Learning Effectiveness

LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS means that learners who complete an online program receive educations that represent the distinctive quality of the institution. The goal is that online learning is equivalent to or better than learning through the institution's other delivery modes, in particular in its traditional face-to-face, classroom-based instruction. The course or program is designed to be at least equivalent in quality to face-to-face courses offered at the same institution. If there is no comparable face-to-face course, then the institution's normative benchmark applies. The learning resources in online courses generally include the same ones to be found in the institution's traditional face-to-face courses-learning media (books, notes, software, CD-ROMs, and so on); faculty who teach the class and are available outside of class; and learners who interact with the faculty and with each other. Because of technology, online courses are usually enhanced by resources available over the Internet and/or designed for computer presentation. Metrics demonstrate that the quality of learning online is at least as good as the institution provides through its traditional programs as measured by several means-by faculty perception; by outcomes assessments; by career, scholastic and professional achievement surveys and records; by feedback from employers; and by institutionally sustained, evidence-based, participatory inquiry into how well online programs achieve learning objectives. Online learning generally parallels the quality of face-to-face learning with equivalent content, standards, and support services. Online curricula are subject to, and thereby receive the same benefits of practice, process and criteria that the institution applies to traditional forms of instruction.

Effective Practice Awards Submissions Due June 30

Submitted by janetmoore on May 27, 2010 - 2:06pm
New effective practices  submitted by June 30 are eligible for awards to be presented at the July 21, 2010 Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium Awards Presentation Luncheon.
Thousands visit effective practices for innovative practices supported by eviden
Award Winner: 
2014 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Author Information
Author(s): 
Dr. Scott E. Hamm, Dr. Charles Ruot, Wade Ashby
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Abilene Christian University
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Hardin-Simmons University
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Cisco College
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Teacher Text is a student learning and student engagement practice that has statistically increased exam, quiz, paper, and satisfaction scores in online and blended learning courses. Utilizing texting, students are informed of course events, engaged in course content, current events, and participate in adaptive response learning. Experimental groups have statistically (p<.05) demonstrated significance versus control groups in repeated studies demonstrating replicability, scalability, and consistency.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Background:
Teacher text started in a classroom experiment of a blended undergraduate psychology class of 31 students. A control group consisted of 15 students and the experimental group consisted of 16 students. Participants self-selected in the experiment through syllabus invitation and the first 16 to volunteer were accepted. They were randomly assigned a designation of student 1, student 2... student 16 by a research assistant. There were four interactions per week. 1.) an informative text reminding them of upcoming learning experiences, 2.) a text connecting course material to a current event, 3.) an encouraging message based on class observation/progress, and 4.) an option for them to text the teacher a question, comment, concern, or open-ended subject matter. For the initial experiment, a text-based review for the final exam was used.

Current Practice:
To mitigate subject bias, participation was changed to random selection to populate control and experimental groups.
Teacher Text was applied to blended and online courses to compare applicability for blended and online learning environments and replicability of the teacher text condition.
Various texting apps have been used to and we refrain from identifying a preferred app, but in an upcoming paper we are including examples of what we believe currently provide the best functionality for implementing Teacher Text.
Use of an adaptive application has been introduced to control for retrieval practice and learner self-regulation. This has been applied to all assessments. In the initial research, this was only applied to the final exam.
The adaptive portion of Teacher Text now has the ability to integrate with most LMS the application increasing scalability and usefulness for small and large classes.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

Teacher Text has been implemented at Cisco College, Abilene Christian University, and Hardin-Simmons University demonstrating statistical significance in each application of the experimental conditions. The developmental psychology class are Cisco College, exam scores, quiz scores, written assignments, and course satisfaction scores were significantly higher in the experimental versus the control condition. There was no difference in the final exam score since the control students requested inclusion in Teacher Text to prepare for the final exam. At Abilene Christian University, it has been replicated in three fully online courses in the Masters of Education graduate program and is being used in two large lecture blended format classes (114 & 119) in Fall 2014. Results in two of the online courses demonstrated statistical significance in written papers, quizzes, and course satisfaction. However, no exams are given in the graduate program so no data was available. In the third course, the class size was below 12 so we did not use a control conditional but had higher course satisfaction scores than two previously taught course, but not at a level of statistical significance. At Hardin-Simmons University, Teacher Text was used in a blended format graduate and undergraduate level kinesiology course. Statistically significant results were demonstrated in exams and quizzes, but no written work was submitted. Course satisfaction scores were higher but not at a statistically significant level.

Teacher Text was used in another university and we are waiting upon data.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Teacher Text has demonstrated statistical significance in learning effectiveness in blended and online learning environments. The practice was developed for widespread adoption using existing technologies that students and faculty already possessed and would not require infrastructure modifications, data plans, or device purchase. All students can participate with a cell phone that possesses texting capabilities and ADA compliance can be accomplished with voice recognition capabilities on an IOS or Android device. Faculty satisfaction has been positive because it allows them to be more successful, allows their students to be more successful, and have increased course satisfaction scores from students. Faculty aren't required to text using a mobile device; rather, they can participate using a desktop or laptop to complete texts. Student satisfaction has increased allowing and encouraging students to use their devices to participate in academic activity and ways that are already an ambient part of the digital habits.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Rationale: The reason I developed Teacher Text was for scalability and economic inclusion. Current data suggests 99.9% of college-aged students have a cell phone with texting capabilities. This allows public, private, l, junior colleges, community colleges and other institutions to utilize texting without increasing student costs for purchasing technology or data plans. Minimalist equipment is needed due to operating outside the network and outside of class.This is a mobile learning starting point that engages and includes students, faculty, and institutions in an economical and inclusive learning practice. It provides a reliable and replicable starting point to increase learning outcomes and student engagement at minimal cost and infrastructure.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Teacher Text can fully implemented at no cost to students and minimal or no cost to an institution. One of the main advantages of Teacher Text is that it utilizes existing technology and leverages it to increase learning and engagement. ADA compliance and service to all students may necessitate use of an IOS or Android device with voice recognition.

References, supporting documents: 

Current Teacher Text data is being put into a paper to be presented at the OLC Orlando Conference and will be submitted for publication at the end of Fall 2014 semester when all current data has been tabulated. We have statistical results from six courses and waiting on data from a recent study and two experiments in Fall 2014. Have given several presentations on early data.

Award Winner: 
2014 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Author Information
Author(s): 
Angela Gibson
Author(s): 
Priscilla Coulter
Author(s): 
Susan Satory
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
American Public University System
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Summary
With the goals to increase student connection to the online library, to develop academic research skills, and to foster student success in a first-year online course, a collaborative program between librarians and faculty was created and yielded positive results including student growth in information literacy skills, reduction in student anxiety in navigation and utilization of the online library, and high level of student academic success.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Bringing the Library to Life: Live Librarian Instruction in a First-Year Online Course

Summary
With the goals to increase student connection to the online library, to develop academic research skills, and to foster student success in a first-year online course, a collaborative program between librarians and faculty was created and yielded positive results including student growth in information literacy skills, reduction in student anxiety in navigation and utilization of the online library, and high level of student academic success.

Background
Just under a third of all college students leave the institution after the first-year (ACT, 2012; Barefoot, 2000, 2005; Kinzie, 2014, Kuh, 2008) and 47% of college students fail to matriculate at the original four-year institution, 56% dropping before the start of the second-year (Tinto, 1987, 1993). Meanwhile, online higher education continues to grow at a rapid rate; over 7.1 million students took at least one online course in the fall of 2013, an increase of 400,000 students from 2012 (Allen and Seaman 2014). Positive interactions with university faculty and staff are critical to student engagement, learning, and persistence. Information literacy is a crucial component to higher education, but first-year students are typically unaware of their own substandard academic research skills (Gustavson & Nall 2011). Offering a diversity of library interventions can help these students gain the skills they need to succeed (Latham & Gross 2013). Librarians and library services can play an important, lasting role in promoting student confidence, connectedness and academic success (Regalado 2003, Zhong & Alexander 2007).

APUS is a fully online institution both regionally and nationally accredited serving over 90% adult learners and over 50% military learners. College 100: Foundations of Online Learning students are those new to American Public University System. Students encounter lessons, assessments, and discussions that require information literacy skills; that is the ability to identify, search for and evaluate appropriate sources of information for college-level assignments. However, students frequently contact faculty, librarians, and technical staff with questions and sometimes declarations of frustration or anxiety about navigating the library indicating a need for basic library orientation and research skills training. Students' apparent lack of familiarity with the Online Library, undeveloped information literacy skills, and varying learning preferences may impede successful achievement of course objectives.

Innovation
An initial pilot was developed in spring of 2013 with five sections, two taught by one faculty and three taught by another, to offer synchronous sessions with students hosted by an APUS Online Librarian during designated times within the eight weeks of the course. Though not integrated into specific assignments for the initial pilot, students participating in sessions received additional credit. From student feedback recorded through an open discussion forum with the instructor, it was determined that those students taking advantage of the Adobe Connect sessions stated they were more familiar with the library, that they were more confident in their navigation and research skills, and that they believed the information assisted them in related assignments. The two faculty of the small pilot concurred with student statements and recommended expansion of the initiative.

Stemming from the smaller project early in 2013, a pilot was developed offering synchronous office hours with APUS Online Librarians for 28 selected COLL100 classes with October semester starts. Five Librarians volunteered time to schedule regular sessions. The lead Librarian for the project, and co-coordinator of the initiative, developed a short five-stop video tour of the APUS Online Library focusing on orientation and navigation skills as well as areas deemed critical to first-year student success and development of basic information literacy skills such as databases, eBooks, journals and articles, and working with the deep web. A pre and post-session quiz was created to assess student attitudes and knowledge acquisition from the Live Library sessions. Again, results from the expanded pilot indicated student skill development, higher levels of confidence, and better rates of success in library and research associated assignments for those participating in the sessions.

The innovation was initiated again in April of 2014 expanding in sections to verify results. Thirty five sections, and nineteen faculty, of the April College 100 semester participated in the project. Between Week 2 and Week 8 there were 19 two hour Live Library sessions held live via Adobe Connect with Librarians providing a demonstration of the main features of the APUS Online Library. Sessions were offered on weekdays and weekends as well as day and evening times. These demonstrations included an overview of components necessary for student navigation and use of the Library for College 100 assignments as well as key elements necessary for success in future courses. Students were able to interact in real time with Librarians through audio or via text chat in the room.

The APUS Librarians from the previous 2013 pilot all volunteered once again to facilitate sessions and work with student. Those unable to attend live sessions made individual appointments with Librarians and/or utilized a Library Tour video and worked directly with the faculty for the section. Beyond a very few technical issues with connections there was overwhelming positive feedback from students and faculty. Students described how anxiety levels on research and the Library were drastically reduced after the sessions, how they learned how to use tools key to success in classes, and how they could now easily navigate with confidence and know where to go when they needed extra assistance. The faculty who attended commented how they learned something new by attending sessions!

In addition to tracking attendance at live sessions, survey and qualitative data provided by students, Librarians, and faculty were gathered from the initiative. Such data provided insight into themes, points of confusion, and engagement in the initiative and learning. Student attitudes, knowledge, and skills were surveyed with a pre and post session assessment. Themes were noted by Librarians during session and in follow-up with students. From within the classroom faculty monitored impressions. Instructors used an open forum to discuss the Library sessions and gather feedback asking students what they learned, how will they apply new knowledge and skills, and thoughts on further exploration. Assignments connected to the Library were analyzed to assess any increase in the submissions and quality of grades as compared to COLL100 classes not involved in the pilot.

Students integrated the learning from the Live Library sessions into assignments in the classroom both directly – as in quiz and reflection requirements for points in attending the session – and indirectly – as in increased knowledge and skills to accurately and more efficiently perform Library and research based assignments.

Overall student GPA, Community of Inquiry (CoI) scores, and End of Course Survey, were analyzed. Of those who participated in the October 2013 pilot sessions 93% of students achieved the course grade of "A". Additionally, just over 90% of participating students achieved the grade of "A" on relevant Library assignments. Over 90% of student feedback, both in the post-Live Library session survey and feedback in the open discussion forum, was positive, indicated a change in attitude (i.e. from anxious or disconnected to confident and engaged), and included comments illustrating student learning and skill development. Similar positive results were indicated with the April 2014 records. Qualitative data pulled from student feedback in communication to faculty as well in response to an open ended prompt on the post-session quiz yielded very positive and validating results. A small sample of student responses are provided:

“I just completed my live library session and it was very helpful. Since this is my first course it really showed me how to navigate through the library. My library host was super nice and there was only two people in the session so she used my topic in a few of the search engines to show me how to get results”.

“I had my library tutorial today, April 16 from 10:00-10:20 my time, 12:00-12:20 eastern.
I will say that I am glad this is required learning for this course. I didn't realize how helpful the library is and I will be sure to utilize it through this class and all my future classes!”

“I learned a lot of things today. I learned about the different ways to search for topic information. Not only books but journals and papers. I learned that I can save the information in a pdf for future reading. I learned where to find help in siting sources. I also learned that I can search frequently asked questions but I can also ask a librarian directly and that they are pretty speedy in a return response.
I'm happy I got into the tutorial early in the course!”

“ I attended the Live Library session on 10 May 2014 @ 10AM (Pacific Time). The APUS Librarian, Mary-Elizabeth Gano, was very helpful in answering all of my questions regarding the library. I stumbled across the COLL100 Course Guide before, but a great degree of clarity was achieved by attending the Live Library session. I kind of felt like I had previously assembled a bike without reading the instructions, only to read the instructions later... and discover that I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration by reading them first. The information regarding the FAQs and the help that the library can personally afford to me was really reassuring (ask a librarian, tutor.com, LibChat, and the help tab). The assistance with how to properly search a website was of great value, as I have a bias toward taking everything on the Internet as gospel”.

“I just did the session at 1 and I must say it is very informative. I advise all my fellow students to check it out. Found some really helpful tools that I can use throughout my entire degree process”.

“I had my Library session on Tuesday. I thought it was informative, however, I had already figured out most of what was covered when I was looking up the research paper topic options. What I did find helpful was the information about the book search. I had not started looking at books a sources yet so when I did start after my session, it made the experience very easy”.

“Unfortunately due to my schedule I could not attend a live session, however; I watched the Youtube tutorials on the library tour. One thing I learned that I didnt know before was that on proquest when searching for your topic, click on the book reference, you can actually type in keywords and it will take you to specific chapters in the book that relate to what your looking for. Sounds much nicer then scrambling through the whole book to find one thing that your looking for. I also like that fact that there is a ask a librarian tab. I also learned about the "Deep Web" .You re just one question away from an answer. What a great service to offer the students”.

“I attended the live library session during the third week. I found the experience interesting and informative. I was at work and was still able to do the drop in. The librarians answered all my questions and dropped a few hints on me through chat. I was able to learn how to refine my searches to get the results I needed”.

“First and foremost I would like to say that Mrs. Susan Satory was amazing in every aspect of the word. This is my first online course ever and she broke it down to an easy and very understandable level. I am not very good with computers but she made me feel very confident and knowledgeable about what I was doing, and made me very comfortable about speaking how i felt and asking questions…. Secondly, The "summon" tool, as a novice researcher and new student when pulling information I always feel bombarded with a whole bunch of useless and "rabbit whole" information. With this tool it allows me to specify exactly what I'm looking for and only generate results on what I choose, which helps new users like myself to further focus on what I want to see”.

“I had not attended a Live Library session prior to creating my Annotated Bibliography. I just finished my session tonight. It was VERY informative, though, and it will definitely make creating my Resources page for my final paper easier. I also was shown ways to search the library that I wasn't aware of before. I think had I attended a session earlier, it would have made my search much simpler.”

Scope, Implications, and Discussion
Identifying gaps in students' information literacy skills and knowledge of the APUS Online Library resources allow librarians and College 100 team members to develop new multi-modal assets within the classroom and the library, and to modify current resources for on-demand instruction that better meets students' needs. Feedback gathered from live sessions is being used to transform frequently visited library assets such as the Ask a Librarian reference service, Course Guides and Tutorial Center resources into more engaging, effective, media-rich learning tools. A live chat within the Library is now being tested as one of the Library's new initiatives to personalize service and aid retention.

Directly related to all of the Sloan-C’s Five Pillars of Quality Online Education, the Live Library initiative demonstrates success in learning effectiveness, scale, access, faculty satisfaction, and student satisfaction. Learning Effectiveness: The design and delivery of the program including the assets for classroom integration, for Librarian support, and for live demonstration was done with effective practices of online instruction as well as a focus on pedagogy for first-year students including integration of the principles for andragogy to meet the needs of adult learners. Scale: Those involved in the program leveraged the current technologies for recorded, synchronous, and asynchronous interaction, communication, and instructional delivery. Access: Higher levels of engagement with faculty and Librarians created deeper connections with students in what can be a faceless and voiceless environment. Increased engagement and academic success, as pointed out in the literature, can increase persistence and retention. Faculty Satisfaction: The initial two faculty for the smaller pilot strongly recommended to the program coordinators and fellow faculty to expand the pilot. All faculty involved volunteered themselves and their sections for the pilots and participated in Basecamp, a project management site, to obtain information, ask questions, give feedback, and provide recommendations for current and future work with the initiative. Overwhelmingly faculty stated participation in the project was personally rewarding, how they themselves learned something new when attending a live session, and how the information for the students enhanced their ability to effectively deliver instruction. Student Satisfaction: Evident from the sample of qualitative responses, students became connected to not only their current professor but to a staff member, a dedicated, supportive, and knowledgeable Librarian. Students indicated regularly in feedback how they now understood things that had previously confused them, become more confident in abilities to work in the Library and perform research, and affirmed connection of new knowledge and skills to classroom application.

Live Library Office Hours provides new students in their first class at APUS an opportunity to establish a personal connection with a librarian and the Library. Additionally, with synchronous communication, and an interactive demonstration of crucial search skills, student confidence, competence and satisfaction with the library is has increased, along with improved performance on classroom research assignments. The positive impact of improved information literacy skills, and closer relationships with librarians, should linger in future courses as well.

This more engaging format will allow librarians to teach information literacy in a more proactive way, rather than passively awaiting student queries and hoping (often with no student feedback) that their responses are effective. In keeping with the focus of the Community of Inquiry framework, these live, interactive sessions will grant APUS librarians an unprecedented opportunity to establish social presence with new students, developing a rapport that will endure throughout students' academic careers.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

In addition to tracking attendance at live sessions, survey and qualitative data provided by students, Librarians, and faculty were gathered from the initiative. Such data provided insight into themes, points of confusion, and engagement in the initiative and learning. Student attitudes, knowledge, and skills were surveyed with a pre and post session assessment. Themes were noted by Librarians during session and in follow-up with students. From within the classroom faculty monitored impressions. Instructors used an open forum to discuss the Library sessions and gather feedback asking students what they learned, how will they apply new knowledge and skills, and thoughts on further exploration. Assignments connected to the Library were analyzed to assess any increase in the submissions and quality of grades as compared to COLL100 classes not involved in the pilot.
Students integrated the learning from the Live Library sessions into assignments in the classroom both directly – as in quiz and reflection requirements for points in attending the session – and indirectly – as in increased knowledge and skills to accurately and more efficiently perform Library and research based assignments.
Overall student GPA, Community of Inquiry (CoI) scores, and End of Course Survey, were analyzed. Of those who participated in the October 2013 pilot sessions 93% of students achieved the course grade of "A". Additionally, just over 90% of participating students achieved the grade of "A" on relevant Library assignments. Over 90% of student feedback, both in the post-Live Library session survey and feedback in the open discussion forum, was positive, indicated a change in attitude (i.e. from anxious or disconnected to confident and engaged), and included comments illustrating student learning and skill development. Similar positive results were indicated with the April 2014 records. Qualitative data pulled from student feedback in communication to faculty as well in response to an open ended prompt on the post-session quiz yielded very positive and validating results. A small sample of student responses are provided:
“I just completed my live library session and it was very helpful. Since this is my first course it really showed me how to navigate through the library. My library host was super nice and there was only two people in the session so she used my topic in a few of the search engines to show me how to get results”.

“I had my library tutorial today, April 16 from 10:00-10:20 my time, 12:00-12:20 eastern.
I will say that I am glad this is required learning for this course. I didn't realize how helpful the library is and I will be sure to utilize it through this class and all my future classes!”

“I learned a lot of things today. I learned about the different ways to search for topic information. Not only books but journals and papers. I learned that I can save the information in a pdf for future reading. I learned where to find help in siting sources. I also learned that I can search frequently asked questions but I can also ask a librarian directly and that they are pretty speedy in a return response.
I'm happy I got into the tutorial early in the course!”

“ I attended the Live Library session on 10 May 2014 @ 10AM (Pacific Time). The APUS Librarian, Mary-Elizabeth Gano, was very helpful in answering all of my questions regarding the library. I stumbled across the COLL100 Course Guide before, but a great degree of clarity was achieved by attending the Live Library session. I kind of felt like I had previously assembled a bike without reading the instructions, only to read the instructions later... and discover that I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration by reading them first. The information regarding the FAQs and the help that the library can personally afford to me was really reassuring (ask a librarian, tutor.com, LibChat, and the help tab). The assistance with how to properly search a website was of great value, as I have a bias toward taking everything on the Internet as gospel”.

“I just did the session at 1 and I must say it is very informative. I advise all my fellow students to check it out. Found some really helpful tools that I can use throughout my entire degree process”.

“I had my Library session on Tuesday. I thought it was informative, however, I had already figured out most of what was covered when I was looking up the research paper topic options. What I did find helpful was the information about the book search. I had not started looking at books a sources yet so when I did start after my session, it made the experience very easy”.

“Unfortunately due to my schedule I could not attend a live session, however; I watched the Youtube tutorials on the library tour. One thing I learned that I didnt know before was that on proquest when searching for your topic, click on the book reference, you can actually type in keywords and it will take you to specific chapters in the book that relate to what your looking for. Sounds much nicer then scrambling through the whole book to find one thing that your looking for. I also like that fact that there is a ask a librarian tab. I also learned about the "Deep Web" .You re just one question away from an answer. What a great service to offer the students”.

“I attended the live library session during the third week. I found the experience interesting and informative. I was at work and was still able to do the drop in. The librarians answered all my questions and dropped a few hints on me through chat. I was able to learn how to refine my searches to get the results I needed”.

“First and foremost I would like to say that Mrs. Susan Satory was amazing in every aspect of the word. This is my first online course ever and she broke it down to an easy and very understandable level. I am not very good with computers but she made me feel very confident and knowledgeable about what I was doing, and made me very comfortable about speaking how i felt and asking questions…. Secondly, The "summon" tool, as a novice researcher and new student when pulling information I always feel bombarded with a whole bunch of useless and "rabbit whole" information. With this tool it allows me to specify exactly what I'm looking for and only generate results on what I choose, which helps new users like myself to further focus on what I want to see”.

“I had not attended a Live Library session prior to creating my Annotated Bibliography. I just finished my session tonight. It was VERY informative, though, and it will definitely make creating my Resources page for my final paper easier. I also was shown ways to search the library that I wasn't aware of before. I think had I attended a session earlier, it would have made my search much simpler.”

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Directly related to all of the Sloan-C’s Five Pillars of Quality Online Education, the Live Library initiative demonstrates success in learning effectiveness, scale, access, faculty satisfaction, and student satisfaction. Learning Effectiveness: The design and delivery of the program including the assets for classroom integration, for Librarian support, and for live demonstration was done with effective practices of online instruction as well as a focus on pedagogy for first-year students including integration of the principles for andragogy to meet the needs of adult learners. Scale: Those involved in the program leveraged the current technologies for recorded, synchronous, and asynchronous interaction, communication, and instructional delivery. Access: Higher levels of engagement with faculty and Librarians created deeper connections with students in what can be a faceless and voiceless environment. Increased engagement and academic success, as pointed out in the literature, can increase persistence and retention. Faculty Satisfaction: The initial two faculty for the smaller pilot strongly recommended to the program coordinators and fellow faculty to expand the pilot. All faculty involved volunteered themselves and their sections for the pilots and participated in Basecamp, a project management site, to obtain information, ask questions, give feedback, and provide recommendations for current and future work with the initiative. Overwhelmingly faculty stated participation in the project was personally rewarding, how they themselves learned something new when attending a live session, and how the information for the students enhanced their ability to effectively deliver instruction. Student Satisfaction: Evident from the sample of qualitative responses, students became connected to not only their current professor but to a staff member, a dedicated, supportive, and knowledgeable Librarian. Students indicated regularly in feedback how they now understood things that had previously confused them, become more confident in abilities to work in the Library and perform research, and affirmed connection of new knowledge and skills to classroom application.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Equipment necessary for the effective practice is a learning management system, a live audio and video conferencing or meeting tool, headphones and speakers, standard computer and monitor with standard software, and Web 2.0 tools, such as YouTube, survey tools, and scheduling tools for application.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Salary of faculty and staff along with cost for technology platforms in use at an institution. No additional costs were incurred.

Other Comments: 

Thank you!

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Angela Gibson
Email this contact: 
angelamgibson@hotmail.com
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Pricilla Coulter
Email contact 2: 
pcoulter@apus.edu
Effective Practice Contact 3: 
Susan Satory
Email contact 3: 
ssatory@apus.edu
Award Winner: 
2014 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Collection: 
Student-Generated Content
Author Information
Author(s): 
Marie Hulme, Director of SHUsquare and Jaya Kannan, Director of Digital Learning
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Sacred Heart University
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

SHUsquare is Sacred Heart University's virtual public square project, a pioneering initiative to build a networked community of learners connecting First Year Seminars. SHUsquare allows students and faculty to synthesize, analyze and communicate ideas, information and work through a multi-modal, multidisciplinary approach of teaching and learning. It supports important 21st century competencies including collaboration, creativity, ethical use of information and media. Here is the landing page on the Sacred Heart University web-site under the College of Arts and Sciences: http://www.sacredheart.edu/academics/collegeofartssciences/shusquare/

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Students engaged in interdisciplinary and integrative thinking and writing are deepening their understanding of complex issues, honing critical thinking skills and preparing for a world of complexity in which creativity, broad perspective, and integration of media literacy are important 21st c. skills. Students are interacting with faculty and students from across disciplines as they respond to various forums created by individuals and Seminar classes, expanding their intellectual community beyond their immediate classroom, Professor, and Seminar topic. Deans from three colleges at the University engage students with ideas that raise the level of intellectual discourse and model an intellectual on-line presence. A vibrant intellectual online community generates a cross-pollination of both ideas and pedagogy, enhancing deep learning between students and other students, students and a diverse range of Professors, and between faculty members from diverse disciplines, building a complex web of learning.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

In the short period of one academic year, since the birth of a pilot program developed on Blackbaord in AY 2012-2013 with ten participating seminars, SHUsquare has evolved into an external on-line networked community of over twenty Seminars. During the AY 2013-2014, SHUsquare had 52 pages of content, including videos, discussion forums, multi-modal projects, and interdisciplinary “hubs” in which two or more Seminars shared ideas and work. There were a total of 536 users on the site, 71 forums, 181 topics and 1,286 replies. Topics ranged from discussions of the meaning of a good life to the holocaust.
A forum designed to bring the incoming freshmen class together over a common intellectual experience modeled a multi-disciplinary approach for the text "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" in the fall of 2013. Professors from six relevant disciplines, English, Biology, Theology, Political Science, History and Philosophy each created a video discussing the text from their perspective. This modeled an integrative approach to understanding the text. The discussions, begun on line, were continued in the Seminar classrooms and in a formal colloquium. An intellectual community was established prior to the incoming class arriving at Sacred Heart.
This online forum consciously brought together Knowledge Experts from diverse disciplines to critically analyze a common text. Modeling this connective thinking epitomized the role of higher order thinking that characterizes a liberal arts education. Here is the link to the Freshmen Common Text Forum:http://shusquare.sacredheart.edu/forums/topic/interdisciplinary-discussion/
Deep learning is further evidenced in the collaboration between Dr. Michelle Loris of Psychology and Dr. Mark Jareb of Biology. Dr. Loris’ Seminar entitled “Understanding Our Behavior” and Dr. Jareb’s Seminar entitled “Free Will v. The Programmed Brain” exchanged evidence from their respective disciplines in response to a common question. Dr. Loris discusses the experience in a video provided here: http://youtu.be/1dm6VYHa9ck
A link to the Hub page on SHUsquare is accessible here: http://shusquare.sacredheart.edu/forums/topic/hub-with-dr-jarebs-and-dr-...

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Learning effectiveness is demonstrated through the prism of active learning seen through:
1.) students as both contributors to and co-creators of content; 2.) student engagement across a broad range of topics across disciplines; 3.) student participation as an act of volition that led to the emergence of learner autonomy ; 4.) students going beyond the boundaries of an assigned course.
Even with learning effectiveness as the primary pillar, it is supported by the other factors. In implementing the academic vision for networked learning there was an implicit attempt to apply the principles of the Universal Design for Learning thereby creating equal opportunities for engagement and participation. Further, faculty and student satisfaction is evidenced by data that clearly indicates an increase in participation on the site. The creation of this networked virtual platform enabled a complex web of intellectual interactions not just between students, but also between students and faculty. This effectively broke down the hierarchies and empowered students to rise as inquiry-based learners. The scale of the pilot was limited to a private BlackBoard framework and was moved to an independently hosted public site. At a program level, it was begun as a support of the curriculum goals of the First Year Seminars and is expanding to sophomore level Core courses in order to build continuity along community based learning. Further plans are underway to expand the site to a University wide initiative.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Mobile-computing devices

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Web-Hosting (Blue-Host) @ 24.99 per month X 12 months = $ 299.88

References, supporting documents: 

Dr. Michelle Loris, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Psychology, Professor of English, Sacred Heart University
Dr. James Castonguay, Director of Master's in Communications, Professor of Media Studies, Sacred Heart University
Dr. Leonard Cassuto, Professor of American Literature, Fordham University http://www.lcassuto.com/

Other Comments: 

First Year Seminars at Sacred Heart University are taught across multiple modalities in face-to-face, blended, and online environments. The unexpected learning from this SHUsquare project is that while it strengthens all the three modalities, this integration of the online community hub has greatly strengthened participation in face-to-face settings – in our observations.
Successful presentations on SHUsquare accomplishments have been delivered at the 19th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on On-line Learning (November, 2013), the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Conference on Global Learning in College (October, 2013), and the Fairfield University Innovative Pedagogy Conference (May, 2014)
The SHUsquare model is unique in its creative design, mirroring the institutional objectives of developing 21st century competencies in creativity, media literacy, collaborative approaches, and multi-modal access to multi-disciplinary content. Nationally this is an innovative and singular model of a networked learning community in a Liberal Arts context.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Marie Hulme
Email this contact: 
hulmem@sacredheart.edu
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Jaya Kannan
Email contact 2: 
kannanj@sacredheart.edu
Award Winner: 
2014 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Author Information
Author(s): 
Naza Djafarova, Director, Digital Education Strategies, The Chang School, Ryerson University
Author(s): 
Melissa Abramowitz, Instructor, Interdisciplinary Studies, The Chang School, Ryerson University
Author(s): 
Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, Dean, The Chang School, Ryerson University
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University, Toronto
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Experiential learning activities, such as role-play, are just as beneficial to students in online courses as they are in face-to-face offerings. Online role-play is an important strategy to allow students to practice skills such as interpersonal communication, problem-solving and negotiation. A range of options exist to support online role-play activity including, text-based, asynchronous, discussion boards at one end of the spectrum and sophisticated, three-dimensional virtual worlds at the other. As a team supporting distance education, we recognized the need for a tool to support the key elements of role-play activity online, while providing ease of use for both instructors and students. In response to this need, the Digital Education Strategies team at The Chang School, Ryerson University, developed an online role-play environment called Lake Devo.

Lake Devo is a highly adaptable online role-play environment and presentation tool. Using any role-play scenario, instructors and students can create scenes and characters and interact in real-time. Role-play activity is captured, and published as a 2-D "movie" that a class may review, discuss, debate and analyze in Lake Devo's self-contained debrief area. Lake Devo’s chat tool allows users to check in with each other “out of role” while they are using the environment.

The environment has been used by students and instructors in a variety of different program areas at Ryerson University to support key learning objectives and evaluations.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

The Lake Devo environment allows students to undertake real-time role-play interaction online. Ahead of the role-lay activity, individual students create their avatar or role-play character. Each Lake Devo role-play character may be customized using a variety of body types, facial features, clothing and accessories. As a group, students may also choose a realistic backdrop for their role-play activity from multiple settings and sounds relevant to many fields and subject areas, including healthcare, business, and education. Using text, sound effects and modifiable facial expressions for their avatars, students can exchange dialogue, while including non-verbal cues that may not be possible when using text-based tools, such as standard discussion boards, for role-play activity. Work on the environment may be combined with some pre-activities, such as ice breakers, away from Lake Devo, to ensure a strong group dynamic during the role-play activity.

All role-play activity is captured as a role-play “movie” which may be reviewed by the class in Lake Devo’s integrated debrief area. Once “out of role”, this allows students to identify lessons learned and to measure how effectively they have applied their skills. In the debrief area, viewable only by their specific Lake Devo Community members, students can post comments and questions and exchange feedback with their peers.

Because of its flexible and adaptable design, instructors may use Lake Devo in a number of ways to support learning objectives in their courses. For example:
If instructors wish to provide a specific foundation or to have students focus their skills in one particular area, they may create a scenario or scenarios ahead of time, complete with characters, for students to role-play. This is a useful strategy when instructors would like their students to consider multiple approaches or solutions to the same problem.

Additionally, instructors may teach through narrative by creating their own Lake Devo movie(s) for review by students. They may then pose questions for reflection and discussion in the Lake Devo debrief area, which allows students to review a movie as many times as they wish and post their comments in response. An instructor may consider creating multiple short movies with subtle differences, prompting students to distinguish important nuances that can affect the outcomes in a given scenario.

The Lake Devo environment is fully equipped to allow an instructor to set up his/her class as an online collaborative community. He/she may enter students’ information, configure working groups and have the system issue login information to all users.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

Since the first version of the Lake Devo environment was designed and launched in 2009, it has been used to support assignments in the following program areas at Ryerson: Interdisciplinary Studies, Retail Management, Fundraising Management, Early Childhood Studies, and Food Security.

Student response to the Lake Devo role play environment has been extremely positive. Student comments include:

“I really enjoyed the Lake Devo group project it was fun and surprisingly simple to use." (The Chang School, Winter 2011, Distance Education Supplemental Survey)

“….. it was a great tool that made the group project most interactive. It allowed for a level of creativity that I had not used in the many online courses I have taken in the past. I would recommend it." (The Chang School, Winter 2013, Distance Education Supplemental Survey)

“The Lake Devo sessions brought out a lot of real life situations and demonstrated many aspects of mentoring.” (The Chang School, Spring 2014, Distance Education Supplemental Survey)

Awards and recognition include:

• National University Technology Network: Honourable Mention, Distance Education Innovation, 2010.
• Canadian Society for Training and Development: Canadian Award for Training Excellence in the “WOW” Category, 2010.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Learning Effectiveness – Lake Devo makes the most of the online learning environment to support the key elements of role-play activity. Since the debrief aspect of the activity is as important as the role-play itself, the easy capture and retrievable format of the Lake Devo movies help to maximize learning outcomes. Multiple modes of representation (text, visual, audio) provide students with a breadth of options to connect with and inhabit their role-play characters and settings. The collaborative features of the environment encourage the development of learning communities in the context of online course work.

Access – Instructors at Ryerson make use of the Lake Devo environment in a variety of courses at no additional expense to students. The current iteration of the Lake Devo environment is under active revision for compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. All Lake Devo movies have an exportable transcript which includes full text description of all visual and audio elements. The environment is equipped with thorough “Help” documentation as well as a video tutorial to support independent use of the features by students with a range of technical abilities.

Student Satisfaction – Students have been consulted through surveys specific to the Lake Devo environment as well as via course surveys for the offerings in which Lake Devo is implemented. Students have reported a high level of interactivity and creativity in using the environment and also identify a specific sense of pride in the products that result from their work in Lake Devo. While student satisfaction with the features of the environment has remained consistent, the Digital Education Strategies team has adopted a continuous improvement approach to the design of the environment and has fully revised the environment over the past 5 years, in keeping with student feedback.

Scale – Classes of any size and from any discipline can easily implement the use of the Lake Devo environment. It can also be implemented by Ryerson’s fellow institutions as the environment is not integrated into a single sign-on portal or Learning Management System.

Faculty Satisfaction – Instructors have demonstrated their satisfaction with the Lake Devo environment through repeated use of Lake Devo in their courses. Over the past five years, Lake Devo has been used by a total of ten online instructors, for at least eight different courses, involving over 35 sections of students. Instructors have also been involved in user testing for the environment, as well as in demonstrations of the environment for fellow faculty.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Students and instructors require no special software or equipment to make use of the Lake Devo environment. The only requirement is internet access and creative ideas for role-play scenarios.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Lake Devo is available for use by instructors and/or students at no cost.

For the Digital Education Strategies unit at The Chang School, the key area of cost for the Lake Devo environment was the original development by the project team. Ongoing costs have now been reduced to incremental resources for student and instructor support during “high traffic” times. Other than these expenses, the additional investments take the form of up-front instructor time to design their own Lake Devo learning activities.

References, supporting documents: 

Please visit the following links for more information about Lake Devo:

• Lake Devo Overview and Video : https://lakedevo.ryerson.ca/Help.aspx

• Lake Devo Gallery of Student Projects: https://lakedevo.ryerson.ca/Movies.aspx

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Naza Djafarova
Email this contact: 
ndjafaro@ryerson.ca
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Melissa Abramovitz
Email contact 2: 
mabramov@ryerson.ca
Effective Practice Contact 3: 
Maureen Glynn
Email contact 3: 
maureen.glynn@ryerson.ca
Author Information
Author(s): 
Dylan Herx
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Online learning requires an additional set of skills to be successful. Not only do students need to be self-motivated and be able to manage time, but they also require the ability to learn and use new technologies. The assumptions are : students are digital natives who will naturally adapt to the online environment and usage of educational technology without much instruction; and the other required "soft skills" (time management, professional communication, etc.) of online learning are an imbued part of adulthood. In reality, students in online courses often need specific training on the LMS and other educational technology and need to be forewarned of the expectations that will promote their own success.

This led us to question if some of these stumbling blocks couldn't be addressed before the student took an online course, much in the same way a first-year experience or freshman orientation addresses some of the issues in transitioning from high school to college. From there, we designed an online course orientation provided to all students enrolled in an online course that included short segments about how to succeed, student expectations (professionalism, team work, etc.), and training videos on the various technology tools students might encounter within the university LMS.

Our goal was to determine if this could provide a low-cost effective way to mitigate some of the gaps and, ultimately, help retain and graduate online students.

Please see the attached videos for more information.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

The Online Course Orientation has short informational segments about expectations and technology. Some include videos, interactive screenshots, or other digital mediums. The Orientation was created on the university LMS (Blackboard). The sections of the orientation are as follows:

  • Start Here
  • Technology (Hardware/Software)
  • Student Expectations
  • How to Succeed
  • Navigating Course Areas (LMS)
  • Assignments and Grades
  • Quizzes and Tests
  • Discussion Boards
  • Presentation Tools
  • Group Work
  • Academic Resources
  • Student Supports

Students enrolled in online classes are automatically also enrolled in the Online Course Orientation and remain enrolled for the duration of their online course. The orientation is presented in short steps, requiring the students to click "Mark Reviewed" to move on. It was designed this way so as not to overwhelm the students, thereby diminishing the likelihood that they would participate in it from the beginning. The technology tool categories are available at all times, however, so that students can visit those areas to learn or refresh on a technology (ex. VoiceThread) that is being used in their online course.

Video Overview of the Online Course Orientation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPOoWHuZSxQ

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

The Online Course orientation has been access by 6712 out of 9040 students (74%) and the average time spent per user is 1.87 hours. The total hours spent by students in the orientation is 12558.73 (as of 7/15/14).

As a better measure of effectiveness, there is a short, 4-question survey at the end of the orientation with the following questions:

  1. What concepts did you learn from the orientation?
  2. What would you change or add?
  3. Did you encounter any navigational or technological issues? If so, what?
  4. Would you recommend this orientation to other students?
    • Yes
    • Yes, with the following improvements (text box)
    • No

The results of the survey have been excellent. There have been 537 respondents to the survey so far, and of those, 93% said they would recommend the online course orientation to other students.

Additionally, many faculty have been pleased that they can redirect some student questions about technology to the Online Course Orientation instead of trying to answer them individually.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Learning Effectiveness:
The Online Course Orientation(OCO) prepares students for how taking a course in an online format might require different skills and pre-constructed knowledge than a traditional course, thus providing more time for them to set up scaffolds to be successful (set up a calendar, review professional communication habits, self-reflect on past team experiences). Additionally, the technology portion "primes the pump" for the types of tools they may encounter and because the tutorials are always available, faculty can direct students to revisit the training for a tool(s) that might be used in their course.


Scale:
The OCO is built in the Learning Management System already used at the university. Students are automatically enrolled (by a programming script) and the course has no limit to the number of seats. It also requires little maintenance from year to year.


Faculty Satisfaction:
Faculty anecdotally report that they are happy to not have to continually troubleshoot educational technology issues for students and that largely, they can simply point students to the tutorial videos in the OCO to help the students refresh on the technology.
Student Satisfaction:
The How to Succeed and Student Expectations sections really help students self-identify as to whether an online course is right for them. It also helps them prepare for an upcoming online course and since it is available 24/7, it can serve as a way for them to self-solve technology problems when a staff person is unavailable.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

LMS - free if enterprise at university
Computer - cost varies
Screenrecording software (Screencast-O-Matic, Camtasia, Kaltura, Panopto, etc.) - free to $99 depending on product used or if enterprise solution is available at university
ThingLink (image annotation software) - free
USB headset microphone - $40
Image editor - free options available

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

--Time of salaried employee to create orientation
--Computer (assumed to be provided to employee
--$150-$500 in technology hardware/software to create effective screen recording

References, supporting documents: 

Angelino, L. M., Williams, F. K., & Natvig, D. (2007). Strategies to Engage Online Students and Reduce Attrition Rates. Journal of Educators Online, 4(2), n2.

Harrell, I. L. (2008). Increasing the Success of Online Students. Inquiry, 13(1), 36-44.

Lloyd, S. A., Byrne, M. M., & McCoy, T. S. (2012). Faculty-perceived barriers of online education. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(1).

Ludwig-hardman, S., & Dunlap, J. (2003). Learner Support Services for Online Students: Scaffolding for success. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 4(1). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/131

Roper, A. R. (2007). How students develop online learning skills. Educause Quarterly, 30(1), 62.

Wilson, M. (2008). An investigation into the perceptions of first-time online undergraduate learners on orientation events. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(1), 73-83.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Dylan Herx
Email this contact: 
herxd@umsl.edu
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Daren Curry
Email contact 2: 
curryd@umsl.edu
Collection: 
Student-Generated Content
Author Information
Author(s): 
Douglas Kern and Nabila Hijazi
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
University of Maryland, College Park
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

With the shift from individual acquisition to artifact mediated collaborative participation, using different modes of technology in teaching writing is a great opportunity to further enhance students’ writing competency. We have begun to ask questions about how digital video assignments enhance the student's composition process. Results from this study and the collected data—including students' brainstorming activities, interactions, script writings and revisions, reflections, and feedback—will hopefully initiate a community of inquiry and discussion/reflections about curriculum design and encourage important adjustments based on students’ feedback and progress.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Digital Media continues to diversify the way we teach. Specifically, it offers fresh challenges and options to enhance student-teacher interactions in our classrooms. Within the Academic Writing Blended Learning initiative, we find that such interactions are fostered through the implementation of video/screencasting coursework. In particular, we’ve implemented two key projects—"digital storytelling" and "group rhetorical analysis.” With the individual digital storytelling project students are required to create a video which builds academic inquiry through a personal experience. This gives students the unique opportunity to employ both audio and visual elements (along with scripts/text) to initiate the inquiry process and engage with their own storytelling/questions. The group rhetorical analysis project proves more challenging as it requires analysis of key rhetorical concepts. The video elements in this case help students to employ these concepts while analyzing them in videos of their choice. These assignments enhance teaching and student learning as they actively engage students by having them create/collaborate on animated conversations/videos. In fact, these videos/screencasts become digital windows for inquiry and research since students critically address and actively engage their audiences while investigating issues from different angles. These assignments are creative but critical tools for literally moving students beyond the personal space to research and consider an issue from various perspectives. Research suggests that when students are invited to begin a writing or research task with a personal reaction or experience, they develop a good foundation for later critical thinking (citation). As students get acquainted with the first digital assignment, they become more creative while critical of their writing/composing practices when producing their group digital projects.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

Student evaluations/feedback through self assessment reveal strong evidence of effectiveness. Select feedback is provided below. :

Editing and revising were the two common writing strategies we used when creating our project. There were many aspects of the argument we continued to identify as we worked on our project.

During out drafting we took advantage of the planning and all worked together to draft out script so it would be ready to go to make into the video.

Planning and drafting were the two most used writing strategies for this project. We planned the script and the project before actually writing the script. Then we drafted it and finished the project.

My group used the revising portion the most. We divided the work very evenly but before we would submit something the other two group members would look over it just to double check.

This assignment in my opinion was targeted at making my writing clear and concise. Communication was key in this project.

Using multiple modes made this assignment more organized and effective. Having an individual rhetorical analysis gave each one of us a good idea of what this project would entail, and a written script gave us a good starting point for the assignment. We could then use these written portions and incorporate them into the video and make sure that we included all the necessary aspects required by the rubric.

This assignment helped me improve my writing skills, because since the final product was a video, we had to make sure that the writing was concise and to the point in order to convey a clear message within the allotted time. It also helped me develop a clear thesis and effective supporting evidence.

Our group focused on drafting and revising. We spend a large portion of our time drafting the script for the video, and then going back to make sure that everything we needed to include was there and to make our language more precise.

I liked using multiple modes, as making video projects are always hard work but fun to do! And having good skills in communication and writing are great things to have and improving them never hurts.

I think our group did a good job of including all of the important aspects of a rhetorical analysis into the video and including clips/pictures that kept the audience engaged. We also exhibited great teamwork, because all of the members gave constructive criticism to one another's work, which was more helpful than just agreeing with everything to get the work done faster.

I think this assignment helped with my group working skills.

The combination of the of the modes I felt were beneficial to the group project because it made you think in different ways in order to prepare and complete the project, instead just writing a paper explaining the argument.

It helped me improve my organization, because you needed to make sure everything you were saying was in a logical manner.

Explanation and editing were the strategies we used the most. Explaining is important because you need to make sure your audience understands what you are talking about. Editing is important to make sure you did not make any dumb mistakes that may confused the audience.

My writing improved because I was editing a lot of what my other group members wrote, so I got to see a contrast in writing style, which I may include in my future writings.

The most beneficial aspect was learning how to critically and deeply evaluate our video.

I liked using the multiple modes.  I think that is what 'blended learning' is supposed to be about.  In today's world, balancing these multiple forms of communication is a necessary skill.

By having personal interactions with other view points, I think I was able to see my writing from different perspectives, in turn allowing me to revise my writing while catering to the audience. Seeing actual reactions to your writing as a beginning writer gets the point across better.

The assignment made my writing skills more analytical and concise by making me aware of rhetorical appeals and better able to decide what to include in a final analysis.

I do believe that the script format helped me to write in a more consistent way, because I had to ensure that my speaking roles in the video flowed smoothly with the roles of my teammates. The assignment also pushed me to write more concisely and to more precisely choose my diction, in efforts to keep the attention of my audience and to refrain from droning on. 

The combination of the different modes helps foster a more creative approach.

The strengths are in showing examples of my analysis in the film. I was able to make a claim in my analysis and immediately back it up with a clip.

The assignment allowed me to realize what kind of powerful arguments are going on in present day society. In addition, I view commercial ads much differently than I used to. Instead of casually watching various ads, I begin to analyze and see what kind of argument each ad is trying to make and what rhetorical strategies they are using.

I believe I was able to work on the evaluation portion of our writing process because the rhetorical analysis assignment involved thoroughly examining an ad and locating specific rhetorical devices that were used for the author to really make his argument impacting. After finding the devices, I then had to analyze them which I believe is a crucial ability necessary for writing assignments because a student could take apart a source and analyze certain points of it for their paper.

I believe that rhetorical analysis project teaches students that when writing a paper, a source must be investigated thoroughly to hand pick certain areas and then analyze those areas to use for your paper.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

We have begun to ask questions about how these assignments enhance the student composition process, and our project here is to continue the research into this question. We aim to collect further date by analyzing students’ texts, composing practices, and presentations, while paying particular attention to how the students use multimodalties to collaborate and interact to present their thoughts and arguments to their intended audiences. The goal our project is to allow research and practice to inform each other in ways that help develop pedagogical practices aimed at engaging writers in 21st century academic literacy skills. By effectively interacting with the students, instruction and research will be integrated into a dynamic learning process.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Very little equipment is 'necessary' to employ digital video assignments in our classrooms. Popular Digital Storytelling software includes but is certainly not limited to:

iMovie - import video footage and edit video clips (Mac)
Final Cut Express- video editing software (Mac)
Garage Band - used to create and edit music (Mac)
Audacity - digital audio editor and recording application
Adobe Photoshop - graphics editing
Camtasia - screen video capture program
Windows MovieMaker- video editing (PC)
Microsoft Photo Story 3- for Windows XP

Students have access to many of these resources.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Again, very little equipment and/or cost is 'necessary' to employ digital video assignments in our classrooms. Popular Digital Storytelling software includes but is certainly not limited to:

iMovie - import video footage and edit video clips (Mac)
Final Cut Express- video editing software (Mac)
Garage Band - used to create and edit music (Mac)
Audacity - digital audio editor and recording application
Adobe Photoshop - graphics editing
Camtasia - screen video capture program
Windows MovieMaker- video editing (PC)
Microsoft Photo Story 3- for Windows XP

Students have access to many of these resources for free and can even create video projects through their home computers, cell phones, and/or tablets.

References, supporting documents: 

A Position Statement of Principles and Example Effective Practices for Online Writing Instruction (OWI): http://www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/owiprinciples

Handa, Carolyn. 'Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World: A Critical Sourcebook.' Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004.

Other Comments: 

The goal of this project is to allow research and practice to inform each other in ways that help develop pedagogical practices aimed at engaging writers in 21st century academic literacy skills. Thank you for your consideration.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Douglas Kern
Email this contact: 
dkern@umd.edu
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Nabila Hijazi
Email contact 2: 
nabila.hijazi@gmail.com
Author Information
Author(s): 
Dr. Glenn H. Dakin
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
University of Phoenix,
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
American Intercontinental University
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Learning structures include pragmatic skills and habitual practices that support effective learning. Adult learning is problem-centered lifelong learning (Ozuah, 2005). Learning skills are influenced by environment conditioning from childhood to young adult. Young adults may develop less than effective learning habits through conditioning from reinforced external expectations. Students with these conditioned behaviors may never learn to assess and revise learning habits. Learning to learn should include learning structures. The discussion of this white paper targets problems and solutions for improving student learning structures.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Learning family structure is a method of establishing a behavioral family process. The family is aware, understands the importance, and benefits for the learner’s engagement in the long term goal. The main benefit of the learning family structure is to improve family quality of life versus just the student’s focus. Developing a learning family practice is one of the best gifts a parent can provide for their children. Distance learning is a challenge for many adult learners. Providing guidelines for how to involve the family in the learning structured discipline empowers adults learners to demonstrate examples for their children and other adult family members.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

Over ten years of supporting successful online student success with effective instructional design.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Distance learning is a challenge for many adult learners. Providing guidelines for how to involve the family in the learning structured discipline empowers adults learners to demonstrate examples for their children and other adult family members. The practice influences faculty and student centered learning for adult learners to benefit life long learning habits.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Typical online classroom equipment used by online faculty through written and verbal communication

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Negligible.

References, supporting documents: 

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2003). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Crews, D., & Russ, M. (2012). The impact of multitasking on human and organizational efficiency. Leadership & Organizational Management Journal, 3.
Depape, A. R., Hakim-Larson, J., Voelker, S., Page, S., & Jackson, D. L. (2006, July). Self-talk and emotional intelligence in university students. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 38(3) p 250-26.
Dewey, J. (1997). Experience and education. New York: Touchstone Books.
Driscoll, M.P. (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (3rd ed.). NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Field, R. H. G. (1989, March). The self-fulfilling prophecy leader: Achieving the metharme effect. Journal of Management Studies, 26(2).
Gonzales, V., & Mark, G. (2004). Constant, constant, multitasking craziness: Managing multiple work spheres. Proceedings of CHI, 24-29 Vienna,113-120.
Gordon, S. P. (2004). Professional development for school improvement: Empowering learning communities. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Gredler, M. (2005). Learning and instruction: Theory into practice (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
King, A. (1993). From sage on the stage to guide on the side. College Teaching, 41(1), 30.
Kutanİs, R., Mescİ, M., & Övdür, Z. (2011). The effects of locus of control on learning performance: A case of an academic organization. Journal of Economic & Social Studies (JECOSS), 1(2), 113-136.
Nicol, D., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006, Apr). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in higher education, 31(2).
Ozuah, P. O. (2005). First, there was pedagogy and then came andragogy. Einstein Journal of Biology & Medicine, 21(2)
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2007) The thinker’s guide to the art of Socratic questioning. Tomales, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking, http://www.criticalthinking.org
Posner, G. J. (2004). Analyzing the curriculum (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.
Schaps, E., & Lewis, C. (n.d). Extrinsic rewards are education's past, not its future. Educational Leadership, 48(7), 81.
Schunk, D. (2004). Learning theories: An educational perspective (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Stiggins, R. J. (1999, November). Assessment, student confidence, and school success. Phi Delta Kappan, 81(3), 191.
Strauser, D. R., Ketz, K., & Keim, J. (2002). The relationship between self-efficacy, locus of control and work personality. Journal of Rehabilitation, 68,20-26.
Willis, J. (2007). Brain-based teaching strategies for improving students’ memory, learning, and test-taking strategies. Childhood Education, 83(5).

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
onegod@rmsbc.com
Email this contact: 
onegod@rmsbc.com
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
gdakin@email.phoenix.edu
Email contact 2: 
gdakin@faculty.aiuonline.edu
Award Winner: 
2014 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Author Information
Author(s): 
Melanie Shaw
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Northcentral University
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

In the online classroom, one of the primary ways that faculty provide instruction to students is through written feedback on assignments, especially in the absence of synchronous contact with the instructor. Therefore, it is critical that instructors provide the right types and amounts of feedback to maximize student learning. In this effective practice, feedback is explored as a means of increasing student retention and satisfaction in the online classroom.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

The teaching through feedback model was adopted by the university in this study as a primary teaching modality required for all faculty members. The implementation of this approach involved extensive faculty training, consisting of a five week course with direct mentoring, and then a period of practical application and reflection spanning eight weeks to ensure mastery of the teaching approach. The model was based on two primary components – providing specified types of feedback and prioritizing feedback given to students on papers. The feedback model is largely based on an approach developed by Hattie and Temperley (2007). Faculty members are asked to provide the following types of written guidance on all student assignments:
1. Feedback (related to how well the student met the objectives of the discussion question).
2. Feed up (related to clarifying the goal or purpose or the rationale for why a student can benefit from the knowledge gained from the discussion).
3. Feed forward (related to how the student can apply the knowledge to future assignments).
Further, students are given feedback based on several levels of priorities ranging from most to least important: attitude, knowledge, reading, thinking, and writing. Faculty members are expected to provide narrative and rubric feedback on the assignment coversheet and then to embed faculty using track changes or comment bubbles in Microsoft Word to indicate student mastery of learning objectives. The following guiding questions are provided to help faculty provide feedback on each priority:
1. Attitude: Does the student have an attitude toward school and learning needed for success in school? Does the student have a "hungry mind" or an attitude of doing the least needed to please a teacher to get a grade?
2. Knowledge: What can you assume that the student knows? Can you assume she knows what a run-on sentence is or what one typically learns in a graduate or doctoral program or what a research design is or how to write an annotated bibliography item or. . .?
3. Reading: What reading skills does the student demonstrate? Can she accurately represent key ideas in readings? Can she engage and question a text? Can she synthesize and compare points of view?
4. Thinking: Can the student think critically? Analytically? Creatively? Is the student a concrete thinker, unable to extract a general rule or idea from particulars? Can she evaluate rationally? Synthesize ideas?
5. Writing: Can the student write a proper essay with an introduction, thesis, and rational organization? Does the student see writing as a matter of communicating to an audience and as thinking, a way of figuring out positions on matters?

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

Trends that demonstrate students are more likely to pass (35% vs. 65%) or persist (55% vs. 75%) following faculty engagement in the teaching through feedback model. Further, qualitative comments given by students on the post course surveys demonstrate a shift before and after the teaching through feedback model implementation. While pre-implementation comments were positive overall, post-implementation comments seem to reflect a more personalized experience for the students and an improved student/faculty relationship. There was a shift from confusion over assignment directions to clarity provided by the instructor after implementation of the teaching through feedback model.

Pre-Implementation
Many of the activities have directions that are ambiguous and therefore difficult to sort through the exact expectation.
On the task for writing research questions, the directions ask you to reference the topic paper template. This was confusing and perhaps could be clearer.
The instructor was wonderful! I've not been challenged by another quite like this. She frustrated me at times, which led me to recreate my way of thinking that would fit the future of my doctoral journey
So far this was my most challenging course. I had to break down directions in order to understand them.
I would like to have more examples of what was asked for in the assignments.

Post-Implementation
If there were any aspects of the assignments that I didn't understand the instructor provided adequate explanations.
All activities were clearly described. The instructor gave helpful feedback.
The last assignment was a bit confusing but my mentor explained it well.
I thank my Professor for being flexible and being available via e-mail and via telephone. She was very helpful.
The instructor helped me with every question I had and she returned all phone calls immediately
The instructor clearly aligns student success with course materials. She provides feedback when necessary and addresses deficiencies appropriately. Her newsletters were very helpful for future work expectations. Perhaps sharing her comments with the next instructor would provide for a seamless transition. This is the only improvement I can offer. This is my second course with this instructor and I find her methods extremely well thought out and certainly differentiated to student needs.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Learning effectiveness is a key pillar and the teaching through feedback model supports student learning. Data collected over several studies and substantive reviews of the literature clearly show the correlation between student learning and faculty feedback. Online students rely on instructor feedback as a means of improving and developing content mastery. Written feedback provided on assignments, assessments, and discussions is indispensable to the learning process (Shaw, 2013). Instructor feedback improves a student’s scholarly abilities and provides requisite knowledge to complete course and degree requirements.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Faculty training on the teaching through feedback model

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

$100 per faculty member

References, supporting documents: 

Allen, I., & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing course: Ten years of tracking online education in the United States. Needham, MA: The Sloan Consortium, 1-26. Retrieved from http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/class_differences
Anderson, D., Imdieke, S., & Standerford, N. S. (2011). Feedback please: Studying self in the online classroom. International Journal of Instruction, 4(1), 3-15.
Fagan-Wilen, R., Springer, D., Ambrosino, B., & White, B. (2006). The support of adjunct faculty: An academic imperative. Social Work Education, 25(1), 39-51. doi:10.1080/02615470500477870
Gallien, T., Oomen-Early, J. (2008). Personalized versus collective instructor feedback in the online courseroom: Does type of feedback affect student satisfaction, academic performance, and perceived connectedness with the instructor? International Journal of E-Learning, 7(3), 463-476.
Getzlaf, B. Perry, B., Toffner, G., Lamarche, K., & Edwards, M. (2009, July). Effective instructor feedback: Perceptions of online graduate students. Journal of Educators Online, 6(2), 1-22.
Green, T., Alejandro, J., & Brown, A. H. (2009). The retention of experienced faculty in online distance education programs: Understanding factors that impact their involvement. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3).
Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112. doi:10.3102/003465430298487
Johnsrud, L. K., & Banaria, J. S. (2004). Doctoral education: National issues with “local” relevance. Educational Perspectives, 27(2), 20-27.
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult leaner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. London, UK: Elsevier.
Lee, N., & Horsfall, B. (2010). Accelerated learning: A study of faculty and student experiences. Innovative Higher Education, 35, 191-202. doi:10.1007/s10755-010-9141-0
Meixner, C., Kruck, S. E., & Madden, L. T. (2010, Fall). Inclusion of part-time faculty for the benefit of faculty and students. College Teaching, 58(4), 141-147.
Meyer, K. A., & McNeal, L. (2011, June). How online faculty improve student learning productivity. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 15(3), 37-53.
Nation, P. (2007). The four strands. Innovation in Language Learning & Teaching, 1(1), 2-13. doi:10.2167/illt039.0
Plano Clark, V. L., & Creswell, J. W. (2010). Understanding research: A consumer’s guide. Boston, MA: Pearson.
Rogers, C. H., McIntyre, M., & Jazzar, M. (2010). Mentoring adjunct faculty using the cornerstones of effective communication and practice. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 18(1), 53-59.
Scott, M., Bailey, T., & Kienzl, G. (2006). Relative success: Determinants of college graduation rates in public and private colleges in the U.S., Research in Higher Education, 47, 249-279.
Shaw, M. E. (2013). An evaluation of instructor feedback in online courses. Journal of Online Higher Education, 4(3), 1-15.
Song, L., Singleton, E., Hill, J., & Koh, M. H. (2004). Improving online learning: Student perceptions of useful and challenging characteristics. The Internet and Higher Education, 7, 59-71.
Svirko, E., & Mellanby, J. (2008, November). Attitudes to e-learning, learning style and achievement in learning neuroanatomy by medical students. Medical Teacher, 30(9/10), 219-227. doi:10.1080/01421590802334275

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Melanie Shaw
Email this contact: 
mshaw@ncu.edu
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Scott Burrus
Email contact 2: 
sburrus@ncu.edu
Effective Practice Contact 3: 
Karen Ferguson
Email contact 3: 
kferguson@ncu.edu
Award Winner: 
2014 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Author Information
Author(s): 
Heather Zink
Author(s): 
Kathe Kacheroski
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Rasmussen College
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

A standards-based framework is used to in Online+ course developments as a guide for the selection of the optimal learning environment as it pertains to synchronous and asynchronous instructional strategies.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Rasmussen College uses a variety of instructional models to provide optimal learning environments for our diverse student population. Online+ is a model we use to offer a blended learning experience for students taking some of our online courses. Online+ courses are those in which a live classroom experience is embedded within the structural of the course as a part of the instructional strategies utilized within that online course. Research tells us that hybrid courses appeal to learners who want to capitalize on the benefits of real-time instruction, whether residential or virtual, but also need to process information on their own through online instructional elements and assessments. With the goal to provide a truly unique blended learning environment, we needed to develop a framework for the selection of courses appropriate for Online+ delivery. The result was a standards-based approach we call the Hybrid Framework.

The Hybrid Framework outlines the following:
--Curriculum Standards (criteria for course selection): What types of student outcomes best lend themselves to live instruction?
--Instructional Standards (thoughtful course design): How can we utilize various parts of the digital platforms we have to accomplish the desired outcomes?
--Teaching Standards (focused on faculty delivery): How do we empower faculty to make solid decisions around course delivery techniques? Can we align top faculty across the College-system to maximize student exposure to industry experts?

In the Pre-Development phase of Course Development, decisions are made by School Deans and their teams into the most optimal learning environment for a given set of course outcomes. As Rasmussen strives to maintain consistency across all campuses through a standardized course curriculum, decisions regarding modality offerings are made at this phase of Course Development. The Hybrid Framework standards guide the decision-making during the Pre-Development phase of the course design process – curriculum level, instructional design, and teaching standards for a given course. Establishing research-based, data-driven policies for designing hybrid courses is creating confidence in the use of the framework, helping to formulate a plan for measuring the success of the course, and communicating clear expectations at all levels of the organization.

Standards are set at all phases of the course design process to help the School Dean/Instructional Designer/Subject Matter ExpertTeam make informative choices. Hybrid courses offer a mix of real-time activities and online elements in the course design strategy. This framework guides the selection of courses specified for hybrid delivery, the types of activities/assessments to include in the appropriate classroom setting, as well as standards for faculty teaching these types of courses.

A: Curriculum Standards (for the selection of courses)
GOAL: To create a purposeful alignment of the learning experience, examining the desired student outcomes will drive the decision-making process surrounding the optimal learning environment.

Educational benefits to student learning exist in a real-time learning session. What outcomes can be achieved through a live meeting, whether it be physically in the same room or virtually through the use of web cameras? Such outcomes are:
--Establishing peer-to-peer connections to create a community of learners
--Simulating real-world human interaction
--Creating a space for real-time problem solving activities
--Providing hands-on experiences to interact with course content
--Keeping current with field-related trends

If the desired outcomes presented above are part of the curriculum of the selected course, Online+ course delivery strategies should be employed to maximize the student learning potential and assist in achieving the course outcome.

B: Instructional Standards (for the course design)
GOAL: Creates consistency in the curriculum -- with clear objectives, instructional techniques can be employed to accomplish the desired outcomes.

After a course is selected for the Online+ approach, specific elements within the course design must clearly present the types of learning to take place asynchronously and those elements which can be tackled with a synchronous learning session. Questions to consider within the course design process are –
· What is the purpose/objective of the synchronous learning activity?
· What is the assessment for the student during/following the synchronous learning activity? A STUDENT ROLE IN THE SYNCHRONOUS SESSION MUST BE PRESENT.
· How will the lesson plan be designed to assist faculty in delivery of the synchronous session? What presentation materials will be included in the Instructor Guide (PowerPoints, PDF files to share)?

Options to consider for the location of course activities
Suggested Real-Time Activities includes demonstration of a technique or process (where live questioning is most beneficial), live group discussion or role-play, problem-solving/case study scenarios, student presentations requiring live Q&A, as well as others. Suggested online activities (asynchronous) include readings, vocabulary introduction & practice, quiz/assignment submission, video content, and others.

C: Teaching Standards (for faculty delivery)
GOAL: To empower faculty with information to make good decisions around course delivery techniques.

In a standardized course delivery process, faculty need guidelines to follow and must be given clear expectations for the synchronous learning session. Lesson plans are created during the course design phase and guide the types of content and activities addressed within the live learning experience. Additional guidance is also provided in the form of an Instructional Guide specific to the course surrounding the logistics of when to hold the session, what tools to utilize in the virtual classroom tool, how to handle attendance in the session, and preparing students for the live class.

Presentation materials are provided in all Online+ courses to offer the faculty member a starting point for content. They can use these materials or adapt them as they like to meet the weekly course objectives. Faculty conduct these sessions as part of their own office hour time, so no additional prep load is needed to teach an Online+ course as the live instruction time is built into the weekly lesson.

Faculty are also provided with the training they need within the course, as well as for effective virtual classroom teaching. A combination of live workshops with an informational training guide permit faculty to learn at their own pace and then attend live events to practice their skills.

No matter what type of institution you come from or who initiates the course design discussion (faculty-driven or instructional design teams), a standards-based approach is applicable. The Hybrid Framework can help institutions of higher education improve the quality of instruction by creating a set of standards, or decision-making strategies, on which to develop courses. Through the standards, you can create a sustainable framework in which creativity can thrive.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

The process of including a synchronous learning session within courses has been occurring since Fall 2011 demonstrating an increase in student satisfaction (via qualitative course survey feedback), as well as an improved student success rates quarter over quarter & year over year. Development English improved pass rates 9.3% from the previous quarter and 9.2% from the previous year during Winter '14 term. Development Math improved 2.2% over the previous quarter and 5.5% over the previous year in students passing the course. Students also continually request an Online+ course as they would love to see live classroom interaction including within all of their online courses. Rasmussen is working to develop over 15 Online+ courses per term over the next several years.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Learning Effectiveness: Through the use of a standards-based framework, a quality learning experience is designed to promote student learning in the optimal environment -- live or asynchronous. With a blended approach to learning, we have now been able to simulate the face2face classroom experience of a residential course in an online environment. Students gain real-world experience of teleconference technology that will prepare them to survive in a mobile, global work environment. We use the curriculum, instructional, and teaching standards as a way to solve teaching & learning problems on a broad level. The framework is organized into logical questions to be asked as strategic points in the course development process thereby contributing to an innovative learning environment where creativity can flourish through an instructor.

Student Satisfaction: Online+ course design increases student/faculty interaction a traditionally asynchronous environment. Through the use of virtual classroom technology, students can participate in the live classrooms from the convenience of their home or work environment, basically anywhere, even from a mobile phone or tablet, using the virtual classroom mobile app. They also have a choice in attending the live experience or viewing a recorded version of the session if live attendance is not possible in a given week. Online+ provides online students with increased support, permitting our institution to attract learners who are not ready for completely asynchronous, self-paced online courses. Students continually request more live classroom experiences be added to their remaining online courses. This demonstrates the desire for real-time connections within a sometimes isolating course environment.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Heather Zink
Email this contact: 
heather.zink@rasmussen.edu
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Kathe Kacheroski
Email contact 2: 
kathe.kacheroski@rasmussen.edu