ITC, Pre-Conference Day

eLearning 2014 logoI’ve lost count on the number of ITC conferences that I’ve been to over the years, but today began another. The location: Orlando, Florida. The first day is usually the pre-conference workshops, and this year I was a presenter. My session this year was iPad Apps for Teaching and Learning. I had 2.5 hours to engage the presenters, and man did I do the best I could. One of the things I’ve learned over the years (I actually relearn it every year) is to not doubt myself. I had prepared for this session for weeks, and I had plenty of content. Then, I found out about some additional apps that I wanted to show, just days before the presentation. I did my best to incorporate them, but with the amount of time that I had, something had to give. Unfortunately, it was the participant engagement. I have no idea whether the participants had a good time, but I’m sure I’ll find out when I send out an email with the evaluation.

Opening Keynote

What Every Student Needs: The 6 Ps – Sandy Shugart, Valencia College

Monsatic Model of Education

  • Preservation and transmission of culture
  • Bachelor’s were under tutelage of Masters
  • Once Masters was attained, you replaced your master
  • First institutions in US were Harvard, Yale, Princeton, William & Mary
  • Professor was the priest / Student is novitiate – hoping to become priest
  • Clerics (Clarks) were bureaucrats – considered administration

German Polytechnic Model

  • Professor is researcher & innovator / student as apprentice scientist
  • Institution as engine of economy

Industrial Model

  • Production of graduates for the workforce
  • Within 1 year of original GI bill was passed, over 3 million men went back to school
  • Truman Commission is what formed “comprehensive community colleges.”
  • Beginning of the baby boom generation started 19 years after veterans returned from war.
  • When building schools for the influx of students, schools were built according to the Industrial Model
  • Teacher is assemply-line worker / student as raw product, material, scrap
  • Institution as national resource
  • Not worried about precision – precision takes time
  • Hourly labor/adjunct instructors didn’t exist before this time

Commerical/Retail Model

  • Growth in enrollment, revenue, market share, and brand
  • Student as customer / teacher as “client service coordinator?”
  • Institution as business enterprise

New Cultural Model: The Learner at the Center

  • Designing for the learners is best done with the help from the learners

What Every Student Needs

  • Preparation
    • Valencia improved retention rate from mid-50% to almost 90% with assessing preparation
    • Before a student signs up for eLearning course, have student complete 1 hour of work to assess if they are ready for an online course
  • Place
    • Create communities for students – give them a sense of belonging
    • Assess how students belong during course designs
  • Pathway
    • Best learners are in medical school – no flexibility in schedueling, instructors, courses, etc.
    • Worst learners have too many options
    • Not having students take class 1 & class 2 in subsequent semesters
    • Should be fewer pathways
    • Valencia is creating meta-majors – narrows choices early
  • Plan
    • How the pathway can be made their own
    • New pathways should include an approved new plan
    • First time students formally plan for graduation is when signing the Application for Graduation
    • Valencia is requiring every new student to take a first-year seminar – requirement for completion of course is to have a formal plan for graduation
  • Purpose
    • Clear purpose for why students are at institution results in higher retention rates
    • Purpose is constructed in social environment, in conversation
    • Emerges over time – not settled in 1 conversation
  • Person
    • “I am a person” – not a number, not an FTE, etc.
    • 90% of stories when students felt like person were when instructors broke the rule to serve the student
    • What do you do to personalize the interactions that happen online?
    • Students who made it against the odds credit their success to a person, not facilities, strategic plan, etc.

Overall, there wasn’t anything earth-shattering in this session, but I will say that it makes me miss the community college atmosphere.

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