phillip Morris stated, I was greatly impressed with the NC3DLA conference. From the level of organization to just how incredibly informative the conference was. Kudos to those involved in putting the whole thing together. I came away with knowledge and ideas that I hadn’t even imagined. The first thing I took with me is how many improvements I can make to my online courses. It doesn’t matter how good you think they already are there is always room for improvement. I personally am now aware at how deficient my courses are in the area of accessibility for special needs students. I will certainly work to correct that. Also, seeing what is now out there in the area of online science labs impressed me. From the late-night-lab presentation and demonstrations to the virtual microscope software available, all I kept saying was “wow”. Always something new, always changing. As a new faculty member, it also gave me a chance to really get to know some of my colleagues here at CCC. It was a group of great people and great educators. People who love what they do. It was a great experience.


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