Our Sloan-C Featured Certificate Program Graduate for March 2013 is Katherine Bankole-Medina.
Katherine Olukemi Bankole-Medina is a professor of history at Coppin State University specializing in African American History and African American Studies.
Our Sloan-C Featured Participant for February 2013 is Lori Townsend.
Mobile devices and applications are expected to have a significant impact on teaching and learning in the near future. Yet colleges and universities are currently facing severe budget constraints and discretionary funding is restricted for new initiatives. The question addressed in this paper is: “What strategy should an institution of higher learning with limited resources use in adapting the capabilities of mobile devices to benefit its academic programs?” To help answer this question, students were surveyed to identify their perceptions on the importance of a selected set of mobile learning functions, their experience with using those functions, their recommendation for a mobile learning adoption strategy, and information on the particular mobile devices they possess. The recommended strategy was “pick and choose special capabilities to develop” with the selected functions being (1) Receive alerts and reminders about assignments and appointments concerning the course being taken; (2) Communicate individually with faculty, an advisor, or other students using voice, email, or text messaging; (3) Post or reply to items in a poll, discussion board, or other application; and (4) Download and review lesson materials from a course being taken. Other recommendations included techniques for faculty and student support services as well as institutional policies for limiting models of mobile devices for use in courses, making online courseware for laptops and desktops the same as mobile learning courseware, and making the opportunity for mobile learning optional.
U-Pace, an instructional intervention, has potential for widespread implementation because student behavior recorded in any learning management system is used by U-Pace instructors to tailor coaching of student learning based on students’ strengths and motivations. U-Pace utilizes an online learning environment to integrate content mastery with Amplified Assistance (instructor-initiated, individually tailored feedback on concepts not yet mastered and constructive support that every student receives via email weekly or more often as needed). Evaluation findings for U-Pace instruction revealed that compared to conventional, face-to-face instruction, U-Pace instruction was associated with greater academic success for all students and reductions in the achievement gap for “disadvantaged” students.Additionally, “disadvantaged” U-Pace students showed improvements in the rate of content mastery and intrinsic motivation. Consistent with these indicators of improvement in self-regulated learning skills, U-Pace students reported greater improvements in their time management and study skills, greater control over their learning and a greater sense of achievement than conventionally-taught students. The convergence of findings from student reports, performance measures recorded within the learning management system, and objectively determined grades suggests U-Pace instruction holds promise for higher education.
Over the last two decades, students and teachers, across educational levels and disciplines, have been subject to a variety of school reform efforts. Nevertheless, some instructional practices, such as portfolio assessment, persist and grow in popularity even in the midst of changing educational reform goals and shifting priorities. Teacher education programs have used paper-based portfolios for more than three decades. Recently, institutions have migrated to electronic portfolios since these provide several advantages. Early models of these systems required special technical skills, hardware, or fee-based contracts with service providers. The newest iteration of portfolio platforms are based on social media applications, which are easy to use, free, and customizable. However, the accelerated adoption of social media applications as repositories for student portfolio content has produced several gaps in the literature. Three of these include steps for implementing electronic portfolios in social media platforms, instructional methods for soliciting quality entries from students through questions and prompts, and student perceptions about using social media as a repository for electronic portfolio content. Results from a case study identifying student perceptions of combining social media and electronic portfolios are examined. Future lines of inquiry are discussed.
Over the past twelve years, Monroe Community College (MCC), in Rochester, NY, has administered three surveys to non-successful online students to ask about their perceptions of online learning and to learn about student perceived barriers in the online environment. For these surveys, non-successful students were defined as those students who received a grade of F or W in an MCC online course.
Typically, these particular students do not share their perceptions of online learning with the college because they rarely participate in end of the year student satisfaction surveys. Thus, their perceptions are often invisible and unknown to institutions. In the MCC surveys, students were asked to: share their perspectives on why they felt that were not successful in their online class; comment on their expectations for online classes; and share the advice that they would give to a student who was considering taking an online MCC class. The students’ responses to these questions were fairly consistent over the course of time that the surveys were conducted, 2000-2001, 2005-2006, and 2009-2010. The combined responses for the three surveys indicated that the number one reason why students felt that they were not successful in their online course was because they “got behind and couldn’t catch up.”
Although online student satisfaction surveys provide insights into the perceptions of online students, the voluntary respondents to these surveys are those students who typically did well in the course. A review of the results of the responses from unsuccessful online students broadens the scope of the voice of the students and brings to the forefront the perspectives of students who were not successful. These data can help to inform the types of student services support that unsuccessful online MCC students feel are needed.