Making Connections: Dimensions of Student Engagement
CCSSE Web site
November 2009, Community College Survey of Student Engagement
This report focuses “on the importance of relationships among students, faculty, and staff, and with institutions themselves: how they evolve, the value they add, and the importance of building and sustaining these critical connections. The report offers data about the quality of community college students’ educational experiences and describes how colleges across the country are intentionally making connections with students online, in the classroom, on campus, and beyond.”
“Increasingly, colleges are using technology to reach out to students, and Making Connections offers new primary research on the use of Web 2.0 social networking tools. Additionally, recent data show significant growth in the use of online courses and support services, including online developmental education classes, orientation, and tutoring. While technology use was once the province of younger students, the age gap has closed to within one percentage point — upwards of 66 percent of all students now use technology to collaborate on meaningful educational activities.”
“Part-time enrollment is an acknowledged risk factor for low student engagement and dropping out of college. Making Connections also explores the role part-time status of faculty plays, focusing on the institutional approaches needed to support adjunct faculty success. The report also discusses the challenges colleges face as they work to foster connections among students, faculty, and staff and offers a self-assessment checklist for colleges: ‘Is Your College a Connected College?’ “
The Part-Time Impact
by David Moltz
Nov. 16, 2009, Inside Higher Ed
. . .“Through the years, CCSSE data have shown that students consider academic advising the most important student service offered them. This year, for instance, 62 percent of students said it was “very important”; financial aid advising came in a close second place with 61 percent. Still, data from the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement — an accompanying survey asking faculty about their perceptions of student experiences — indicate that 42 percent of part-time faculty members do not spend any time advising students in a typical week. The report also notes that even when part-time faculty members have the same teaching loads as their full-time counterparts, they still spend less time with students outside of the classroom. Forty percent of part-time faculty members who teach between 9 and 12 hours a week never spent time advising students; only 15 percent of full-time faculty members who teach the same number of hours never did so.”
“The problem of individual student engagement is further confounded because part-time students — who are less likely to succeed than their full-time peers — are more likely to attend evening classes that are also more likely to be taught by part-time faculty. Forty-three percent of part-time students take evening classes, whereas only 12 percent of full-time students take them. The report stresses that, as a result, ‘these students have fewer options for certain kinds of interventions that strengthen engagement.’ “ . . .
“Another major topic specific to this year’s CCSSE is the effectiveness of using social networking tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to interact with students. The survey found that students who use these tools to interact with fellow students and professors “about coursework” showed higher levels of engagement. Still, those same students who used these tools in a higher frequency “for any purpose” — including social and other non-academic purposes — were less engaged overall.” . . .
Social Learning Examples – Part 1: 100+ Ways to Use Social Media for Learning
by Jane Hart
Nov. 14, 2009, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies
“I am constantly being asked, by those new to social media, for specific examples of how social media (Web 2.0) tools can be used for learning – whether it be for personal learning, informal learning or formal learning – in education or the workplace. So here are over 100 ways that different social technologies (and tools) are being used by learning professionals worldwide – compiled from the comments of those who have contributed their Top Tools for Learning. I will continue to add to this list on an ongoing basis.” . . .
Social Media For Learning Examples – Part 2: Using Social Media for Different Types of Learning
by Jane Hart
Nov. 15, 2009, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies
“In the first part of this series I compiled a list of 100+ ways that different social technologies (and tools) can be used for learning. Here I am going to demonstrate the ways that social media TECHNOLOGIES can be used for different types of learning. Rather than use the broad terms of formal and informal learning, I am categorising them in the following five ways”
1. IOL – Intra-Organisational Learning – how social media can be used to keep the employees up to date and up to speed on strategic and other internal initiatives and activities
2. FSL – Formal Structured Learning – how educators (teachers, trainers, learning designers) as well as students can use social media within formal education and training
3. GDL – Group Directed Learning – how groups of individuals – teams, projects, study groups etc – can use social media to work and learn together (Note: a “group” could be as small as two people, so coaching and mentoring falls into this category)
4. PDL – Personal Directed Learning – how individuals can use social media for their own (self-directed) personal or professional learning
5. ASL – Accidental & Serendipitous Learning – how individuals, by using social media, can learn without consciously realising it (aka incidental or random learning)
Above-Campus Services: Shaping the Promise of Cloud Computing for Higher Education
by Brad Wheeler and Shelton Waggener
November/December 2009, EDUCAUSE Review
“Cloud computing has arisen as the in-vogue description for the massive aggregation of a wide variety of IT services delivered via fast digital networks — much like power generation and the electrical grid of a public utility. The idea is not new. In fact, the concept of today’s cloud computing may date back to 1961, when John McCarthy, retired Stanford professor and Turing Award winner, delivered a speech at MIT’s Centennial. In that speech, he predicted that in the future, computing would become a ‘public utility.’1 ”
“Yet for colleges and universities, the recent growth of pervasive, very high speed digital networks offers not simply access to more efficient computing but rather a new capability and an opportunity to rethink approaches for delivering IT services. These networks are catalysts that point toward an evolving discontinuity in the point of origin for essential IT services. Many institutions are particularly well positioned — principally from their collective investments in Internet2, National LambdaRail, and various Regional Optical Networks2 — to garner the anticipated economic benefits of cloud computing models, and such efficiencies are especially welcome in these extremely difficult economic times. Beyond cost-per-IT-unit benefits, however, these networks and cloud computing models renew important questions regarding the role of a particular institution among the community of scholars and students that compose higher education.” . . .
Cloud Computing in Plain English
by George Siemens
Nov. 12, 2009, eLearnSpace
“Common Craft explains Cloud Computing in Plain English (http://commoncraft.com/cloud-computing-video) . It’s a (very) broad overview of cloud computing, explaining it from the perspective of a business owner. But it seems unsatisfying and too simplistic. Most internet users have experienced some aspect of “the cloud” (in some ways, the cloud is a return to mainframe computing where storage and computation are not local) in their daily online interactions. Major software companies are pushing their data and software online — Google Docs is a great example…and Microsoft is releasing an online version of Office in 2010 (I initially thought Live.com would be MS counter to Google Docs, but the service only allowed users to upload and share documents, rather than collaboratively edit). Cloud computing is a nebulous concept — is it a service? a concept? a technology? a series of protocols?. Currently it basically means “whatever our software company is doing right now” — just like web 2.0 in the mid 2000’s.”
Good Communication: The Other Social Network for Successful IT Organizations
by Lisa Trubitt and Jeff Overholtzer
November/December 2009, EDUCAUSE Review
“Social networks of the electronic variety have become thoroughly embedded in contemporary culture. People have woven these networks into their daily routines, using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, online gaming environments, and other tools to build and maintain complex webs of professional and personal relationships. CIOs likewise have recognized the importance of building social networks, using not only these electronic tools but also the old-fashioned methods of face-to-face communication and relationship-building. Today, establishing these networks is more important than ever in order to manage changes in technology and expectations in the current economy. Sharing information and developing a common understanding with campus partners have become keys for success in IT organizations.” . . .
Meet Go, Google’s New Programming Language
by Scott Gilbertson
Nov. 11, 2009, Monkey_Bites
by Scott Jaschik
Nov. 9, 2009, Insider Higher Ed
“Although budget cuts have many educators this year worried about the quality of education students receive, an annual survey being released today suggests that institutions — large and small, public and private — can achieve significant gains. The National Survey of Student Engagement — whose acronym NSSE is pronounced “nessie” — doesn’t measure learning per se, but a series of qualities of student engagement that are widely believed to correlate with learning. Those qualities range from the rigor of assignments to faculty-student interactions to certain “high impact” experiences (such as capstone courses) that are praised as making students more engaged, more likely to stay enrolled and graduate, and more likely to learn more.” . . .
“Another area on which NSSE focused this year was the impact of learning technologies. The survey found positive impacts on learning both for the use of course management (or learning management) systems and for interactive technologies (such as course blogs, student response systems, etc.). While many colleges have the latter technology as part of the former, NSSE explored them as separate topics.”
“The use of course management software correlated most strongly, NSSE found, to stronger student-faculty interaction and to gains by students in their personal development. The use of interactive technologies corresponded most strongly with students’ self-reported educational gains and with students’ view that they had a supportive campus environment.”
Engaged or Confused?
by Scott Jaschik
Nov. 9, 2009, Insider Higher Ed
“With today’s release of the National Survey of Student Engagement, hundreds of colleges and universities will be studying their results, and considering whether they should change policies or approaches to better reach students. But a new study released Friday argues that NSSE (pronounced “nessie”) is seriously flawed, lacking validity for its conclusions and asking questions of students in ways that are sure to doom the value of the data collected.” . . .
Fans and Fears of ‘Lecture Capture’
Nov. 9, 2009, Inside Higher Ed
. . . “In 2008, 78 percent of undergraduate respondents to a University of Wisconsin at Madison study said they think having lectures available online would help them retain lesson material, and 76 percent said they believed it would help them improve their test scores. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the respondents to this year’s annual study on undergraduate IT habits from the Educause Center for Applied Research strongly disagreed that having lectures posted on the Web would encourage them to cut class.”
“Many professors, however, have been resistant to the technology. At Purdue University, which is attempting to put standard lecture capture technology in 280 classrooms by next semester, faculty members said they would not even be willing to press a button at the beginning of class to initiate the recording, according to David Eisert, the manager of emerging technologies there.” . . .
It Is About Time: Getting Our Values Around Copyright Right
by Lawrence Lessig
Nov. 5, 2009, Educause 2009
In this talk, Lawrence Lessig will review the progress of the “open access” movement in education. He will make a call for educators to finally resolve this issue in a way that enables the potential of technology for education.
Free Webinar: Stopping the Math Meltdown
Nov. 19, 2009 at 2:00pm Eastern Time
Presented by Ruth Rominger, MITE Director of Learning Design
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register
“Learn more about this new developmental math series being developed as an open educational resource to be distributed through NROC. Generously funded with a $5M grant from The Gates Foundation, this project strives to dramatically increase the number of students that meet the required mathematics standards for admittance to desirable post-secondary educational programs and career opportunities. The series will cover four courses required by most remedial math sequences: Basic Math, Elementary Algebra, and Geometry/Intermediate Algebra integrated with Introductory Statistics topics.”
Free Webinar: Perspectives on Open Textbooks from Two WA Faculty Authors
Nov. 18, 2009 at 6:00pm Eastern Time
Part 1: “Open Textbooks from an Author’s Perspective” (30 min) – What motivates someone to write an open textbook? How much of the editorial and production process is within reach of an individual? How is the experience different from writing a traditional textbook? What is different about teaching from an open textbook? I will answer these questions with examples from my experiences writing and publishing a mathematics textbook, “A First Course in Linear Algebra.” Robert Beezer is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. He joined the faculty there in 1984 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Besides advocating for open textbooks, he is also a developer for Sage, a comprehensive open-source program for mathematics.
Part 2: “Another Perspective on Authoring an Open Textbook” (30 min) – I’ll discuss my journey of writing an open textbook “Math in Society,” including my motivation, how existing open textbooks guided my decisions, using my students as guinea pigs, and my experience with the bookstore. I’ll share some general thoughts on openness and collaboration in textbooks that need consistency and accuracy, and some thoughts about license selection. David Lippman is a professor of mathematics at Pierce College Ft Steilacoom, a community college in Lakewood, WA, where he has been teaching since 2000. He is best known in the Washington community college math circle as the guy who created WAMAP.org (aka IMathAS), a free, open-source online course management and math assessment system.
“This clever website from the BBC aids people learning English, by offering help in the form of ‘Words in the News’, ‘Quizzes’, videos via YouTube, and English ‘makeovers’ in ‘General and Business English’. ‘Words in the News’, ‘The Teacher’, and ‘Keep Your English Up to Date’ help learners with their ‘Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation’. In the ‘Quizzes’ section there are several different types, including ‘Quiznet’, ‘Crossword’, ‘Beat the Keeper’, and ‘Exam Skills’. None are so long that learners will get bored or frustrated. Visitors who teach English or English as a Second Language will find the ‘For Teachers’ section loaded with activities that accompany the many different features on Learning English. In the ?Downloads? section on the far right hand side of the page, learners can get the past seven days of audio, video, and text to take away. ‘Talk About English’ and ‘Ask About English’ are regular features of the site, and can be accessed on the week’s schedule at the bottom of the homepage.” – from the Scout Report
Grant Program: Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities
Application Deadline: Feb. 17, 2010
These NEH grants support national or regional (multistate) training programs for scholars and advanced graduate students to broaden and extend their knowledge of digital humanities. Through these programs, NEH seeks to increase the number of humanities scholars using digital technology in their research and to broadly disseminate knowledge about advanced technology tools and methodologies relevant to the humanities. The projects may be a single opportunity or offered multiple times to different audiences. Institutes may be as short as a few days and held at multiple locations or as long as six weeks at a single site. The duration of a program should allow for full and thorough treatment of the topic.
Today, complex data — its form, manipulation, and interpretation — are as important to humanities study as more traditional research materials. Datasets, for example, may represent digitized historical records, high-quality image data, or even multimedia collections, all of which are increasing in number due to the availability and affordability of mass data storage devices and international initiatives to create digital content. Moreover, extensive networking capabilities, sophisticated middleware applications, and new collaboration platforms are simultaneously providing and improving interactive access to and analysis of these data as well as a multitude of other resources. The Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program seeks to enable humanities scholars in the United States to incorporate advances like these into their scholarship and teaching.
Secretary Vilsack Announces Almost $35 Million in Funding for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Projects
U.S. Department of Agriculture Press Release
Nov. 12, 2009
“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that 111 projects in 35 states have been selected to receive more than $34.9 million in grants to increase educational opportunities and expand access to health care services in rural areas. The funding will be provided through USDA Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program.” . . .
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $13.4 Million In Community Connect Broadband Grants
U.S. Department of Agriculture Press Release
Nov. 13, 2009
“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 22 projects in 10 states to receive $13.4 million in broadband community connect grant funds. . . . USDA Rural Development’s Community Connect program provides financial assistance to furnish broadband service in unserved, often isolated, rural communities.” . . .
Information Required to be Disclosed Under the Higher Education Act of 1965: Suggestions for Dissemination
Oct. 16, 2009, National Postsecondary Education Cooperative
“This report is the output of a National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC) Working Group on the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA).The purpose of the document is to help colleges and universities successfully identify and meet their obligation to disclose information as required under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the HEOA. It includes suggestions to help institutions make the HEA-required disclosure information more accessible and understandable to consumers and more comparable across institutions. A summary of HEA institutional disclosure requirements and a list of HEA-required disclosures by the required methods of dissemination are also included.” . . .
“Suggestion 2. Develop a single web page on the institution’s website that provides hyperlinks to the HEA disclosure information. We suggest that institutions develop such a portal page and position that page to maximize its accessibility to users. Using a single portal page ensures that institutions preserve their flexibility in collecting and managing their own information, while providing a distinct entrance point on an institution’s website for the HEA-required disclosure information.”
“Suggestion 3. Adopt a “3-click” approach. Another strategy to improve consumer access to the HEA disclosure information is to ensure that such information is placed “shallowly” enough to be found using a minimum amount of searching. We suggest positioning information so that it can be reached by clicking through no more than three web pages (starting from the institution’s home page) and that the information be situated in a university-wide “about” section rather than in a subunit’s web page (e.g., financial aid, Registrar, office of general counsel). The information should be accessible from a section of the website that applies to all the relevant audiences (e.g., information that is required to be available for both current and prospective students should not be placed solely under “Current Students”).” . . .
Funding and Access Issues in Public Higher Education: A Community College Perspective
by Stephen Katsinas and Terrence Tollefson
2009, Education Policy Center, University of Alabama
Findings from the 2009 Survey of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges. “Our 2008 survey showed dramatic weakening of state funding for community colleges from the year before. This year, with unemployment rates zooming into the double digits in many states and regions within states, community colleges are challenged as never before to provide an open door to the first two years of baccalaureate education while simultaneously providing critically needed training programs for our nation’s workforce.” . . .