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What is the Excelsior College OWL?

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Crystal Sands

on 20 May 2015

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Transcript of What is the Excelsior College OWL?

Excelsior College Online Writing Lab
Meeting a Need
Benefits of Using the OWL
Makes a difference--independent study found students using the OWL scored 6.6 points higher (over half a letter grade) on their final course averages compared with students who did not use the OWL and used other resources like textbooks
Saves students money on textbooks (saves Excelsior College writing 101 and 201 students approximately $150,000 per year)
Includes engaging multimedia and a warm, safe learning environment for struggling writers
Is based on best practices in the field of writing
Faculty Development Needs
In a study of faculty at
community and
technical colleges,
Chase and Jenkins
(2015) found that faculty
indicated they were interested in Open Educational Resources but cited lack of awareness and the need for training as obstacles. Feedback from outreach efforts with the OWL support this research. Once faculty members are aware of and understand the many resources in the OWL, they report using it.
3 colleges
9 faculty trained
1,000 students
3 colleges
9 faculty trained
1,000 students
3 colleges
9 faculty trained
1,000 students
State-Wide Integration Pilot
The Award-Winning OWL
2013 NUTN Innovation in Distance Education Award for ESL WOW

2014 NUTN Innovation in Distance Education Award for the OWL

2014 WCET Outstanding Work Award for the OWL

2015 ITC E-Learning Award for Innovation in Delivery or Design for the OWL

2015 USDLA Best Practices for Distance Learning Programming: Gold
The OWL is also listed as one of the top three online writing labs in the country at About.com and had visits from more than 10,000 unique users per month in the Fall 2014 semester. The OWL has has visitors from over 150 countries.
All state directors have a proven track record with using the OWL and sharing it with colleagues. This project would build upon their expertise and state-wide connections.
Year 1: Develop Faculty Training Module
and Support Materials
State directors meet with state committee members to explore faculty needs and ideas
State directors meet with OWL director and national committee to plan materials and training
OWL director and OWL team coordinate with experts to create module and training materials
Year 2: Train and Assess
Faculty members from community colleges (27 total) complete training in best practices with the OWL
Faculty members teach courses using the OWL as the replacement for textbooks in courses
Research team assesses effectiveness of project by examining student grades, completion rates, and satisfaction surveys from both students and faculty
The Excelsior OWL Fills an Essential Niche
Ideal for co-requisite remediation, an approach supported by Jobs for the Future, Complete College America, and the Education Commission of the States
Aligns with the Framework for Success in Post-Secondary Writing, which means the OWL is a good fit for most writing programs and with courses across the disciplines that require writing
Supports the Common Core and the College Readiness and Career Readiness Learning Standard Anchors
Outreach Phase
30 community colleges
in New York
38 community colleges
in California
28 community colleges in Florida
Project Costs
If fully funded, the state-wide integration pilot will cost approximately $200 per student ($300 of grant funds-$100 in textbook savings).
Once the pilot is completed, the project will be self sustaining and the cost per student is $0. And students will be saving in textbook costs at every community college every year.
Writing Skills--An Endangered Species
52% of high school seniors lack proficient writing skills (IES National Center for Educational Statistics, 2012).
According to employers, recent college graduates lack writing skills needed to succeed at work (AACU Survey, 2015).
American companies spend over $3.1 billion annually training employees in writing (Business Roundtable Survey, 2013).
Lots of Lazy OWLs
Over 160 OWLs
Not user friendly or based on research about how students learn best
Let's take a look at the OWL...
Full transcript