Weakest students more likely to take online college classes but do worse in them
Survey of rigorous academic research on online education finds lower grades and higher drop out rates Column by JILL BARSHAY February 4, 2019
According to the most recent federal statistics from 2016, roughly one out of every three or 6.3 million college students learned online. That number is growing even as fewer people are going to college.
Online degrees are also concentrated among a handful of nonprofit universities. Just three — Western Governors University, Liberty University and Southern New Hampshire University — enroll about a third of all online students at private, nonprofit institutions.
overwhelming research evidence that community college students aren’t faring well in online classes
Another 2017 study of students at a for-profit university which offers both in-person and online classes found that students who took an online class not only got lower grades in that class but also in future classes. Online students were more likely to drop out of college altogether than similar students who attended in-person classes.
There are much stronger results for courses that combine supplemental materials online with traditional, face-to-face instruction. But the authors do not consider this hybrid instruction to be “online” learning.
A Professional Development Opportunity for All Faculty and Staff
What: Statewide opportunity to read, discuss, interact, share and learn with a book on a topic of interest and relevance for our work. This year the topic is improving communication with students and enhancing their sense of belonging. Created by: Rebecca March and Cheryl Neudauer, Minneapolis College
The book is The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand Each Other. Rebecca Cox “spent five years talking to, and watching, community college students. She noted carefully the many ways they failed their classes. She listened closely to their reasons why.”– Jay Mathews, Washington Post blog
Three 90-minute virtual Adobe Connect meetings to discuss how the experiences and perspectives in this book relate to our students and communities. Virtual meetings are scheduled for:
Thursday, February 21 – 12:00-1:30 pm
Thursday, March 28 – 12:00-1:30 pm
Thursday, April 18 – 12:00-1:30 pm
D2L Brightspace course to explore issues related to communicating with our students both outside of and within the classroom, orally and through our documents, policies, and electronic communications and how these impact their sense of belonging. The “course” will use short, asynchronous, interactive activities to help us explore how we can better serve our students, connect across the system, and share resources.
why instructional design doesn’t typically work with students, or anyone’s learning for that matter, when you teach with PowerPoint—as well as how you can avoid it. It all begins with a little concept called “cognitive load.”
Cognitive load describes the capacity of our brain’s working memory (or WM) to hold and process new pieces of information. We’ve all got a limited amount of working memory, so when we have to handle information in more than one way, our load gets heavier, and progressively more challenging to manage.
In a classroom, a student’s cognitive load is greatly affected by the “extraneous” nature of information—in other words, the manner by which information is presented to them (Sweller, 2010). Every teacher instinctively knows there are better—and worse—ways to present information.
A study in Australia in the late 1990s (the 1999 Kalyuga study) compared the learning achievement of a group of college students who watched an educator’s presentation involving a visual text element and an audio text element (meaning there were words on a screen while the teacher also talked) with those who only listened to a lecture, minus the pesky PowerPoint slides.
Researchers including John Sweller and Kimberly Leslie contend that it would be easier for students to learn the differences between herbivores and carnivores by closing their eyes and only listening to the teacher. But students who close their eyes during a lecture are likely to to called out for “failing to paying attention.”
Richard Mayer, a brain scientist at UC Santa Barbara and author of the book Multimedia Learning, offers the following prescription: Eliminate textual elements from presentations and instead talk through points, sharing images or graphs with students
a separate Australian investigation by Leslie et al. (2012), suggest that mixing visual cues with auditory explanations (in math and science classrooms, in particular) are essential and effective. In the Leslie study, a group of 4th grade students who knew nothing about magnetism and light learned significantly more when presented with both images and a teacher’s explanation than a separate group which received only auditory explanation.
Limit yourself to one word per slide. If you’re defining words, try putting up the vocabulary word and an associated set of images—then challenge students to deduce the definition.
Honor the “personalization principle,” which essentially says that engaging learners by delivering content in a conversational tone will increase learning. For example, Richard Mayer suggests using lots of “I’s” and “you’s” in your text, as students typically relate better to more informal language.
Parallel running of two social media from different countries: WeChat and blog for international students
Our work with Chinese students from the Confucius Institute (CI) at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) shed light on an interesting development: in the last several years, the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat dominates the social life of Chinese people, Chinese students in particular.
Based on the WeChat affinity of the Chinese students at the SCSU CI program, the program organizers faced difficulty applying other social media platforms, as part of the curricula of the host country. Namely, blog, as one of the widely used SM platform for creative writing (citation comes here), was contemplated as a SM platform for the Chinese students to journal their experience at the SCSU CI program. Since WeChat behaves rather like Facebook and Snapchat, the lack of opportunity to utilize widely available platform for rather lengthy narration (versus SMS/texting abilitis of Twitter and WeChat) convince the SCSU CI program organizers to seek the buy in by Chinese students into the blog initiative.
Pang (2018) builds a theory based on Ellison (2007) theory of “maintained social capital,” namely the ability of individuals to maintain values of social ties when geographically disconnected. Ping (2018) further narrows her research on Chinese students in Germany using Li and Chen (2014) findings about Ellison’s theory on students in a foreign environment and the necessity for these students to build a new circle of friends in the host country. According to Basilisco an Cha (2015), such environment was provided for Filipino students by using Facebook and Twitter.
Agur, C., Belair-Gagnon, V., & Frish, N. (2018). Mobile sourcing: A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps. Mobile Meida and Communication, 6(1), 53–70. https://doi.org/DOI: 10.1177/2050157917725549
Chen, Y. (2017). WeChat use among Chinese college students: Exploring gratifications and political engagement in China. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 10(1), 25–43. https://doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2016.1235222
Pang, H. (2016). Understanding key factors affecting young people’s WeChat usage: an empirical study from uses and gratifications perspective. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 12(3), 262. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJWBC.2016.077757
Pang, H. (2018). Understanding the effects of WeChat on perceived social capital and psychological well-being among Chinese international college students in Germany. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 70(3), 288–304. https://doi.org/DOI 10.1108/AJIM-01-2018-0003
Run Zhi Zhu, X. L. X. (2015). The Influence of Social Media on Sleep Quality: A Study of Undergraduate Students in Chongqing, China. Journal of Nursing & Care, 04(03). https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-1168.1000253
Wang, Y., Fang, W.-C., Han, J., & Chen, N.-S. (2016). Exploring the affordances of WeChat for facilitating teaching, social and cognitive presence in semi-synchronous language exchange. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.2640
hip-hop “cypher,” participants stand in a circle and take turns rapping, often supporting or playing off one another’s rhymes.
“All of those things that are happening in the hip-hop cypher are what should happen in an ideal classroom.”
Students analyze rap lyrics with code in digital humanities class
Some teachers are finding a place for coding in English, music, science, math and social studies, too
by TARA GARCÍA MATHEWSON October 18, 2018
Fifteen states now require all high schools to offer computer science courses. Twenty-three states have created K-12 computer science standards. And 40 states plus the District of Columbia allow students to count computer science courses toward high school math or science graduation requirements. That’s up from 12 states in 2013, when Code.org launched, aiming to expand access to computer science in U.S. schools and increase participation among girls and underrepresented minorities in particular.
Roughly half of American school children have experienced at least some form of trauma — from neglect, to abuse, to violence. In response, educators often find themselves having to take on the role of counselors, supporting the emotional healing of their students, not just their academic growth.
The symptoms are similar in some ways to post-traumatic stress disorder: withdrawing from friends and family; feeling unexplainably irritable or angry or numb; inability to focus; blaming others; feeling hopeless or isolated or guilty about not doing enough; struggling to concentrate; being unable to sleep; overeating or not eating enough; and continually and persistently worrying about students, when they’re at home and even in their sleep.
One of the handful of studies of STS in schools found that more than 200 staff surveyed from across six schools reported very high levels of STS.
STS can affect teachers’ happiness, health and professional practice. But Betsy McAlister Groves, a clinical social worker and former faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, says that she has often been surprised by the number of teachers, school counselors and administrators who recognized the cumulative stressors that they faced in their schools but did not realize that their symptoms were a common reaction to working with traumatized children — and that these symptoms had a name.
How Schools Can Acknowledge Secondary Trauma:
Building a Culture of Awareness
Create Peer Groups Trauma-Informed Schools: School leaders should take a school-wide approach. There is a growing movement around creating trauma-informed schools— schools that recognize and are prepared to support community members affected by trauma and traumatic stress. Such schools deeply integrate social-emotional learninginto their teaching, culture and approach, understanding that the holistic health and wellbeing of their charges is essential for achieving academic success.
Resource for teachers and schools
Assess how your work as an educator might be affecting you (both positively and negatively) by using the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) self-assessment tool and exploring the toolkit created by Teaching Tolerance to learn self-care strategies.
Learn how, as an educator, you can begin to identify secondary traumatic stress and learn strategies for self care through the tip sheet created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Learn about additional individual and organization strategies for addressing secondary traumatic stress, compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Stay tuned for a new online curriculum for preK–12 teachers, named STAT (Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma), being created by experts in the fields of secondary traumatic stress, education, and technology. The curriculum, due for a 2019 launch, will feature five modules on risk factors, the impact of STS, and self-assessment, among related topics.
documented here how educators use Trello to manage project-based learning activities that involve group work and peer review.
Slack has been described as “ a private Twitter on steroids.” At first glance, the tool looks like a chat room—but it’s got more going on inside.
Like Twitter, Slack features hashtags that denote specific “channels” dedicated to topics, but each channel operates like its own chat room. Users can send messages to a channel or directly to one another (one-to-one), and also create private groups for focused discussions (one-to-few).
connected Trello to Slack so that he receives a notification whenever his students make edits on a Trello card. He turns to Slack to communicate directly with students and groups, often leaving feedback on assignments. “It hasn’t been effective as a way to broadcast information to the entire class,” Green admits. “But it’s become a very important tool for us to share resources for kids, and have 1-on-1 conversations with students.”
Other educators are exploring how to use Slack as a professional learning network.
a career counsellor told them to work through an “instrument” – decidedly not a “test” – called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The MBTI is the world’s dominant personality questionnaire: more than 50 million people around the globe are estimated to have taken it. It has been administered since the 1940s (though its origins date to 1917) and now consists of 93 questions to which you answer A or B. At the end, you are assigned one of 16 different types. Many consider this “score” to be meaningless, no more scientifically valid than your star sign. But others – including companies such as Bain, the BBC and many universities – clearly do not.
No one type is better than another. The creators of the MBTI – two American women, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers – imagined it as primarily a tool for self-discovery. But that doesn’t mean all types are equal.
Comments under the article:
It is not, as some commenters have suggested, that psychology and psychological testing is “half baked.” It is that everyone is an expert at functional psychology at some level already — one has to be to live in a social world — just not an expert at the science of psychology; and it seems, to the lay-person, that psychological testing tools are pretty obvious and should be usable by anyone.
Thirty students registered for Arizona State University Online’s general biology course are using ASU-supplied virtual reality (VR) headsets for a variety of required lab exercises
The VR equipment, which costs ASU $399 per student, allows learners to complete lab assignments in virtual space using goggles and a controller to maneuver around a simulated lab. Content for the online course was developed and assessed by ASU biology professors and was evaluated this summer. Students also can use their own VR headsets and access the content on their laptops, as 370 other students are doing.
A university official told Campus Technology the initiative will help online students have the experiences provided in brick-and-mortar labs as well as new ones that were impossible previously. The effort also will ease a problem on campus with limited lab space.
About half of colleges have space dedicated to VR, with adoption expected to increase as technology costs go down, according to a recent survey by nonprofit consortium Internet2. The survey found that 18% of institutions have “fully deployed” VR and are increasingly making it available to online students, while half are testing or have not yet deployed the technology.
Colleges are using VR for a variety of purposes, from classroom instruction to admissions recruiting to career training.
In addition, because the use of VR is growing in K–12 education, students will expect to use it in college.