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Sociology Department Retreat Friday, January 16, 2009 University Club.

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1 Sociology Department Retreat Friday, January 16, 2009 University Club

2 Universities are at a Crossroad And The Question is: Will Classes Fail Their Students More Than Students Will Fail Their Classes?


4  Kaplan University has grown from 24 students in 2001 to 48,000 today, a 2000% increase in just eight years.  Kaplan is fully accredited and now ranks among the country’s top ten single campus university enrollments.  A full 82% of Kaplan’s classes are taught online. Why should we care? Because Kaplan University, and others like it, illustrate the crossroad decision being made at the universities throughout the country.

5 Some say these crossroads exist because of “demand”, as in the changing student demographic. To be sure online students, today, are more likely to be:  Older: more than 80% are over 24 yrs old  Working: nearly twice as likely to be full-time  Part Time: 60% more likely  Commuters: 20% more likely to commute 30+ miles  Women: 16% more likely

6 Others say these crossroads exist as a function of “supply”, as in the economic troubles of today’s universities:  Tuition costs are u p: (adjusted for inflation, a 50% increase during the past 10 years).  Public Support is down : (as a proportion of total funding, it is down 40% during the same period).  Aggregate Faculty Salaries are up : Faculty age distribution portends a disproportionately high aggregate salary (20% real increase in ‘90-05 vs. ’75 to ‘90).  Capital Outlay is Down : (relies on Revenue Bonds which are becoming increasingly difficult to sell).

7 Yet, as social scientists, our concerns should focus more on the functions and dysfunctions of online teaching. At the Micro level, we should at least be asking these questions:  Student Learning Style : Do students who engage in on- line learning have to be more proactive then their classroom based counterparts? More collaborative? More technologically adept? And how do these styles that vary across student characteristics?  Student Inclusivity : Should online classes have to address all students, to the exclusion of the classroom counterpart, or can they co-exist? If so, how?  Student Instructor Relationships : Do certain teacher- student discourse require face-to-face interaction (e.g. critical reasoning vs. drill and practice)?

8  Structural Differences : What makes the structured environment of the classroom different from an online learning community? Are they mutually exclusive or can they be integrated? Should they be synchronous or can they be asynchronous? Is it strictly the technology that distinguishes the two or can either utilize the same technology?  Organizational Support : Structurally, should the university support and facilitate increasing adaptation of faculty to online teaching. If so, how? At the Macro level, we need to understand the organizational context of online learning and should be asking at least these questions: Unintended Consequences : Given the paradigm shift that online learning portends, what are the prerequisites necessary to make it happen and the unintended consequences of fostering online learning (e.g. 24-7 email replies)?

9 Dr. Herman Debose

10 Why Online Instruction? Generation X Digital Natives (Prensky, 2001) Millenials (Oblinger, 2003) Net Geners (Barnes et al, 2007) Students have changed

11 How Do 21st Century Students Prefer to Learn? Source: ECAR Research Study, Students and Information Technology, 2008

12 So, How Did EED Address Students’ Learning Preferences in Teaching? Reusable Learning Objects available 24/7 instant feedback location independent as many times as desired

13 Pre-requisite Knowledge on Video

14 SLA Theories on LecShare

15 Synch Lectures & Group Discussions on Elluminate

16 Benefits to Teaching Online? Are there any? to Students? to Faculty? Listen to What Your Own Colleagues Have to Say About Their Own Experiences in Teaching Online? Ellis Godard Jerry Schutte

17 Accessibility Online Aspects –International students –Enabling the disabled Benefits –SLOs & assessment necessarily explicit –Attention (theirs & yours) directed to interaction & critical thinking –Higher fees for non-US; savings w/o interpreters

18 What Do We Know? Online Technology is costly and ever changing. Online Instruction is time consuming. Cons: Online Instruction is not well defined or researched. Pros: Online Instruction induces flexibility. Online Instruction fosters collaboration. Online Instruction increases student performance.

19 Faculty Technology Center Training & Faculty Support Universal Design and Accessible Technology Instructional Design and Course Redesign Video Production FTC Office – Oviatt 5 FTC Video Production Studio – Oviatt 37 FTC Lab – Oviatt 30 Extension 3443

20 Instructional Technologies WebCT – Learning management system Elluminate – Real time online classroom LecShare – Accessible online lectures TurnItIn – Plagiarism detection Respondus – Online quizzes DocSoft – Captioning Softchalk - LessonBuilder

21 Faculty Associates Assisting Faculty RuthAnn Anderson Sandra B. Chong Barry Cleveland Jacek M. Polewczak Michael Schofield Ashley Skylar 2009-2010 Faculty Associate applications – available Spring 2009

22 Group Activity Group Assignments: Table Groups Group Tasks: –Discuss your experiences in teaching online (supplemental, hybrid and/or fully online models) CHART –pros & cons experienced in teaching online –Brainstorm apprehensions in teaching online, if any? –Brainstorm questions or issues Time allocated: 20 minutes – Followed by Whole Group Share and Concluding with a Sharing of Charts

23 5 min. Group Report Q & A

24 Resources Allen, E. & Seaman, J. (2008). Staying the course. Online education in the United States, 2008. Sloan-C. ECAR (2008). The ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2008. EDUCAUSE Oblinger, D. (2003). Boomers & Gen-Xers, Millenials. Understanding the new students. EDUCAUSE Schutte, J. (2000). Web based education: Problem or panacea? Paper presented at Pacific Sociological Association, San Diego, CA. www/ Schutte, J. (2004). “Ten Ways Online Technology has Transformed my Teaching.” Paper presented at American Sociological Association, San Francisco, CA.

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