Anne de la Chapelle's Portfolio Page
Project Idea: At York College,they have a set of E-Learning Best Practices which provide the only pedagogical foundation for online course creation. I plan to use this new document to focus on the integration of support services and library resources for students in online courses.
Statement of Intent
I plan to create a mini course for new online instructors at the college to introduce them to the importance of incorporating information for students about college services that might seem obvious to residential students but are often challenging for students studying from a distance.
Participants will review the mini course on their own after a series of workshops in which the units of instruction are discussed and implemented in a computer classroom with support provided by several technology, education and resource faculty members. Follow up will be provided in the form of an instructional workshop on campus in which faculty members can get help actually linking and embedding the resources they have identified as important to their student's success.
Instructional Problem or opportunity New online teachers are given only ANGEL training which focused on the system itself. How to set up drop boxes, create folders, etc. Use of the new E-Learning Best Practices needs to become standardized and addressed by the departments best suited to providing such support. This course will focus on resources found in the library to include student support services and library resources.
Nature of what is to be learned Participants will learn to identify services and resources necessary to provide the equivalent to a campus experience to their online students.
Information about the learners within the context The learners will be college professors and adjunct instructors. Most hold a PhD, some a Masters. All are currently teaching face to face at the college and desire to teach online. They are subject specialists who have taught the class they wish to convert to an online course. Most are somewhat computer literate, although some may not realize the quantity of time required to create and maintain an online course and the depth of knowledge of the course management system necessary. Thinking about student services and access to resources may not be considered unless brought to faculty's attention since the creation of the course itself is the primary focus.
The motivation for all will be to teach online which most perceive as a good alternative to an additional face to face offering to fulfill the new increased teaching load.
Realities of the instructional context I believe a common misconception will be that the courses will simply transfer to an online format without a major rethinking of approach or content. Student support is a key area which may be taken for granted. Participants will need to think not just of typical resources students may need, but also things specific to their class. Do Library class students need access to a library? If so, incorporating a map of regional libraries would be helpful.
The opportunities that exist are the better use of the ITRC (instructional technology resource center) and the uncertainty created by Blackboard's recent acquisition of ANGEL. Moodle and SLN are possibilities that need to be considered. If the college elects to remain independent with Blackboard, better instructional support is warranted. The increased use of library resources is an opportunity that if realized would benefit the entire campus community.
Issues surrounding the instructional problem and proposed solution Instructors may be reluctant to focus on student support services if they see these as campus information delivery concerns. They may feel that it is not their place to be concerned with these issues, and may ask whose job it is, rather than focusing on the success of their students. The long term solution to this is to develop a template of resources for use in all distance classes to which all faculty and student can contribute to and have access to. This mini course could serve as the catalyst for that resource.
Goals that will guide designing A broad goal is to support development of sound learner centered online courses so that students will have access to quality courses online. In light of economic cuts it is more important than ever that online teaching and learning be done right. More and more students will take classes online and these need to be as good or better than their face to face counterparts. Faculty must be supported in their quest to create appropriate online course offerings. This mini course seeks to work in that direction by ensuring that available resources are included in all online course sites.
Given the training in ANGEL to produce an online version of a class, faculty will be encouraged to incorporate information about student support services and library resources into their courses.
- Having taught the offering previously in the classroom, faculty will discriminate between face to face and online and the need to provide students with the vital links to the campus that may be taken for granted in a face to face course.
- Participants will come to understand the negative motivational factors that lack of access to support services has on students and will incorporate best practices into their courses.
Participants will gain a better understanding of the E-Learning Best Practices guide for faculty from York College by participating in this mini course focusing on one of the four areas of concentration in the guidelines.
The purpose of this course is to give new online course designers guidelines in providing access to student support services and library resources to use in their online courses to enrich and inform their students.
At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Understand the need for clear access to student support services
- Understand the need for links to library services and resources for online students
- Differentiate between on campus access to services and remote access to services
- Define student needs for information regarding services and resources to be successful online learners.
- See the importance of developing a shared set of documents providing links to student services for online courses.
In order to reach outcomes, participants must have:
- Previous course development knowledge
- Subject expertise
- Previous face to face teaching experience
- Basic pedagogical knowledge
- Successful completion of technical training in ANGEL
- Desire to help students reach their academic potential by removing obstacles to learning
- Familiarity with resources available to on campus students
For better success reaching outcomes, participants should:
- Have a positive attitude toward distance learning courses and programs
- Believe in student centered support
- Understand that distance students lack familiarity with campus
- Empathy toward new distance students who may be non traditional students
- Participants will consider how online students learn about student services and resources
- Participants will review a college website to navigate to services and resources they would need as an online student.
- Participants will use the E-Learning Best Practices guidelines to determine if they have included links to necessary services and resources for their online students.
- Participants will review their course according to the E-Learning Best Practices guidelines.
Kim, K.J. & Bonk, C..The Future of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Survey Says…(2006) Educause Quarterly. 30(4)9p.
SUNY Plattsburgh,(2010) E-Learning Best Practices: A Guide for Faculty.
Building of the Course
I think I was overly optimistic when I originally designed the outline of this course. In order to accomplish all that I hoped, I would need a full semester just to design it, and the participants would need a semester to take the course. I have spent the last few weeks pondering how to pare the course down to a manageable context. This has been brain work, not computer work, so I have not posted here for some time. I am really impressed by my classmates' mini courses, and feel somewhat overwhelmed trying to envision the final product. Back to building.......
I revised the course to focus on the E-Learning Best Practices and the integration of Support Services and Library Resources for students. This is a more doable learning project and yet represents a significant contribution to the online learning community atYork State.
Midway through this project I have taken on the responsibility at work to create and implement an integrated program of library instructional services and resources to enhance e-learning courses in ANGEL using the E-Learning Best Practices. This is just the beginning.....
Peer review has begun and has been very helpful. Fresh eyes are invaluable in seeing through the fog of familiarity and to objectively see the flow of a site. I still need to update my course map and finish the mini course. I learned a great deal from my classmates' feedback!!
The final design of the course was broken out as follows:
Unit 1: Best Practices Guidelines for Resources and Services
In this unit participants will be able to:
- determine the needs of distance students when trying to begin a course of study
- document the resources and services necessary to complete the normal tasks of preparing for the start of a class
- use the E-Learning Best Practices guidelines to map inclusion of student services and resources into their online courses.
- Identify resources and services online students need and how to find them
- Locate specific resources on the York College website
- Reflect on ways to provide resources and services for your students using guidelines
Unit 2: Discovering appropriate resources and services
In this unit participants will be able to:
- identify offices and contact info for students
- identify library resources necessary to the course
- create a document to assemble this information for students
- Use guidelines to document resources and services listed in your course
- List additional items not covered by guidelines
- Identify specific library resources required for your course and how to access them
Unit 3: Integrating Resources and Services
In this unit participants will be able to:
- assess how to integrate library resources and services into courses
- identify technical support and tutoring support for students
- assess best methods to integrate support services into online course
- list library resources needed for class
- identify how students will access these resources
- reflect on how to make students aware of support and encourage them to utilize them