The following is the CCC Title III Grant Abstract
I am going to specifically address the distance learning aspects of our grant in my presentation.
Strengthening Academic Programs and Services through
Assessment-Based Professional Development
The college requests $1,640,832 over five years to help solve persistent problems that seriously impede its sustainability. These include (1) CCC’s student retention and graduation rates are too low; (2) student learning assessment plans and the Institutional Effectiveness Plan will not meet accreditation standards; (3) students in online and hybrid courses are less successful; (4) too few faculty know how to advise students; (5) data management is inadequate and (6) the college has lost funding. To address these problems, CCC has developed a comprehensive activity plan of professional development based on three goals and eight measurable objectives. These will (1) increase assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness; (2) document use of assessment in improving student learning and support for the environment that supports student learning; (3) increase student success in distance education; (4) increase student engagement with the institution; (5) increase the retention of first-year, first-time degree-seeking students into their second college year and (6) increase the annual graduation rate as well as the three year graduation rate of first time students.
The administration of Carteret Community College is committed to retooling and upgrading its distance learning course offerings and adding more viable web components to its traditional classes. Being awarded a Title III grant has enabled us to aggressively move forward with both upgrading our course offerings and our online faculties instructional design skills.
Training college faculty in the latest distance learning methodology and instructional technologies has been a huge but imperative undertaking. The demand for online courses is growing annually and students are arriving in these courses with more advanced and sophisticated technological skills (awareness) than ever before due to the cyber / media culture they have grown up in. That is why we initiated a series of Blackboard Boot Camps in order to get all our online faculty trained in online course management systems and instructional design theory.
Instructors can no longer rely on the archaic industrial age educational model to teach these students skills they’ll need to succeed and thrive in a highly technological, creative and entrepreneurial work environment.
CCC is working towards being on the “cutting edge” of online instructional pedagogy and is undergoing a dramatic transformation in the culture, mindset and teaching skills thanks to the resources provided by Title III.
It’s crucial that all our staff and faculty members be in synch when it comes to teaching, challenging, inspiring, counseling and making the effort to retain and engage today’s computer / web savvy students.
This can no longer be accomplished with yesterday’s outmoded teaching methods. The didactic talking head standing in front of neat rows of students imparting knowledge on a given subject is no longer effective or viable when compared to the way global businesses and industries conduct business over and through complex and secure digital networks.
Business and industry have embraced and continue to harness a variety of sophisticated communications and educational technologies such as video conferencing, Pod casting, streaming video, interactive online forums, blogs and digital informational / educational media (content) exchanges.
We’ve made great strides in distant learning over the past year. 45 faculty members are now Blackboard certified through our Blackboard Boot camps and 60 staff and faculty members (100% of our fall online instructors) have met the professional development requirements for teaching online here at CCC. Ten faculty members (DL Pioneers) spent the past year learning a variety of new online teaching techniques and given the technical resources (and professional development opportunities) to upgrade their skills and courses thanks to the Title III Grant. Each one of them met ALL their DL goals and objectives as they related to the grant and were awarded certificates of achievement for their efforts. They will now be mentoring another ten in more advanced online teaching methods including incorporating video and audio content into their online courses.
The web provides a vast amount of information for instructors who truly understand how to apply, channel and integrate this vast web content into their courses. Distance learning provides the best (and most flexible) instructional environment for connecting and exposing students to the resources (and information) being generated exponentially around the world.
Our goal over the next 5 years is to continue training all Carteret Community College instructors to be the facilitators, mentors, and guides into this new frontier of data, information, content and multi-media.
This is a very exciting yet intimidating and challenging time for educators. If we don’t aggressively retool mentally and technologically we (in my opinion) are going to eventually become obsolete and other forward thinking educational venues will fill the void we leave due to being left in the dust by the rapid growth and evolution of technology and web culture.
This is market driven, technologically driven and student (client) driven as far as the demand for more technically sophisticated and a more socially / culturally relevant approach (vision) to education. Retooling our skill sets is no longer just an option – it is an absolute MUST if we are going to remain a viable and competitive force in higher education. That is why we have implemented our train the trainer program at CCC and are now starting our 2nd year of the Distance Learning Pioneer program.
Online Faculty Participation – Course Development Options
Choose One of the following Three
1. Upgrade one online course (total or hybrid) you already are teaching and begin developing a new course. You must teach at least one of these courses in Spring 2008.
2. Upgrade 2 courses that you already are teaching online. Must teach at least one Spring 2008
3. Develop a NEW course to be offered Fall 2008. (New online faculty)
Click here for Minimum requirements for an online course upgrade (extreme makeover)
Primary course content will be illustrated visually with images and/or graphics.
Faculty members must record a minimum of 3 “enhanced”, audio podcasts (or video) for each course. One podcast should be a course specific audio overview (orientation) outlining your specific expectations for your students to succeed in the class. The second can be a lecture or wrap-up overview of the class highlighting what the students should have learned and what you want them to take away from the class. The goal would be to eventually have audio podcasts of all your course lectures.
Faculty members participating in the first phase of this grant will have access to a full-time Distance Learning technician to assist with all aspects of course creation, development and instructional media production.
Participating faculty members may also check-out (or use) the following equipment from the distance learning lab.
• Digital Camera (still and video)
• Digital recorder
• Laptop Computers
Funds are also available for distance learning workshops, seminars and travel to pre-approved distance learning training that relate to your field.
We have asked participating faculty members to agree to be DL Mentors to the next group of online course developers during the second year of the grant.
The faculty members will mentor one instructor from their department in online course methodology and development. You will each be assigned a mentor from last years team – that person is the faculty member who nominated you for this Title III initiative.
Faculty must agree to teach at least one course that you develop and/or upgrade in the Spring of 2008.
The primary focus of the dl component of this grant is retention and student success and satisfaction with the class.
We will be collecting data relating to retention, grades and student satisfaction with the course before and after.
This grant is a very exciting opportunity for Carteret Community College and this group of online instructors are pioneers. Each pioneer (trainer) will be a catalyst for growth, change and instructional excellence in all aspects of online learning.
This Title III Grant is helping CCC make great strides towards moving its staff and faculty forward on the fast paced technological and instructional continuum of the 21st century. It is providing much needed training, technology and instructional resources needed for a vast array of professional development initiatives planned over the next few years.
We at Carteret Community College are committed to excellence in all aspects of learning and receiving this grant is helping us move out of the industrial, instructional model to the creative, conceptual, technological model being demanded by those individuals that come to us for an education.
The sense of urgency is high and now it’s a matter of building on what we have accomplished during the first year of the grant. CCC is beginning to break out of the outmoded industrial model, in and beyond the information age and into the creative, conceptual age where we can educate and train our students in the technologies being used in the global marketplace.
Now that we are making headway in faculty training and course upgrading we have begun moving forward with bringing CCC Students Resources online in order to give support our ALL our online students and make it easier for our traditional students to access a wide array of student support services from their homes and/or workplaces. We have established a Distance Learning Advisory Committee to help us aggressively move forward with this important initiative.
We are also starting to evaluate and assess IF our distance learning professional development activities conducted over the past year have had a positive impact on STUDENT SATISFACTION and RETENTION rates. Initial anecdotal data looks very positive based on the latest online student evaluations, but now we plan to implement some student and faculty surveys in addition to evaluating online course statistics to see if all our efforts have had a positive effect on our distance learning program at Carteret Community College.
We have also begun a Peer Review QAP for all online courses – this is essentially the next step after getting our online faculty trained. Now we will be evaluating (in the next 2 years) every online course to make sure they all meet technical and instructional design standards.
All in all…exciting things continue to happen on the distance learning front here at CCC.
Let’s take a look at a cross section of our Title III Blog which tracks all of our Title III activities and initiatives.
Comments are welcome! We can continue this discussion throughout the conference on this blog.