ITC Pre-Conference Workshop

The first big event at this year’s ITC Conference was a pre-conference workshop, presented by Kari Frisch, from Central Lakes College, in the MNSCU network. The session, walked us through 10+ steps to keeping a high retention rate in her fully-online classes. Here is a list of the steps for those of you who are interested, however I’m not providing the details behind each item – that’s special for me!instructional technology council e-learning 2013 logo

  1. Be present
  2. Build relationships
  3. Be organized
  4. Assignment schedules
  5. Two due dates
  6. Extra credit for spelling mistakes
  7. Consistency
  8. Variety
  9. Open-book, un-timed tests
  10. Survey students

Most of the items on that list are things that I constantly advocate to our instructors, however are things that I never incorporated into my course. I’m not sure why, as that makes me quite the hypocrite. One of the things that I learned from this workshop is that I should be spending much more time prepping for and engaging in my course. I’m not one to “set it and forget it,” but I could be doing so much more.I’ve implemented 1 change (already) since the workshop ended and 1 more scheduled to take effect in a few weeks. During this week’s module, I created an anonymous survey to get feedback from students on how they think the class is going, thus far. In face-to-face classes, Instructional Designers conduct Small Group Instructional Diagnoses (SGID), however they are rarely done in fully-online classes due to the nature of the process. In the survey that I created, I asked similar questions as the SGID, but the process will still yield different results because there is no group work involved in the online version. Hopefully I can implement some other changes based on their feedback. I’ve also come up with a new assignment to use when we get to the Mobile Tools module in a few weeks.Anyway, Kari did a great job and all ~15 participants learned a great deal. Excellent!As I write this, the morning keynote for Monday has ended and I am waiting for the concurrent sessions to begin. I’ll post some reflections on all of today’s sessions later on.Cheers!

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