Web-Based Learning for the Adult Credit Diploma Program

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
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
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
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.