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November 2, 2011 / dlitgroup

Weekly Updates – November 4

The following updates are from the DLIT Department for the week ending November 4th.


This area includes international, national, regional, state, and local activities.

  • ETOM Board Meeting – Eric Kunnen met with the ETOM Board to recap the ETOM conference that GRCC hosted and to plan for the Spring Conference as well as the future plans for the group.
  • EDUCAUSE ACTL Meeting – Eric Kunnen will meet with the Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning for EDUCAUSE on Thursday. The committee is working on learning management systems, learning environments, and mobile sub-group focus areas.
  • GVSU Reference – DLIT served as a reference call for Rave Wireless and Bb Connect for Grand Valley State University.

Department Action Projects & College Action Projects

This area includes accomplishments or milestones regarding Departmental and College Action Project(s).

  • Project 1 – Extend DL Program
    • Student Research Results Presented – Frank Conner provided a report on his research project regarding student success in online courses. Here are a few highlights:

      Research Question:  “Is there a relationship between a student’s learning readiness and success in an online class?”Intent:  How can we make online learning more successful?

      Learning Readiness Scale included:

      1) Academic Self-Efficacy
      2) Organization and Attention to Study
      3) Stress and Time Press
      4) Involvement with College Activity
      5) Emotional Satisfaction
      6) Class Communication

      – Overwhelmingly self-efficacy is very important.  That is student confidence and control in academic ability, awareness of effort toward study, and expectations of success in college attainment. Students scoring high have expectations to succeed and accomplish important outcome goals.  Those that score low are more likely to feel uncertain about possible achievement and what the future may hold.

      – Also important is the ability for students to handle stress and avoid procrastination, to effectively organize planning and time management skills to achieve academic success.  Those that score low are more likely to avoid planning strategies and lack of focus of attention in providing self-direction.

      – Relationships are important for students and their sense of involvement in the course and at the college.  Solidifying these relationships can make a difference.

      – We are seeing a greater proportion of poorer performing students that are signing up for online classes at a rate of 10%.  That is 10% more students with GPA of 2.25 to 2.27 are signing up for online classes.  This 10% is exactly the same number difference reported in student success measures.  This 10% appears to account for the difference in f2f vs online retention.

      – Incoming GPA is important factor in a student’s success in online classes.  Students are more at risk with lower GPAs…  Students may view online as a safer modality, they may be viewing it as a way to hide, or assume it will be easier.  Poorer students are attracted to DL courses.  Maybe set a minimum of 2.00.  Probation students should not be able to enroll in online.

      – Screen students based on self-efficacy (they believe they will succeed), build their self-efficacy, limit the number of simultaneous online classes, use GPA as a filter for online classes.
      – Improve online student orientations – improve mentorship and tutoring…  improve student efficacy by building students up.
      – Improve online organization, and facilitation, community, and active facilitation

    • DL Survey – Eric Kunnen submitted the “Managing Online Education WCET and Campus Computing Project Survey”.
    • Course Approvals – The Deans Sub-Committee submitted approval for the following courses:
      1) CO230 – Szymon Machajewski
      2) CO232 – Szymon Machajewski
      3) CA238 – Anne Palenske
      4) CA201 – Anne Palenske
      5) CHM140 – Bernard Liburd
    • Webinar – DLIT will attend a webinar on Thursday entitled: “How Drexel University Online Improved Student Support to Drive Online Program Success”
    • Blackboard Development Education – Zach Johnson from Blackboard met with Eric Kunnen, Shanna Goff, and Linda Spoelman to learn more about the DevEd solution that Blackboard provides.  They also learned about how a pilot would work for GRCC.
    • Jenison International Academy Meeting – Dan Clark and Eric Kunnen met with the JIA to discuss the intersection of online learning from K12 to highered and potential partnerships and opportunities to connect and collaborate.  Early college, dual enrollment, and articulation agreements were discussed.
    • Collegiate – Eric Kunnen met with a student reporter from the student newspaper about the ETOM conference and various other instructional technologies.
    • Report to Cabinet – Eric Kunnen attended Cabinet where Cindy Martin provided an Access Report to the members.
  • Project 2 – Enhance Classroom and Instructional Technologies
  • Project 3 – Extend Blackboard Learn, Content, Community
    • Blackboard Team Meeting – The team met to discuss current issues, projects, pilots, and upgrades planned for the future.  Meeting minutes are located here.
    • Analytics for Learn Field Trial – DLIT participated with IT in a conference call about a field trial for the new analtyics tool for Blackboard.  This looks like an effective solution to assist with report generation for AGC minimum use standards.

Other Work within Your Department

This area includes accomplishments, milestones, or comments from within the department.

  • IT/DLIT Meeting – IT and DLIT will hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss collaborative opportunities in moving projects forward and working together to improve technology at GRCC.
  • Invitation Sent to Dept Heads – Eric Kunnen sent an invitation to department heads to request to attend a meeting this or next semester to showcase technologies, introduce Meegan, and provide DLIT oriented resources.
  • Faculty Email Highlights – An email was sent to faculty with a few semester highlights from the Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies (DLIT) Department:

    1) New NBC Learn video content in Blackboard – Just in time for Halloween!  NBC Learn video content explains the chemistry of fear and fright, the science and mathematics of NFL football, why leaves change color, and provides video content and highlights from breast cancer awareness month.  The NBC video content is easily inserted into your course in Blackboard.  More information is available here: Szymon Machajewski highlights “Flipping the Classroom” by having students view lectures outside of class and focusing on classtime for homework and facilitated discussion.  See:

    3) Diane Sparks and Becky Brinks presented at the Trends Conference on “Online and Hybrid Classes in Early Childhood Education”.  See their presentation here:

    4) Garry Brand highlights taking attendance in class with an iPad and the new attendance tool in Starfish Early Alert. See: with a tutorial available here:

    5) Highlights from the state-wide Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Fall Conference that was recently held at GRCC.  Session videos from Szymon Machajewski and Gary Ebels along with session notes from Meegan Lillis (DLIT) and Kate Byerwalter (Psychology) are available here:

    6) Also… don’t forget about joining us for donuts, bagels, and coffee on November 16th and December 9th in 347M from 8:30 to 10!  Details are available here:

EOL Faculty Reports

This area includes accomplishments, milestones, or comments from EOL faculty in the department.


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