Web-Based Learning for the Adult Credit Diploma Program Student Support Services Committee Minutes from Meeting held on 2/05/04 At the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium Attendance Don Chao, CREC/ATDN; Jim Tallmadge, Middletown Adult Education; Adina O’Connor, Hartford Adult Education; Phyllis Bonneau, Vernon Adult Education; Joan Donoghue, New London Adult Education; Marc Potish, Project Liaison; Gretchen Hayden, CTDLC, Project Manager; Carolyn Rogers, CTDLC; Ajit Gopalakrishnan Discussion Gretchen opened the meeting looking for feedback from each LEA regarding the implementation of online courses. There was a general consensus that students want more online courses. There also appears to be a need to provide electives along with the core courses. o We will need to develop a process for choosing the courses that will be developed in the future. We need to find a way to clearly communicate to staff the courses that are available online and to get their “buy-in.” o One suggestion for doing this would be to include guidance staff in the planning process. One of the new online teachers is not making the cut. He has been successful in the classroom, but does not appear to be making the transition to online teaching. His tone is too critical; his ability to communicate effectively online is questionable. This particular teacher did not go through the training. Student Feedback: o Students would like more frequent and consistent feedback from teachers. o Some students need a great deal of on ground support. Need to further define the mentor-teacher relationship- mentors could give teachers more feedback regarding what is going on with missing students. Mentors need to encourage students to check their email frequently. We need to look at how teachers communicate with mentors at multiple sites, particularly as we go statewide. Algebra students are having a ball with the online class. For the civics course, it would be helpful to take the course content and create a detailed, up front course syllabus, imbedding student support services into the course. o Suggestion: Create a core bundle of support web links that can be imbedded into all courses. Links would be generic to all courses (i.e. dictionary, encyclopedia, writing help). Links specific to each course could also be added (i.e. CivicsLibrary of Congress link). New cohorts and active groups- there are course tools that can be used to create “new discussion groups.” We need to talk with the learning designers about how to use these tools. The teachers need to be taught how to use these tools to manage new cohort groups. At present there are new students entering discussion rooms with existing, experienced students and it is creating some confusion and frustration. To effectively manage monthly cohort starts we need to: o Identify procedures and class management tools o Train and prepare staff (teachers) to use these tools Training Issues and Job Issues How will we manage mentors? Should there be a lead mentor in an environment where there are many mentors, providing one person who is more responsible for the teacher mentor communication? Professional Development: o Training of teachers will need to be done as more courses are added. o Training for mentors will need to be provided and it needs to be specific to tasks and responsibilities. Role needs to be clearly defined. o Providing mentors with some sort of cheat sheet to become familiarized with each course (navigation, content) would be useful. o A meeting with mentors will be held to get their feedback as to what they are doing, what is working, what needs refinement and clarification. The tentative time and date for this meeting is Wednesday, March 10, 2004, from 1:304:00pm at Middletown Adult Education following the Middletown Technology Fair. More information will be provided as the date gets closer. Administrative Issues Email addresses are still an issue for students. It would be helpful to have a contact onsite who enrolls students and keeps track of student emails and passwords. Administrative Training- policies and procedures related to administrative functions need to be defined for the scalability of the program. There may need to be some form of training needed to transfer this knowledge to new sites. We need to also consider how sites are already sharing existing courses to identify procedures that can help with this process as more online courses are added to the virtual high school degree program.