Friday Fragments, July 24th
Cultivating a sense of belonging, ideal online class sizes, & challenges in finding time/space/devices to complete courses remotely.
What I’m reading:
I have spent a lot of time this week in the literature around student persistence and the importance of a sense of belonging, and this Inside Higher Ed article, Writing to Belong, came at a great time. The research discussed in the article found that just getting students to read and write about belonging in college contributes to their actually staying enrolled after their first semester, and that it particularly benefits traditionally underrepresented groups of students.
[B]oth socially advantaged and disadvantaged students benefited from the exercise [reading and writing about belonging], relative to control groups. Among minority and first-generation students, in particular, though, participation in the exercise correlated with significantly increased continuous enrollment over the next two academic years. Participants also reported greater feelings of academic and social fit.
If you’re interested in learning more about the specific intervention, the authors of the study have shared the details here.
Online College Classes Should Have No More Than 12 Students shares research that shows it takes longer to prepare for online classes, longer to deliver feedback and assess student work - particularly if an instructor is giving any type of writing assignments - and it’s overall more time-consuming to work with online students. The authors of the study examined time spent on: “actual delivery of instruction,” proctoring and assessing exams, and providing “counseling and advisement” for students. Their conclusion? Online undergraduate courses should have no more than 12 students, with an in-person cap of 18.
Although this article references many different challenges faced by families trying to remote learn and work at home, I was particularly struck by the almost 20% of students who reported using a cell phone to complete their school work.
While the survey was administered to K12 families and educators (50,000 students, 11,889 teachers, 33,182 parents and 580 school principals), not post-secondary students, given that so many of our students may be competing with family members for access to a device and/or time online to complete remote classes in the fall, looking at the survey results is enlightening.
Join a discussion on experiential learning & high impact practices (HIP) in the HyFlex/hybrid classroom with the Student Opportunity Center - July 29th at 2pm.
Community College Showcase: Are you Student Ready? on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 from 9:30am-5:30pm (EST) hosted online by the Ed.D. in Community College Leadership program at New Jersey City University.
Thanks for reading!