Chabot College Basic Skills Committee MINUTES

Chabot College
Basic Skills Committee
September 25, 2012
Called to Order: 12:06 PM
Attendees: Jeanne Wilson, Carolyn Arnold, Jennifer Lange, Michele Iriarte, Hisako Hintz, Becky
Plaza, Nick Alexander, Rani Nijjar, Stacey Moore, Marcia Corcoran, and Patricia Shannon
Review of the Minutes: Becky Plaza moved to approve, Carolyn Arnold seconded. Passed without
abstentions or nayes.
Trish: Should we take up the question of the larger conversation, a) about the vision of the college, and
b) about the place/value of basic skills courses, and c) how those two fit with the strategic plan of this
committee (which is due for evaluation and revision)? I recently saw both the college mission
statement and the “legal” state mission of community colleges at a recent meeting. It was very
interesting to compare these documents.
Carolyn: Yes, we should, begin a strategic planning process, perhaps in January when all of the fall
presentations scheduled are complete.
Jeanne: Both of those documents you were talking about, could we get copies of them? (to be provided
at next meeting)
Nick: in terms of general principles for deciding on the priority and flow of courses, both for the
college and in the case of reductions, we could use a pair of pyramids to model the flow, one for
students out of the college (completion) and a one for students entering the flow (basic skills). This
would help us to adjust/determine what is needed.
Trish: the PRBC is using several analyses to try to look at capacity and demand in several different
ways; in high demand pathways, basic skills, general education courses, etc. It’s a very complex
In view of time, one of the agenda items is being dropped—sharing the “data tool” that the state has
provided for us. Generally, we have these capabilities through our IR office, but many community
colleges don’t have the resources we do.
The group introduced themselves. And, the meeting was turned over to Ellie Hoffman, the Online
Learning Faculty Inquiry Group Leader for last and this year.
Ellie made her presentation using a PowerPoint slide show and supporting video. She outlined the
process and learning of last year’s work, then set the stage for what this year’s group hopes to learn.
First, we began by collecting demographic information about online students—how are they similar
and different from face-to-face students. Then, we began looking at retention (and defining what that
is) and success among online students. One of the things we were interested in seeing, was whether
online students are AS successful (complete the course with a passing grade) as face-to-face students.
That would mean that online courses do not disadvantage learning, even if retention (a separate
problem) is higher. Our first insights were: students with any English course completed do better than
students who do not have an English course, and new students are least likely to complete (not to W) or
to be successful. Based on our data, new students or students who have not yet completed an English
class (or not English 1A eligible) should be strongly discouraged (or not permitted) to take online
As we moved farther into the analysis, we began asking, how are online courses being taught: that is,
what kinds of practices, interactions, and assignments are being used by faculty teaching online
courses, and is there any correlation between success and completion with the kinds of practices? Next
question: does the discipline matter? Which took us back to the question of what is retention and what
is success. We could not find any major trends by discipline or any particular practice. So, we began a
closer examination of things (practices) people have tried and trying to identify those that get positive
results. This year, the group is focusing on engagement (now that we know more about our students)
and our practices as a whole, and how to improve engagement. The group is defining what online
engagement is. Currently, it is using a Blackboard site, CCC confer, and other asynchronous
approaches to dialogue. Challenges for the group include the size of the group and engagement (we are
all so overcommitted).
Ellie is providing both her overheads and the videos she showed. These will be posted on the CTL
Meeting adjourned at 12:55 PM