ICYMI: April Reflections and Looking Toward May 2019

Hi all,

I hope we are finally turning a corner and entering Spring. Let’s look at our discussions in April. We welcomed 14 new members to our group this month!

We started the month revisiting the role of lecturing in the classroom.  What do you think? Should we still lecture? 

We held two special events. First, Dr. Jen Vanek  led a discussion on Effective Practices in Distance and Blended Learning  where we unpacked the IDEAL Distance Education and Blended Learning Handbook. The handbook is not just a how-to resource supporting teaching at a distance or in a blended environment. It is a program development guide that helps practitioners, program directors, and other stakeholders systematically consider implementation strategies in several key areas: recruitment, screening, orientation, instruction and assessment. There are descriptions of effective practice as described in reports and academic publications. We also relied heavily on first-hand accounts of successful implementation from our ideal Consortium members. Each chapter contains descriptions of this literature and the narratives of member states’ leaders. It then closes with reflective questions intended to nudge readers into consideration of program development program revision other workplace.

Check out the discussion and review all the comments, questions, and ideas shared. 

The second event was led by Dr. Andrea Guerrero on the role of Support services for Online Learners to Build Retention and Student Success  She concluded the discussion with, "I think it’s important that as leaders we realize that support services are not often praised by students and the presence of services is not generally appreciated, but when support services are not offered the absence is noticed. In on-ground learning, two generalized systems of support are academic or non academic. Academic support looking as what assist learners in learning- content, assessment, managing workload, helping learners become independent; Non academic support is helping learners retain interest and providing assistance in social integration. Some questions to ask are:

  • What is the day-today learner support of your institution or program? Is there immediate response or feedback? Is there counseling and advice available? How is it delivered?
  • What does student induction and learner integration look like? Are there study skills development? Are programs offered over the weekend or during non-traditional university business hours? What is the tutoring system? Is technology integrated? Do students know how to use the technology?
  • Are faculty and staff aware of the online student support services? How are we communicating these services to faculty and staff? How are faculty and staff reinforcing the message to students about available services?

Read the interview in its entirety and share your thoughts and questions. 

We concluded the month with Find your Passion and you will never work a day in your life. Does that saying really provide students with a tangible direction in their career pathway? Check this out and chime in!

In May, we will start our month with a guest led discussion on trauma-informed practices. 

I invite you to review these discussions, check out the resources shared, and chime in with your thoughts. 

Kathy Tracey