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Online Education Today: Supporting Online Engagement

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Jessica Edonick

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of Online Education Today: Supporting Online Engagement

Online Education Today
Supporting Online Engagement

Getting Started....
Only 25% of university students are in their late teens to early twenties and entered college right after high school. The remainder participate at other times in their lives, making online courses convenient.

Cathy Sandeen, vice president for education attainment and innovation at the American Council on Education (ACE)
Evolving Educational Landscape
3 and 10 U.S. Adults report having a bachelor's degree
More than half of Americans (58%) say the quality of higher education is this country is the same or worse than it has been in the past. More than 1 in 4 (27%) say quality is worse.
Only about 1 in 4 Americans (26%) think that higher education is affordable for everyone who needs it. The majority (74%) think that higher education is not affordable at all.
36% of adults cite family responsibilities as the biggest barrier to higher education, while 28% cite cost, 15% job responsibilities and 11% site time to completion as the biggest barriers.
Importance of Online Student Services
The Burning Questions
Will online education replace the traditional college environment?
What draws online students to online education?
How is the changing perception of learning affecting how consumers view traditional vs. online education?
Research shows that online students who are engaged in their learning environment persist, but how is "persistence" defined and what does it mean to "engage" online students?
How will Student Affairs play a role in the new paradigm of online education?
"Expectations for online services continues to rise, and the movement toward anytime, anyplace services for the 21st century continues...."
Barnhart, J. (2011).
The Virtual World of Student Services
. NASPA Leadership Exchange, Winter
"Learning is no longer limited to four walls - learning can happen anywhere - and it already is happening everywhere, everyday. the growth of online learning underscores this need for quality, flexible education programs that meet the demands of our 21st-century workforce."
Todd Hitchcock, Senior Vice President of Online Solutions, Pearson Learning Solutions
Drexel's Online Student Population
Drexel Enrollment Summary 2012,
Drexel Enrollment Management
Online Student Characteristics:
Tend to be first generation
Choose convenience over reputation
Value Orientations
Indicate high levels of Financial Stress - Remission and financial aid are critical to online student's financing plans
Have varied sources for college expenses
Tend to review materials, study and navigate Drexel resources on Sunday
May take courses for 2 terms, then take a break
Online Student Assessment Survey (OSSA) 2012. AARD. New, first time, online undergraduate and graduate students.
Lumnia Foundation (2012). America's call for higher education redesign: American public's opinion on higher education. Gallup, Washington, D.C.
Drexel Hyperion Report: Census 201215
Average Age:
Average Work Experience:
7-10 Years
Living in the Del Valley Region:

3,276 out of 5,064
State of Online Education:
Today's Considerations, Tomorrow's Reality

"Online Learning has become popular because of its potential for providing more flexible access to content and instruction at any time, from any place."
U,S Department of Education (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning. Center for Technology in Learning, Washington, D.C.
Current Trends in Online Education
Accessibility to the Masses (MOOCs)
The Debate:
classroom vs. online
touch vs. virtual
Universal Design
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous
Online Engagement
Academic Integrity
"Online Education is a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It tends to be a monologue and not a real dialogue."
Every memorable class is a bit like a jazz composition. The basic melody is the syllabus and the content, but the jazz riff is the interaction between students and the professor.
Edmundson, M. (July 19, 2012). The trouble with online education. New York Times.
Edmundson, M. (July 19, 2012). The trouble with online education. New York Times.
" The cost of attending college is rising above inflation every year, while the premium for doing so shrinks."
Shirky, C. (November 12, 2012). Blog Post: Napster, Udacity and the Academy. Downloaded from www.shirky.com.
Rearranging people's sense of the possible is now the role of online education.
Shirky, C. (November 12, 2012). Blog Post: Napster, Udacity and the Academy. Downloaded from www.shirky.com.
Shea, P & Armitage, S. (2011). WCET LAAP Project Beyond the Administrative Core: Creating Web-based Student Services for Online Learners. Downloaded from http://www.wcet.info/projects/laap/guidelines/overview.htm
Items to Consider for Student Affairs
Retention - Welcoming Environment
Communication - How Students Tap into the University
Community - Networking and Personal Interaction
Online Engagement
Transition and Orientation
Accessibility and Convenience
Online Learning Council
The Online Council's mission is to develop and share strategies that will have positive and lasting impact on the design, delivery, and outcomes of Drexel’s online, hybrid, and enhanced face-to-face courses.
Student Support and Engagement
OLC Committees
Student Support and Engagement Committee (SSEC)
Establishment of Drexel Express Website
Produced 8 graduate online pre-matriculation videos
Contributed to online assessment regarding student engagement
Made student events accessible to online learners/Mobile Units
Online student access
Mentoring model
Re-dedication to Online Education
President's university-wide online strategy review and re-envisioning Goodwin College
Vision to become "student-centric" and improve the student experience
“Online” is going to become a larger part of the overall experience for all student populations
Parthenon's Recommendations
Create new department within the University focusing on online students
Goal to increase undergraduate degree-completion programs
Realign Goodwin College's mission
Centralize some online services
Provide quality support services and consistency for all academic program

The Online Human Touch concept asserts that students are more likely to persist in an online program if they are engaged in and outside of their courses and if the educational experience is personalized.
Betts, K. S. (2008). Online human touch (OHT) instruction and programming: A conceptual framework to increase online student engagement and retention in online education, Part I. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(3).
Communication and engagement are essential to connecting students to an institution and increasing student persistence.
Betts, K. S. (2008). Online human touch (OHT) instruction and programming: A conceptual framework to increase online student engagement and retention in online education, Part I. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(3).
Communication, communication, communication-it’s not possible to do too much! Students should not be left guessing about next steps or what they should be doing
Communication must be adjusted to meet the needs of online students
Communication is closely related to persistence for the online population
Personalized communication is necessary to create an engaging and supportive environment
Ways Online Students Tap into Drexel
Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
Online Classrooms: Adobe Connect, Wimba, Collaborate
Academic Advisor Communication/Email
Google Hang-Out
Defining Retention
Current models tracking persistence do not apply to online education
Scholssberg's Theory of Mattering and Marginality (1989)
- the feeling that one is noticed
-the belief that one is cared about
Ego Extension
- the feeling that someone else will be proud of what one does or will sympathize with ones failure.
- the feeling of feeling needed.
- the feeling that ones efforts are appreciated by others.
Online Engagement
Best Practices for Creating an Engaging Online Learning Environment:
Create an Environment for Interaction and Communication to Build Community
Find opportunities for students to work together as a team
Freedom of expression and ability to promote life experiences is important
Encourage active learning/Ability to apply knowledge
Grant, M. R. & Thornton, H. R. (2007). Best Practices in Undergraduate Adult-Centered Online Learning:Mechanisms for Course Design and Delivery. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3(4).
Orientation and Transition
Adult Learners returning to the classroom
Technology Shock
Content Needed for Successful Transition
Method by which students are on-boarded and oriented
Communication of Expectations
Financial Challenges
What Can You Take Away From This?
Public Sentiment is shifting about the quality of higher education - ROI is no longer there
How learning is defined is changing - experience vs. formal classroom training
Accessibility to education
Education is a right not a privilege
CDs are to MP3s as classroom learning is to MOOCs
Who is a traditional student?
Residential, 18-25 year old, with no work or family responsibilities
Veteran, mother of 2 who works full time
How we engage, communicate with and support online students needs a new paradigm
It's not necessarily a matter of money and resources, its a matter of thinking differently about how we implement our work
Looking at the Student Experience
Adobe Connect
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