Class Profile

Class Profile

If you create an account with this system and generate a survey link for your class, you will be able to aggregate students’ responses and obtain a graphical report similar to the one below. This report provides a detailed analysis of students’ responses in nine dimensions.

Below is an example set of data analytics from one class with a student enrollment of 30. This report provides an example of the data available for faculty who configure their classes to utilize eLearnReady. With it, faculty can gain a deep understanding of their students’ readiness for the online learning environment. They will also be able to address any shortcomings noted during the first week and respond to them with the suggested study techniques.


 

2017 (Summer) — DEMO101: Introduction to eLearnReady (S1)

Total of Submissions: 42

The following students have completed the survey:
(To protect student's privacy, the link to individual report is disable.)

stude42@demo.edustudone@demo.edustudson@demo.edustudil1@demo.edustud1@demo.edustudsle@demo.edustuder@demo.edustude@demo.edustudso2@demo.edustudarr@demo.edustudga@demo.edustud-1@demo.edustude1@demo.edustudey@demo.edustude@demo.edustuddp@demo.edustuding@demo.edustudes@demo.edustudce@demo.edustudraha@demo.edustudlli2@castal.edustuds1@demo.edustudkle@demo.edustud1@demo.edustudket@demo.edustudza@demo.edustudxo@demo.edustud-3@demo.edustud-2@demo.edustudent13@demo.edustudent12@demo.edustudent11@demo.edustudent10@demo.edustudent9@demo.edustudent8@demo.edustudent7@demo.edustudent6@demo.edustudent5@demo.edustudent4@demo.edustudent3@demo.edustudent2@demo.edustudent1@demo.edu

Nine Dimensions in Student’s eLearnReady Profile

Dimension 1: Self-Motivation

Motivation is an issue in traditional classrooms, and it does not exclude online learning. Online courses create a learner directed environment. How do students motivate themselves in an online learning environment? In online classes, the instruction will not happen to the students, they have to help create the learning experience for themselves. Learners can motivate themselves through an understanding of course demands (Perez-Cereijo, 2006). In other words, if students sign up for a course, by knowing what they will have to accomplish, it will motivate them for the end result.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Provide students with a detailed and dated task list of all required reading, activities, assignments, quizzes, exams, etc. Encourage them to use it as a weekly checklist.
  • Online students need more student-to-student interaction (Moore, 2013). Encourage students through class introductions to get to know each other and form study groups, if desired.
  • Give students an idea of how much time they will need to set aside each week to be successful in the class.
  • Encourage students to share their time management strategies in their introduction.
  • Through weekly announcements, remind students of what is due that week, reflect on what was due last week, and provide an opportunity and encourage them to work ahead.
  • If assignments will culminate into a final assignment, let students know in advance how the smaller assignments will prepare them for the final assignment.
  • Encourage students through class introductions to identify their goals. Make a note of all students’ goals and experiences so that you may refer to them throughout your interactions with the students.
  • During discussions, mention students’ experiences and remind them why the class is important to them. Ask them to share their experiences during discussions when the content is relevant.
  • Motivate students through developing competence. Give praise for effort (Ferlazzo, 2015) and encourage students to submit their best work on time.
Dimension 2: Self-Management

Being outside of the classroom fosters the independent nature of online learning. Therefore, each student is in charge of his or her own task management. If students have an understanding of their weakness in this area, they can use the following tips to increase their probability for success. In order to avoid being weighed down by an excessive work load, students should plan a regular schedule to work on the class. In this manner, the class is broken down into manageable pieces (Akins & Li, 2005).

Instructional Strategies:

  • At the beginning of class, explain that highly engaged students check in frequently by looking at their gradebook, reading and responding to discussions, checking emails, reading materials, viewing instructional materials such as videos, lectures, presentations. Research shows that highly engaged students generally perform better in online classes (Ed & Fred, 1992).
  • Provide students with a detailed and dated task list of all required reading, activities, assignments, quizzes, exams, etc. Encourage them to use it as a weekly checklist.
  • Through weekly announcements, remind students of what is due that week, reflect on what was due last week, and provide an opportunity and encouragement to work ahead.
  • Prepare students to begin working on the module to avoid potential issues that may cause them to miss the deadline, such as technical issues (computer and/or internet failures), time invested in research and preparation, planning ahead for group work.
  • Break up work into manageable pieces by creating details about the assignment. For major assignments, place progressive tasks throughout the modules leading up to the final deadline.
  • If assignments will culminate into a final assignment, let students know in advance how the smaller assignments will prepare them for the final assignment.
  • Within the introductions, have students share their study time management plan including designated place, personal goals for the course, and their best practice tips for staying on track.

Dimension 3: Need for Feedback

Growing up in an educational system where the student is used to frequent face -to-face contact with the teacher can cause some dissonance for students when they first enter an online learning environment. With the understanding that the student is in charge of their learning experience, the student should also be assertive in beginning a dialogue with the instructor (Reisetter & Boris 2004). If students need feedback, they should begin working on assignments early. Students who encounter problems with assignments usually want to get direct answers from an instructor. Getting an early start on an assignment gives the instructor a more reasonable amount of response time if students have a concern (Watkins & Corry, 2005).

Instructional Strategies:

  • Online students need more student-to-instructor interaction (Moore, 2013). Encourage communication by placing instructor contact information in several locations. Identify the best means and times for communication (office hours). Request that students record contact information outside of their computer in case they need to communicate during technical problems.
  • While writing feedback, use communication models that provide a balance of positive to negative feedback. Compliment work that was well done in addition to providing feedback for areads that can be improved (Ferlazzo, 2015).
  • Feedback should not only be post assignment commentary, it should direct what students should do with their time, how they should feel about their efforts, whether their motivation level is appropriate, whether they are meeting expectations (Mandernach & Garrett, 2014).
  • After a grading session, reach out to students that did not do well and provide feedback about their progress along with advice on opportunities for improvement. For students who are doing well, provide positive feedback periodically outside of the gradebook through email or personal phone call.
  • After a grading session, communicate to students to check their gradebook for their class standing.
  • Through the welcome announcement, encourage students to communicate issues with coursework and deadlines through your chosen communication method.
  • Explain to students the advantage of working on assignments in the beginning of the module. This will allow for time to communicate with the professor for clarity on assignments if needed. In an online environment, there are times when the instructor is unavailable and it may likely be the night (usually Sunday) before an assignment is due. Waiting until the last minute to ask questions may result in the delay of an answer.
Dimension 4: Need for Social Interaction

Although the online learning community has a lot to do with independence and individualistic assignments when it comes to the student’s learning experience, most online courses encourage or require the use of discussion boards. This can be a tool to help those who learn easily from discussing materials, or need items paraphrased. In order to get the most out of the discussion board experience, a student should be active on the discussion board and respond to others’ posts. Checking the discussion board frequently, and sending responses lets others know you are interested in the conversation and may help others to post (Guide to Discussing, 2004).

Instructional Strategies:

  • Online students need more student-to-student interaction (Moore, 2013). Encourage students through class introductions to get to know each other and form study groups if desired.
  • Create a message board where students can interact and share their questions. Define the purpose of the message board (coffee house, chat room) in the syllabus and through the welcome announcement (VanMouwerik, 2015).
  • Get students actively involved in discussions through discussion requirements. If applicable, ask students to share their experience with the topic. Require students in their response to a classmate to ask a question. Use online discussion response strategies for discussion requirements (Ward, 2012) (Novicki, 2013).
  • If your discipline has a school Facebook page, twitter or other social media account, invite students to join. If not, you may want to make one for your class. Some course management systems have a social media link option built into the course shell.

 

Dimension 5: Learning Style (Reading: Visual Text)

Lectures, notes, discussion boards, assignments and other written text are easily and readily accessible in an online class. Learners who are strong in visual text will recognize the amount of saved information in the course materials that will help them in their studies. (Using Group Work 2004). A student should not fear to read and reread materials or discussions they find particularly useful. Most materials can be printed and used to make notes or even color coded to help retention and comprehension.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Ensure visual text meets the requirements of accessibility in an online class by choosing fonts and colors that are universal and easy to read. Contact your schools accessibility office for guidelines.
  • Review all text prior to class to ensure it is clearly visible to students, error free and logical.
  • Black on white is the most common text color variation and will accommodate most students.
  • When using textbooks, provide additional resources of similar content so students will have multiple opportunities to engage with the content.

 

Dimension 6: Learning Style (Reading: Visual Graphics)

The Internet and online medium in general offers a wide range of visual tools for learners. A visual learner can view or create graphs, charts or videos to reinforce materials that they have been reading about. Those who recognize that they conceptualize ideas through more graphic means can help themselves by exploring extra links or videos the instructor has put into the course (Bonk & Zhang, 2006).

Instructional Strategies:

  • To reach the multiple learning styles of the entire class, always provide additional resources for each module in the form of links, videos, graphics, etc.
  • Ensure that all graphics include alt tags that are descriptive so that students with screenreaders and other supplemental technology may also benefit from these items.
  • Preview all of the visual graphics and ensure they support the learning objective of the specific content area where placed.
  • When using videos to reinforce materials, if you did not create the video, be sure to preview the entire video to assess if the content is relevant and does not contain offensive or inappropriate content. All videos should include closed captioning. Faculty who have created their own multimedia may use self-captioning or may utilize the closed captioning initiative supported by the Coastal Online Learning office. Multimedia selected to be included in one’s course should already have embedded captions, or should not be utilized.
  • In order to ensure understanding when using visual graphics and to connect the graphic to its learning objective, provide details/descriptions for each graphic.

 

Dimension 7: Learning Style (Listening)

Among the vast visual media that the Internet allows, there is also a supply of audio material that can help those who learn best by listening (Bonk & Zhang 2006). Students should not despair if they feel like the bulk of the course content does not fit their learning preference. There are other outlets and advice other than the use of multimedia links. Students could form a study group to meet with other students and discuss topics, or even read aloud to themselves while covering course material. Again, the online classroom materials themselves can be accessed repeatedly to help understanding. Lectures can be rewound and reviewed to help maximize comprehension (Friedman & Deek, 2002).

Instructional Strategies:

  • Encourage the formation of study groups during class introductions. Recommend useful technology tools for these groups (Google groups, etc.) and post links to these within your course.
  • In order to ensure understanding when using multimedia, provide audio for each topic. All audio should have captions provided.
  • Preview all multimedia and ensure it supports the learning objective of the specific content area where placed.
  • When using videos to reinforce materials, if you did not create the video, be sure to preview the entire video to assess if the content is relevant and does not contain offensive or inappropriate content.
  • Provide a link to your school’s accessibility office for students that need access to reading software/apps.

 

Dimension 8: Technology Proficiency Level

Technology is a rapidly growing field that leaves some feeling left behind. Because technology is growing so rapidly, it is becoming more widespread and user friendly. Technology support teams can have useful advice or frequently asked questions (FAQ). It is important for the online student to “play” around with the course website and even ask questions about how to use certain tools (Akins & Li 2005). It is likely that many students will have concerns about the use of technology, so students should use the classroom setting and ask classmates how to use certain tools. Tutorials or other orientation materials can be quite helpful to familiarize a user with a program (Mortera-Guiterrez, 2002).

Instructional Strategies:

  • Clearly state in the syllabus what technology is required for the course.
  • Provide links in the syllabus that will guide the students to purchase or download free software that meets the course requirements.
  • Encourage students to communicate in the chat area with their questions about technology. Have students help each other out if they know the answer to the questions.
  • If available, provide tutorials on how to use the technology.
  • Provide a link to the Student Technology Resource Center’s website.
  • Encourage students to contact the help desk right away if they experience technical issues with the learning management system. Provide helpdesk information and link to website.
  • Encourage students at the beginning of class to have a designated computer and reliable Internet connection available for the duration of the class. Smart technology such as tablets and phones can be great for listening to lectures, watching videos and reading text. They can be challenging for engaging in discussions, research and writing papers, taking tests and submitting assignments.
  • Encourage students to submit work early in the week to avoid technical issues that may cause them to miss the deadline.

 

Dimension 9: Course Management System Proficiency Level

A course management system (commonly abbreviated as CMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs, and training content. It is critical for students to understand how to navigate their online course materials and participate any online learning activities without any difficulty. Normally, any institution offering online courses would have tutorials or training materials for their students to view.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Provide tutorials if available on how to use the learning management system (LMS) or direct students to the LMS site or links. Include a “Getting Started” area for students to start your course.
  • Provide detailed directions on how to submit assignments: location in LMS, formatting, document type, upload or copy/paste, etc. Be very specific on formats that you will accept within the instructions to students, including any file size limitations.
  • Create a Q & A discussion forum where students are able to post general questions about the course and respond to one another. Encourage students to communicate in the chat area with their questions about technology. Have students help each other out if they know the answer to the questions.

 

References