Improving Online Equity and Success - The Renegade Online Student Hub

Concurrent Session 3
Leadership Equity and Inclusion

Brief Abstract

In this session, attendees will hear a case study for Bakersfield College's Renegade Online Student Hub – a physical and virtual place for all students to receive the help they need to be a successful online student.  Think of the Hub as a concierge desk for online students, where they can get help on any aspect of their online classes, from how to be an online student to Canvas help, to contacting their instructor.  This personalized help closes the gap between tech support and tutoring for online students, addressing their unique needs in an accessible way.


I am currently working as the Dean of Academic Technology at Bakersfield College. The Academic Technology Department has a leadership role in distance education, instructional technology and professional development for the college. We work hard at innovation, allowing Bakersfield College to leverage technology to make the student experience powerful and successful. I spent 17 years as a Professor of Computer Science at Bakersfield College, and 15 years as an Adjunct Faculty member for Pepperdine University in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. I still spend time experimenting and working in software development. I'm also a father of seven, a tinkerer, an artist, and a pretty good cook. I love learning new things, challenging myself, and I believe that real change is possible in education.

Extended Abstract

Participants will learn through the case study example of Bakersfield College's Renegade Online Student Hub – a new, highly experimental support location and service for online students.  An in-person support location for online students may not seem to make sense on the surface, until we realize that a vast majority of our online students live within driving distance of campus.  The Renegade Online Student Hub isn't tech. support.  It isn't academic support, either.  Rather, it is support for students who just need help being an online student.  Students can walk in, call, email, or CCCZoom to get help with anything they need to be a more successful online student, whether that means Canvas help, turning in assignments, or even help figuring out when and how to complete their classwork.  The Online Student Hub provides concierge-like service to make sure that online students have what they need to be successful.

While this service is available to all online students, it is especially important to student groups where being an online student adds another layer of complexity to an already challenging new world of college.  Many of these groups show significantly lower success and completion rates in online courses.

In addition to the case study of the Renegade Online Student Hub, this workshop will present data on success rates among various student groups in online courses, as well as preliminary data on improvements in success rates for Hub visitors.  A brief review of pertinent literature on the topic will be provided.  Lessons learned and future plans will also be included, and resources developed through the Hub will be shared with attendees.  There will be time allowed for both interaction during the session and a Q&A session.