Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Monday, November 30, 2009

More on K-12 students and online classes

Here's another tidbit from the presentation I've been sharing from in my past couple of posts. Project Tomorrow asked K-12 students how taking an online class would make school more interesting for them. Here's what they said:
  • 47% said it would put them more in control of their own learning
  • 38% said it would make it easier to review class materials
  • 32% said it would be easier for them to succeed
  • 29% said they would be more comfortable asking questions
  • 27% said they would be more motivated to learn

What are your thoughts about the data I've been sharing? Do you think K-12 students are a different type of student due to the technologies they use every day? Do you think they are coming to us with a correct understanding of online learning? Do we have a correct understanding of them?

Monday, November 23, 2009

What do K-12 students think of online learning?

In my last post, I mentioned a presentation by Julie Evans in which she shared the voices of today's K-12 students about technology and learning. Here's an interesting tidbit from her presentation: Among students who have NOT taken an online class, 40% of high school students, 35% of middle school students, and 15% of students in grades 3-5 say they are interested in taking an online course. Can anyone else hear the enrollment tsunami coming?

And why do all these students want to take online classes? The reasons differ a bit by age group. High school students are most interested in order to earn college credit, to work at their own pace, and to take classes not offered at their high schools. For middle schoolers, the top reason is to get extra help in a subject (interesting!), followed by earning college credit and working at their own pace. For the youngsters, again, getting extra help in a subject is the top reason for being interested in an online class, followed by working at their own pace and taking a class not offered at their school.

I can tell you that we are already seeing more interest from dual enrollment students seeking ELI courses. It will be interesting to see how these survey data play out in real enrollment trends in the coming years!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Keeping up with our students

At the recent Educause conference, Julie Evans from Project Tomorrow gave a presentation on what today's K-12 students think about learning with technology, and where they want education to head in the future. According to her presentation, past studies of the adoption of technology in learning (e.g., the adoption of email) show that students generally adopt a technology in their personal lives, and then start applying it to their schoolwork (e.g., using email to collaborate on a project). Next, adults begin to pick it up, then they begin to use it in teaching, by which point student use of that technology is on the decline.

One lesson we might take from this is that to really reach our students where they are, we need to be a little quicker to take up new technologies ourselves. What do you think prevents you from trying new technologies as they come out? Is it fear? Feeling uncomfortable trying to figure it out on your own? Not seeing the usefulness of the new technology? The expense of getting access to it to try it out? Not enough time? Something else?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Funding available for adjunct faculty

If you're an adjunct faculty member at NOVA, you may be interested in applying for an Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Grant from NOVA's Professional Development Committee. Grants of up to $1500 are available to support development of teaching aids, research, or other projects that will benefit the college. Applications are due by January 13 and must be approved by your dean or provost before submission to HR. If you'd like full information and the application process, please email me and I'll forward it to you!