Wytheville Community College Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

  

WCC4ME will help first-time online learners succeed.

 

History

The WCC4ME topic was selected through a series of college-wide surveys, literature review, and institutional data, including results of the college's Title III grant to improve distance learning.

WCC4ME's Main Goals

Goal:  Prepare WCC first-time online learners for success in the online learning environment

All first-time students enrolled in an online course at WCC will be required to do the following:

  • Complete a redesigned Student Development (SDV) course that focuses on the unique needs of online learners:
  • Learn basic computer skills
  • Understand "netiquette (internet etiquette)
  • Understand "Blackboard" tools and how to use those tools

("Blackboard" is an online course management system that provides faculty and students with tools to develop content, engage, collaborate, grade, and track assignments.)

    • Submit online assignments
    • Email the instructor
    • Respond to discussion boards
    • Take online quizzes and tests
  • Assess their own learning styles
  • Complete the SmarterMeasure Readiness tool to identify their strengths and weaknesses in terms of being a first-time online learner:
    • Learn how to improve time management skills
    • Complete modules to improve their typing skills

Goal: WCC first-time online learners will successfully complete their online learning courses at the same pass rate as first-time students in traditional face-to-face courses

The QEP will focus on the five most highly enrolled online courses:

  • English 111 (ENG 111):  College Composition
  • History 121 (HIS 121):  American History
  • Biology 101 (BIO 101):  General Biology
  • Sociology 200 (SOC 200):  Principles of Sociology
  • Information Technology (ITE 115): Introduction to Computer Applications and Concepts

Common Course Formats

  • Faculty who teach these courses are developing a common "Blackboard" course format to make it easier for students to work through online courses.  For example:
  • Course syllabi will be posted in the same physical folder in every course.
  • Access tabs to get to different parts of the course will be in the same order and location to make it easier for students to find information (instructor contact information, course assignments, grades, etc.)

College Resources

  • Faculty will develop a comprehensive list of college resources to help students succeed: How to complete admissions office requirements (admission forms, change of address forms, graduation applications, transcript requests, etc.)
  • How to access financial aid and scholarship resources (FAFSA forms, grade appeals, scholarship application forms, etc.)
  • How to get academic help (tutoring services, math and writing lab resources, counseling, library services, etc.)
  • How to access other student services (veteran services, disability services, student food pantry, campus security, signing up for WCC alerts, emergency drills, inclement weather schedules, filing student complaints, etc.)

Goal:  Faculty/staff professional development to support student success in online learning

  • Provide faculty with information about best practices in the following areas:
    • Ways to increase student/teacher interaction and create a stronger social presence to help students feel more connected to the instructor and fellow classmates
    • Provide earlier and more feedback to online students throughout the course
    • Master basics of using "Blackboard" effectively
    • Stay up-to-date on the most current successful online teaching methods
    • Writing clear, easy-to-follow instructions for online students, as faculty and students are not interacting face-to-face

 

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