The Super E-Student Initiative: A Creative Focus on Targeting Distance Education Learners
Concurrent Session 5
This proposal reports on the implementation of the Super E-Student initiative that was developed to increase retention and completion in online courses. In this session, we will share how an expert ad hoc committee creatively developed tools, handouts, cards and a mobile app to assist students in their digital journey.
The purpose of this proposal is to present a description of the implementation of a distance learning initiative designed to help students understand what it takes to be successful in online learning and guide them to additional information to assist in their digital journey. In July 2015, an ad hoc committee was tasked by the institution’s E-Learning Committee to investigate, research, discuss, and find new and innovative ways to increase student success in online courses. The ad hoc committee consisted of full-time and adjunct faculty, instructional designers, a multimedia instructional specialist, a systems and software application developer, the Assistant Dean of Student Development and Enrollment Management and Coordinator of the Office of Disabilities Services, and the Associate Dean of Academic Technology. As a result of this creative working group, five key deliverables were produced.
Modified document that provides expectations for distance-learning students
Revised Guide to E-Learning course for students taking their first online course
Completed “Are you Ready?” for online learning card with a direct link to the E-Learning Readiness Survey and Guide to E-Learning course
Full page handout to address questions that promote success in the e-learning environment based on the following five levels:
Understanding: What is the difference between traditional, online, and hybrid courses?
Preparation: What are the technical requirements for e-learning and the learning management system?
Readiness: How can you determine if you’re ready for e-courses?
Participation: How can you be successful in your online course, and what can you expect?
Support: Where can you go for help with your courses?
All-inclusive mobile app with additional module focused on guiding e-learning students
This presentation will address the institution’s current distance education model as well as emerging data on how the implementation of the creative Super E-Student Initiative is an effective means of addressing the educational needs of distance learning users. This institution embraces traditional, online, hybrid and blended learning, dual enrollment with partnering high schools, university partnerships, a multi-user learning management system, and web/video conferencing. At this institution, all on-campus and Internet courses have an e-learning component in order to provide student access to the course syllabus, instructor/student communication, course materials, and grades. Students taking e-courses are involved in the academic community through the Student Resources group within the learning management system. In addition, a support site and resource group within the learning management system is available to provide tutorials and guidance in the areas of technical and time management skills essential for e-learners.
Using the above information, the ad hoc committee brainstormed creating a unique and graphical document that covered student expectations for taking e-learning courses at this institution. The team was able to take the information from that working group to develop the five key deliverables which were centered on a theme of super heroes. The Super E-Student products were designed to provide tips to students on how to “Level Up With E-Learning to Become a Super E-Student.” These tips included knowing the difference between online and hybrid, understanding what shorter terms entail, ensuring they have the correct hardware and software, preparing for the online environment by taking a survey, defining what it means to participate, communication, track progress, manage time, and study, and finally, obtaining support for technical and assistive issues.
The Super E-Student handouts were designed for quick, convenient distribution and perfect for students on-the-go. The print materials were distributed to e-advisors, the institution’s information center, the libraries, student development services, and the academic success centers. Staff were encouraged to share these resources with students prior to taking an e-course.
The presenters will discuss how this team is supporting the College’s initiative to increase retention and completion in all online courses in part due to the effective implementation of this initiative. The presentation will also discuss how this initiative is ensuring that students are fully prepared for the online learning experience and academic success. Initial data on student success in online courses, E-learning Readiness survey results, and mobile app usage will be reported. Presentation attendees will learn how to implement a student-centered initiative focused on the educational needs of distance learning users. The outcomes of this initiative are to:
Increase student success by not only providing online access to all student support services, but by offering guidance and preparation tools
Provide support for students considering taking an online course or courses for the first time
Develop and/or revise distance education deliverables that respond to student needs and current trends
Provide technology enhanced quality instruction and products focused on student success and retention of students in online programs
Finally, presenters will discuss future goals and initiatives that will build upon the current implementation of the process. This presentation is a safe bet! Join us as we go “all in” to implement best practices in distance education.
American Distance Education Consortium. (2003). ADEC guiding principles for distance teaching and learning.
Henry, P. (2001). E-learning technology, content and services. Education+ Training, 43(4/5), 249-255.
Olesen-Tracey, K. (2010). Leading online learning initiatives in adult education. Journal of Adult Education, 39(2), 36.