ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Supporting Students Online

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Description

This instructor-led, eight-week, fully-online course is an overview of electronic approaches to supporting students. Online course enrollments are climbing. Frequently course retention and success rates are not as high as in traditionally delivered courses. Student and Academic Affairs professional must collaborate to reverse this trend. Most would agree online students deserve services equal to those available to on ground learners. These services are best provided via the same technology used by students to take their courses. Providing these services electronically is a challenge, but one that is mandated by the eight regional accrediting commissions. Participants will learn the scope of online student services and the important of developing effective remotely delivered services to improve student success and retention rates. Participants will understand which services are best delivered at three periods of a studentís enrollment. By completing the course project, participants will devise an implementation plan to improve one online student service at their college.

Audience

Student Affairs counselors, advisors, academic support staff as well as Academic Affairs faculty and staff and others charged with supporting online learners.

Topics

Participants will explore, in depth, the following topics:

  • The importance of providing remotely delivered online student services.
  • The scope of online student services.
  • When online students need particular services.
  • Online student retention.
  • Web design and evaluation.
  • Serving online students with disabilities.
  • Communicating using Web 2.0 tools.
  • A single online student service to improve at their college.

Outline

See objectives

Goals

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. Demonstrate their understanding of the scope of support needs of online students during different periods of enrollment by participating in a case studies wiki.
  2. Analyze online student retention research and use to make a case for improved online student services at their institution.
  3. Evaluate current online student services at his/her college.
  4. Search best practices from other colleges and apply to improve his/her college's services.
  5. Understand universal web design principles that result in accessible online student services and integrate this knowledge in their implementation plan for improving online student services.
  6. Design an online student service communication plan.
  7. Create a proposal/implementation plan to improve one online student service.

Objectives

Upon completion of each module, students will:
Module 1 - Scope of Online Student

  • Describe the scope of online student services
  • Understand the importance of providing online student services
  • Identify an online student service topic for course project

Module 2 - Retention

  • Interpret online learning persistence and retention literature
  • Apply retention research to the improvement of online student services
  • Describe the benefits and challenges of online learning to the novice online student.

Module 3 - Early Enrollment Online Student Services Support Needs

  • Classify the support needs of online students from initial connect with the school through week three of their first online course
  • Scan and analyze his/her college's present online student service for course project
  • Summarize advantages and disadvantages of different delivery methods of orientations to online learning.

Module 4 - Late Enrollment Support Needs

  • Classify the support needs of online students from week three of first online course through departure
  • Identify and apply online student support best practices from other colleges to course project
  • Analyze two approaches to academic support/tutoring

Module 5 - Web Design & Using the CENTSS Audit Tool

  • Understand basic web design principles of navigation, screen design, text and typology, and images and media
  • Apply CENTSS audit tool to online student services content development goals
  • Examine roles and responsibilities for developing and delivering online student services

Module 6 - Serving online students with disabilities

  • Review the laws that mandate accessibility of online student services
  • Identify the categories of disabilities and potential needs of students in each category
  • Recognize the principles of universal web design
  • Develop a policy and procedures to support online students with disabilities as part of course project

Module 7 - Communication

  • Summarize the communication needs of remotely located students
  • Examine Web 2.0/social networking tools
  • Develop a communication plan using one tool that will improve remote delivery of student services

Module 8 - Pulling It All Together

  • Create a proposal to improve one online student service at his/her college
  • Analyze and provide feedback on the proposal of other course participants
  • Reflect on challenges and suggest solutions for overcoming possible institutional obstacles

Length

The course is eight weeks in length and requires an online orientation.

Prerequisites

You may take this course without any course prerequisites.

Requirements

  • Complete the online course orientation prior to the start of the course.
  • Read the instructor's introductions and assigned articles from the Web.
  • Purchase required textbook, Supporting Online Students: A Practical Guide to Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating Services by Anita Crawley ISBN: 978-1-1180-7654-5
  • Answer weekly discussion questions and participate in the wiki assignments.
  • Engage in positive and meaningful dialog with classmates concerning the course subject matter.
  • Complete the assignments in each module and read and provide feedback to the assignments of other participants.
  • Complete the course project, an implementation plan to improve one online student service.

Delivery

The course has a modular structure in which each unit is individually assessed, but successive units build on previous information. The course pedagogy is based on principles of collaborative and constructivist learning and and makes use of group participation. Content is in the form of active participation in asynchronous discussion and the wiki, direct email, postings of materials, Web resources, and instructor notes. Student participation in discussion forums to comment on the ideas and work of others is a major component of the course. Students will acquire more in-depth information on some topics through links to outside sources.

Workload

This is an intensive course requiring about 8-10 hours a week. The time commitment will vary depending the individual's input, needs, and personal study habits. Students are required to log on to the course a minimum of 3 times a week.

Credit Options

Taking a course for CEUs:
Registration for this course is open to the general public, but there is a registration fee for participants who are not faculty members of the University of Illinois. The fee is determined by the number of contact hours and online discussion requirements for the course. To view the fee schedule for a specific section of this course, visit the Schedule and click on the link for that section (e.g. SA1021).

Taking a course for Graduate Credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS):
All of our courses except the Advanced Online Seminars may be taken for graduate courses through UIS. You do not pay twice if you choose this route. You pay only the tuition associated with UIS enrollment. If you choose to enroll through UIS, you need to follow the instructions. You do not register through this ION site.

Fees

A fee is incurred for anyone enrolled in an Advanced Online Seminar, although there is a discount for ION members. (Only Diamond level ION partners are exempt.) The fee is determined by the number of contact hours and online discussion requirements for the course. To view the fee schedule for a specific section of this course, visit the Schedule and click on the link for that section (e.g. TM1051).

Taking a course for Graduate Credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS):
Most MVCR courses [not the Advanced Online Seminars] may be taken for graduate credit through UIS. You do not pay twice if you choose this route. You pay only the tuition and fees associated with UIS enrollment. If you choose to enroll through UIS, you need to follow the instructions. You do not register through this site.

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Taking Courses for Academic Credit

Most 8-week MVCR courses can also be taken for academic credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Suggested Tracks

Instruction Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Encouraging Comm.
  • Elective
  • Practicum

Technology Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Technology Tools
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Elective (Multimedia or Sims, Labs, Games, and VR)
  • Practicum

Support Professional

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Universal Design
  • Elective (Supporting Students, Copyright, Global eLearning, Blended/Hybrid, Librarians Collaborating, Multimedia Principles)
  • Practicum

COLA - track

  • Administration Seminar
  • Quality Assurance
  • Issues and Strategies in Faculty Training
  • Supporting Students Online

Choose one of the following three for your elective:

  • Administration of Online Programs
  • Copyright
  • Blended - Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • Practicum for Administrators
What They're Saying
Testimonials
"This has been one of the best professional development activities I've ever taken part in."     

MVCR Participant

Award winning courses

The MVCR program won the Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Develop-ment (in conjunction with other ION programs) from the Sloan-consortium in 2002. One of our instructors won the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award for an MVCR course as well.

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