Get Ready for Online Readiness!

Online Student Readiness is a passion project of mine. (Others have hobbies, I hear). There are dozens of factors that have an impact on whether a student can succeed in an online course in any given term, and only a few of these are within the control of the college. One of these is whether we’re setting students up for success in online by providing training in the skills that the online medium requires.

The short summary:

Starting in Winter 2019, faculty can add our Readiness survey or any one of six individual modules to their classes, refer students to a Moodle “course” that takes an hour and will help prepare students for online, or refer students (through Week 2) to a credit-level Effective Online Learning course to help them succeed in online. This post covers the surveys and modules.

Here are links to all of these resources:

The background:

The California Community College system researched factors that have an impact on online success and created short (less than 15 minutes each) modules that help prepare students for online learning. Last year, with support from Academic Technology, I built a survey that aligns both to the first six of these modules and to current research in educational technology.

The modules cover:

  1. Basic online expectations and readiness
  2. Time management
  3. Organization for online
  4. Technical skill readiness
  5. Online reading skills
  6. Online communication basics

The modules are introduction-level information built from experience with online students. The introduce concepts like what to do if you experience a technical problem; how to communicate professionally online; and how and why scheduling and self-sufficiency is important for online learning. They are also completely free and available through a Creative Commons license that will allow us to adapt them, should we wish to, in the future.

The LCC Readiness Survey scores students in these same six categories, and it is available for use by any student or faculty member for free. It’s hosted through Qualtrics, an online survey collection service. You can try it out now (just put “Test” in the line asking for the course you’re taking).

Starting this Winter, any interested faculty (in any course, not just online) can assist their students in becoming online ready using the survey and the modules.

The Survey

The Qualtrics survey collects data and scores students by category, giving them individual areas to work on at the end of it. (For example, a student might reply that they do not feel confident sending and receiving e-mail, which would have an impact on their communication score and their technical skill score).

The Modules

The six modules are multimedia presentations developed by the Online Education Initiative of the Chancellor’s office of California’s Community Colleges. They provide multiple methods for students to access the materials, including interactive video, audio, and written text transcripts. They also provide additional resources like a schedule builder and a computer plugin readiness test.

Any individual module or a “book” containing all six modules can be embedded into any existing course at LCC. In addition, students can be referred to a  Moodle course to run through the modules. This would take about an hour. At the end of the course, students receive a certificate of completion, which they can present to any instructor who wants to know if they’ve completed the course.

If you’d like to have any of the modules imported into your class, just let the ATC (or me) know! We are happy to help. If you’d just like to review the modules, check out the faculty ID101 course linked above. You can import individual pieces from there, or try things out and then let me know if you have feedback. I’m also happy to tailor content to meet your class needs.

Have a great Winter term!

 

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