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Online Teaching and Student Success and Retention: Challenges and Opportunities Clay Walker and Thomas Trimble Humanities Center February 17, 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Online Teaching and Student Success and Retention: Challenges and Opportunities Clay Walker and Thomas Trimble Humanities Center February 17, 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Online Teaching and Student Success and Retention: Challenges and Opportunities Clay Walker and Thomas Trimble Humanities Center February 17, 2015

2 Preview – Context – The role of standardized course shells – Early assessment findings – Next steps – Discussion

3 Some Context Increasing online instruction at WSU Increasing online offerings in Gen. Ed. composition courses Develop course design and professional development infrastructure Standardized course shells Professional development teaching circles

4 Part 1 Standardized Course Shells – Clay Walker General Principles of Online Course Design Our Goals for ENG1020 & ENG3010 Overview of Our Templates Summary: Challenges and Opportunities

5 General Principles of Online Course Design: Some constraints Generating course materials (lots of scaffolding; lots of writing) Predicting and pre-emptively working around student questions, confusions, etc. Developing clear and consistent connections across learning outcomes, assignment instructions, and other materials Adapting lesson plans/activities for the online environment

6 General Principles of Online Course Design: Two Models The silo approach to course design S1 S2 S3 Instructor/Section Instructional Designer LMS (Bb) Technicians Other Colleagues

7 General Principles of Online Course Design: Two Models The team approach to course design S1 S2 S3 Instructor/Section Instructional Designer LMS (Bb) Technicians Other Colleagues MCS Course Designer/Master Course Shell

8 Our Goals for ENG1020 & ENG3010 Develop a process for effective course design and revision – Pilot > Multiple section roll out – Orientation > Teaching circles – Revision of online course materials Use templates to develop a structured space for instructors – Pedagogical agency: What does it mean to be a creative and independent instructor?

9 Overview of Templates: Other Features Header Sidebar Weekly folder Weekly overview Learning outcome integration Video lectures

10 Overview of Templates: Assignment Template Introduction/Rationale Assignment Prompt Learning Objectives – Learning Outcome 1 – Learning Outcome 2 Minimum Requirements – Length Requirement – Research Requirement – etc. Due Date – Submit via Blackboard before 11:59 pm on Sunday of Week 1

11 Summary Improved quality by distributing workload – Some teaching circles worked; others did not – Avoiding problems of requiring PTF to build online course without sufficient compensation for build time Shared ownership > Deeper commitment to quality instruction (we hope) Plug and play course design facilitates transition to online teaching for those new to the practice Strong centralized design limits curricular growth without a teaching circle Some PTF/GTA instructors may view this as an opportunity to teach without teaching

12 Part 2 Assessment of Student Outcomes-Thomas Trimble How are students doing? How are we doing?

13 Literature Review No clear differences in: – Student satisfaction outcomes – Student learning outcomes – Nosignificantdifference.org Nosignificantdifference.org Possible differences in: – Grading outcomes/completion rates (Sapp and Simon, 2005; Community College Research Center, 2013) – Retention Outcomes (Community College Research Center, 2013)

14 Sapp and Simon (2005) Grades in online versus face-to-face writing courses Face-to FaceOnlineNet “Thrive” (B+ or higher) (%) 83%38%-45% “Survive” (C- to B) (%)17%29%+12% “Dive” (D and below, incomplete, drop) (%) 0%33%+33% n7137

15 Community College Research Center (2013) 9% jump in failure/withdrawal rate in online “gatekeeper” English courses 13% jump in failure/withdrawal rate in online “gatekeeper” Math courses Students who took an online class in their first semester were 4 to 5% less likely to be retained in the following semester.

16 Research Questions Differences in grading outcomes? Differences in retention outcomes?

17 Study Design Sample: All 1803 students enrolled in ENG3010 and 1020 (Fall 2014) Calculated pass rates, retention rates, and grade distributions Performed online vs. face-to-face comparisons

18 ENG 1020 Grade Distributions Overall Face-to- FaceOnlineNet “Thrive” (A, A-, B+)48%50%22%-28% “Survive” (B, B-, C+, C)31%30%40%+10% “Dive” (C- and below, incomplete, drop)21%20%38%+18% n (93%)95 (7%)

19 ENG 3010 Grade Distributions Overall Face-to- FaceOnlineNet “Thrive” (A, A-, B+)43% 40%-3% “Survive” (B, B-, C+, C)36%37%29%-8% “Dive” (C- and below, incomplete, drop)21%20%31%+11% n (87%) 65 (13%)

20 ENG 1020 Pass Rates and Retention Rates: Face-to-Face vs. Online 1020 overall1020 F2F1020 OnlineNet Enrolled Pass rate79%81%62%-19% Ret rate88%89%78%-11% For students who failed ENG 1020: Face-to-face retention rate = 64% Online retention rate = 50%

21 ENG 3010 Pass Rates and Retention Rates: Face-to-Face vs. Online F2F3010 OnlineNet Total Enrolled overall pass rate79%80%69%-11% overall ret rate88%89%83%-6% For students who failed ENG 3010: Face-to-face retention rate = 70% Online retention rate = 65%

22 Online Student Survey Data 8 respondents (n=160) from both 1020 and 3010 online students (5%) 100% of respondents said they expected to receive a grade of A in the course.

23 Survey Data: Major Findings 88% said they did not get to know their fellow students 63% said they did not get to know their instructor 100% said they would take another online class at WSU 88% said they would recommend their online writing class to friends

24 Questions Why are students failing at a higher rate? What can we do to increase the pass rate?

25 Suggested Interventions Sapp and Simon (2005) – Expand online orientation activities – Incorporate face-to-face meetings – Incorporate real-time activities – Provide prompt feedback on student work – Insist on institutional support CCRC Study (2013) – Increase instructor presence – Increase use of interactive technologies – Increase interpersonal interaction

26 Possible Course Revisions Enhance/revise orientation activities Require student meetings early in the semester Increased opportunities for student collaboration Use scaffolded instructor-led interventions Call students by phone

27 Scaffolded Instructor Interventions Week One “failure to log-in” “Failure to turn in first assignment” “Failure to turn in second assignment” “Missing work” phone call “Pre-drop deadline” phone call

28 Next Steps Review Fall 2014 SET scores Review Winter 2015 data Integrate intervention “schedule” into instructor training/teaching circles Ongoing improvement of course shells

29 Discussion


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