Monthly Archives: June 2012

Illinois Virtual School

A nice article about one of our virtual and physical online learning neighbors, Illinois Virtual School in today’s PJ Star:

I visited with the IVS administrators a few months ago.  Students who successfully complete IVS classes may be interested in online degrees and certificates from ICC!


New report on online from faculty survey

A new online learning report has been published.  Consider what I think are two key questions from the report and comment if you’d like!

  1. Does the growth of online education excite or frighten you?
  2. Do your online and F2F classes produce the same learning outcomes?

Read more:

Webinar: Meeting the Completion Challenge; Education Advisory Board

On Thursday, June 7, 2012, I participated in what was one of the best webinars I’ve heard.  The topic was the Completion Challenge and the free webinar was offered by the Educational Advisory Board. I’ve shared the meeting slides with ICC colleagues and summarized what I heard as the main points here.

  • The Completion Challenge, Obama – not on track to produce associate degree and certificate holders needed by 2018; CC completion rate 28% in 3-year time frame, 57% in 6-years
  • Focus on high-return student success strategies, actionable strategies, game changers
  • Educate the public on what we do, what student success is (not just completion); see info from Committee on Measures of Student Success
  • This study focused on:
    • Developing support services reach– current services are often “recipe for dropouts”; the circle game; stuck in institutional silos and restricted by the great wall – we should consider:
      • Centralized student services, one-stop-shop with instant access; see Mercer County CC, Tallahassee, Suffolk, South Texas, Bergen, Onondaga (virtual one-stop – Student Central)
      • Raising FAFSA awareness – require FAFSA completion; provide FAFSA labs for support; 42% of Pell-eligible students do not apply for aid – misconceptions about eligibility, form complications, sensitivity of using financial information, language barriers, missing financial information; see Connecticut Community Colleges,;; College Goal Sunday; provide emergency funds – see Central New Mexico
      • Not allowing late enrollment – study at Mississippi Gulf Coast; mean GPA of students enrolling late – 2.06, on-time – 2.61; retention of students enrolling late – 42%, on-time – 69%; see other colleges – Sinclair, South Texas (Achieving the Dream), San Jacinto, Valencia (Aspen Prize), Dallas County
      • See also What Works in Student Retention, ACT Survey, 2004; Hardwiring Student Success
    • Preparing students for college coursework – 15% of remedial students complete a degree in 3 years; lost time, lost tuition; considered failure of public tax dollars, absence of skilled workforce
    • Developing alternative career pathways; stackable credentials; accelerated pathways through occupational credit; certificates/diplomas awarded by instructional hours; short-term programs leading to jobs
      • See Tennessee Technology Centers, block scheduling, co-hort programs
      • See Ivy Tech, Miami Dad for high-demand, 12-month, blended delivery programs
      • See Rhodes State College
  • Other notes:
    • Student audiences:  High Schooler, Swirler, Retooler
    • Employ an early alert academic warning system
    • See negative CC billboard campaign in Austin, TX, citing use of tax payer money for low completion rates at CC’s
    • In the future we will see: performance-based funding; grants awarded competitively based on student successes; students enrolling in programs with higher student success rates
    • Future research areas for Education Advisory Board:  developmental math redesign, flipped classroom; academic advisement


“Easy A’s may be even easier to score these days, with the growing popularity of online courses.”

“This past semester, he spent just 25 to 30 minutes each week on an online science course, the time it took him to take the weekly test. He never read the online materials for the course and never cracked open a textbook. He learned almost nothing. He got an A.”

Talk amongst yourselves…

NISOD Teaching and Learning Excellence Conference 2012

I recently had the pleasure of attending the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) teaching and learning conference in Austin, Texas, May 27-30.  This was my fourth trip to NISOD and again worth every loss of picnicking over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  I have MORE notes than you will want to read in this blog post so I will summarize them here.  This blog is intended to be for our online task force but I’ll include a few of the notes and reminders about the bigger-picture community college world in which we teach and learn.  Feel free to comment!

In community college world…big ideas:

  • Access. Equity. Opportunity; Re-commit to open-door access, reduce attainment gaps
  • The Learning College
  • The Completion Agenda (But we must put learning ahead of completion; if more students learn well, more complete without lowering standards or becoming more selective in admissions, enrollment.)
  • The Knowledge Economy
  • The Student Experience; “The college is what students experience,” Sandy Shugart, President, Valencia College
  • First generation college students
  • Developmental learners
  • The right to fail OR the right to succeed?
  • Starting strong; interventions
  • Motivation
  • Attendance
  • Commitment
  • Articulation, Transfer
  • Context; no on teaches just a discipline anymore…
  • Employment (career services, job placement)
  • Research, best practice
  • Continuous improvement
  • Structure; “Colleges with structure produce results,” Sandy Shugart, President, Valencia College
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Accreditation
  • 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges (Report: Reclaiming the American Dream)
    • Redesign the student experience
    • Reinvent institutional roles
    • Reset the system for student and institutional success
  • “Faculty are the heart of the institution, staff are the soul,” John Roueche, “Community College Renaissance Man
  • “If students realize we have an interest in them, they might have an interest in us,” John Roueche, “Community College Renaissance Man

And here are some techno-specific notes…

These notes highlight some of the best practices I heard at the conference and note where we have complementary services in-place already at ICC!

  • Faculty Training: Don’t forget ICC sponsors participation in the Master Online Teacher certificate program through the Illinois Online Network.  This is a great way to experience online learning first-hand and from a student’s perspective. It’s also a great way to learn new ideas, tools, and strategies.  Visit or contact Patrice for more info.
  • Online Student Services: Encourage students to use the great online services we offer! Learning Lab tutors are offering online tutoring in Accounting, Biology, and Chemistry.  The Library staff are willing do live online and embedded librarian, library instruction sessions and will be offering live chat services.  The Studio consultants will schedule and conduct online consultations for writing.  Check out the Current Students page and be sure to link students to these online resources.
  • Orient new online learners – hopefully a pilot coming this fall!

Tech tools to check out (I could provide links for each but just use your search engine to locate them; you’ll find each one!)  Stay tuned for more information about a Great Tech Seminar in fall 2012 and more training from the TLC.

  • Prezi, Slide Shark, Keynote, online presentations
  • Jing, desktop video capture
  • Google, all apps, docs, drive, etc.
  • VoiceThread, online collaboration through audio, video, text, images
  • Educreations, Tiny Vox, Evernote, audio recording features in each
  • LiveScribe pen, digital capture of all keystrokes for playback and sharing
  • ScreenChomp, screen recorder (iPad)
  • Pinterest, image curations (can be used for academics, not just DIY projects!)
  • Evernote, Dropbox,, iCloud, or SugarSynch, cloud storage, collaboration
  • New Annotate, Noteshelf, Good Notes, Daily Notes, notation tools
  • Kahn Academy, website of math, finance, science, history tutorials
  • Dragon Dictation, speech-to-text
  • Penultimate, drawing, brainstorming
  • EasyBib, Biblion, citations
  • Zite, Flipboard, Instapaper, readers
  • TED, educational videos
  • Flashcards, gFlash+, flashcards
  • Orkut, Ozone, StumpleUpon, TweetDeck, Badoo, Mixi (random brand names…go check them out!)