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New Horizons VCCS 2012

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J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Ghazala Hashmi, Coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan Meg Foster, Assistant Coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan Denise Woetzel, Reference Librarian and Information Literacy Specialist New Horizons Conference 2012 Roanoke, Virginia March 2012 1
Page 1: New Horizons VCCS 2012

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community CollegeGhazala Hashmi, Coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan

Meg Foster, Assistant Coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan

Denise Woetzel, Reference Librarian and Information Literacy Specialist

New Horizons Conference 2012 Roanoke, Virginia March 2012


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Background ResearchoBest Practices recommend student orientation


oFew institutions offer comprehensive orientations

oFew institutions mandate orientation

Institutional Research and FindingsI. College Data Profile

II. Faculty and Student Surveys

III. SmarterMeasure Results


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What research in best practices recommends: Student skills in time management, independent learning attributes, technology knowledge, resource awareness should be established prior to engagement in online classes.

What most of the other institutional models are providing:Self-directed orientationsRecommended but not mandatory or encouraged orientationsWeb-based “tips” rather than an integrated class that replicates the online experience within a CMSGeneric orientations rather than personalized to institution

Where the few mandatory orientation programs for online are housed:For-profit institutions Institutions / Programs driven by class cohort models

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Regardless of their initial level of preparation . . . students were more likely to fail or withdraw from online courses than from face-to-face courses. In addition, students who took online coursework in early semesters were slightly less likely to return to school in subsequent semesters, and students who took a higher proportion of credits online were slightly less likely to attain an educational award or transfer to a four-year institution.

--Di Xu and Shanna Smith JaggersCommunity College Research Center of Columbia University

The Effectiveness of Distance Education Across Virginia’s Community Colleges: Evidence From Introductory College-Level Math and English Courses (2010)

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Where we began

Data Profile of the Institution

developed for the Quality

Enhancement Plan Topic

Selection process (2007- 2008)

Page 7: New Horizons VCCS 2012

0 200 400 600



Number of DL Courses

Number of DL Courses








Online On-Campus

2004-2005 Success Rates (A,B, or C)

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Faculty Survey (2010)

Question: Do you provide an online orientation to your course?

65% of New Instructors indicated “No”51% of Continuing Instructors indicated “No”

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Student Survey (2010)



Elements that


85% or lower for a


presence in the


Page 10: New Horizons VCCS 2012

SmarterMeasure and its ResultsIn the past two years, over 8300 JSRCC students have completed SmarterMeasure (SM). We have measured SM performance against academic success in online courses for the past four semesters.

The Two Most Critical Areas that Emerged for Our Students:

Life Factors: Availability of Time, Place, Reason, Resources & SkillsSmarterMeasure feedback may provide students with encouragement to modify those circumstances that impact their academic progress. If some life circumstances are beyond an individual’s control, the self-awareness may be beneficial to planning and understanding limitations.

Personal Attributes: Time Management, Personal Responsibility, Willingness to Seek Assistance

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That student has about a 56% chance of succeeding in Distance Learning classes.

If a student does not struggle with “Life Factors,”

That student has a 75% chance of succeeding in Distance Learning classes.

If a student struggles with “Life Factors,”

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0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80



Success in Online Classes

Success in Online Classes

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Critical Elements:

•Adherence to essential

standards of Quality

Matters course design

•Facilitated rather than

self-taught / self-paced

•Focused upon

developing study skills

and resource knowledge

rather than technical


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Created a team to develop orientation program. Team was group of volunteers that connected three vital areas: Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Information Technology.

Critical to success was including faculty and staff who brought their expertise/perspective as online teachers and students.


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Team asked critical questions which shaped program:

In what ways would the program be facilitated? What would be the payment terms for those

facilitators? Would the orientation program be housed in

Blackboard or just freely available on the web? How much time could we require of students? How much work could we require of students?


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Developed strategy to market CDL 001 to students, faculty and advising staff. Print materials, email messages (general and

targeted), college announcements, training sessions

Developed training program for staff/faculty to facilitate sections. Complete CDL 001, training manual, review

with Center for Distance Learning Coordinator


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Key piece to CDL 001 is interaction facilitators/students students/students

Emphasized in training materials for facilitators.

Student interaction, both in class space and outside, prompted discussion of next steps for online community creation.

• .


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• Tutorial created using LibGuides

• Overview & links to JSRCC Library’s resources, services, & policies

• Introduction to basic research skills

• Embedded “how to” video clips using Camtasia

Tutorial: http://libguides.reynolds.edu/dlorientation

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Learning activity:

• Search any topic in the library

catalog and select one book record.

• Search any topic in a library

database and select one article.

• Using the citation tool in both the

catalog and database, copy and

paste the MLA citation for the book

and article in a Word document ,

then submit via Blackboard.

10 question quiz

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Um, the research part was not my favorite--but i understand its importance in distant learning and was well appreciated and introduced to me through the tutorial links and scripts. (Though it was nice to learn that I could get books for personal pleasure if I wanted to.)

I would have liked perhaps to have one more project using the Library Resources

CDL 001 gives an excellent overview of the resources available both on campus and online. Of [of course], there was not time to examine every resource in great detail, but what is helpful is knowing where to go for future reference. The practice of locating articles will be helpful, as will just the experience of interaction and the online teaching/learning flow and culture.

Since this is not my first year in college, the lessons toward the end were not very helpful. Also, I feel that there should have been more lessons on online library resources.

Survey comments from students who completed course:

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CDL001 Exit Survey (August 2011 – February 2012)

Phone Survey of Non-Completers (Fall 2011)

Faculty and Staff Feedback in Reflection Paper (Fall 2011)

Success and Persistence Rates of CDL001 Completers (Fall 2011)

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Now that I have completed CDL001, I feel confident about taking a distance learning class at JSRCC.








1 2 3 4 5Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly DisagreeStrongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree

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After completing CDL 001, I now have an understanding of the campus resources that are available to me:








1 2 3 4 5

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When asked whether they would encourage other students to take CDL001,

95% of the 81 participants indicated “Yes”

on the Exit Survey

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No response 5

Power outage from Hurricane Irene 3

Forgot that I was enrolled 2

Time constraints/class load 6

Other issues 5

Yes, highly 1

Yes 15

No 1

N/A 3

No Comment 1

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I would recommend CDL001 to other students because . . .

Top 4 Responses:

Other Responses: All students should take a course like this

Helps students identify whether or not they are independent learners

Teaches necessary Bb skills for all students, not just online students

To learn time management skills

Information in CDL001 is extremely helpful 6 comments

To gain greater knowledge of how online classes work


Increase online learning skills 3 comments

To learn how to navigate Blackboard 2 comments

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The CDL001 instructor responded quickly, and such responsiveness is not indicative of all online courses. The College should emphasize to its instructors the importance of quick responses in online courses. (3 comments)

Provide better information on registration and access to CDL001. (3 comments)

Make the orientation mandatory.(2 comments) The amount of information was overwhelming. There was too much emphasis on how to conduct research


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Two Special Sessions of CDL001 for Faculty and Staff have been provided: Fall 2011 – 10 participants Spring 2012 – 25 participants

The Special Sessions’ Target Audience: Faculty and staff who teach online and who want to contribute to the further

development of a strong orientation Advisers who want to better understand the demands of online learning Individuals who may be interested in facilitating future sessions of the orientation

These Special Sessions have proven to be an effective way: To introduce faculty and staff to better advising conversations with potential

distance learners To share JSRCC’s efforts of improving online learning To build the enthusiasm for readiness and orientation efforts at the institution

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My reasons for taking CDL001:

to see and experience what we ask our students to do

to test myself since I have never used Blackboard

What I learned:

I have a better idea of what we ask our students to accomplish.

How I will apply my learning:

I am better able to advise students who expressed interest in online classes. I am able to share

my own experiences and point students towards appropriate resources such as

SmarterMeasure and CDL001.

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My reasons for taking CDL001:

to understand what students experience when they take CDL001

to understand our work from immersion, rather than from conjecture

to guide faculty more effectively in their efforts to teach, especially to teach online

What I learned:

The experience was valuable. A better understanding of our learners helps to become better

educators. I respect the importance of student orientation and student readiness.

How I will apply my learning:

I will advocate CDL001 to all faculty under my supervision. The orientation, along with

SmarterMeasure, is a very good foundation for student success.

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Summer and early Fall completers were tracked through their Fall 2011 enrollments.

47 students successfully completed CDL001

41 students proceeded to enroll in 74 distance courses in Fall 2011

Persistence rate: 99%

Successful completion (A, B, or C) rate: 92%

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