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VIRTUAL CLASSROOM COMMITTEE PLANNING RETREAT September 30, 2005 Present: Michael Akard, Iris Carroll, Jim Clarke, Deanne Dalrymple, Kimberly Manner, Jim McGarry, Jenny Netto, George Railey, Chad Redwing Minutes: Melissa Beach Absent: Susie Agostini, Pam Guerra-Schmidt, Susan Kerr, Laura Maki, Joanne Nielson, Gina Rose Discussion Action By & Due Date Kimberly Manner introduced herself as our new VCC Chair. She handed out student and faculty Online Handbooks to all members and requested members to stress to their students/other faculty the importance of having these books. Committee members introduced themselves. Opening Communication: Committee members discussed the “New Guest Student” that has been added to their online class rosters for the Accreditation Team Visit’s ability to access these classes. Kimberly shared faculty concerns that had been expressed to her. Committee members noted that communication regarding online matters has not always been forthcoming. It was decided that improved communication should be one of our goals for the year. Item 1. Student Needs: After much discussion about student needs, it Add to survey “what technology students Committee was determined that our sense of student needs are using.” is only anecdotal. It was determined that we should conduct a formal needs assessment Create a “What It’s Like In Online Classes” survey, as well as a demographic analysis of handout for orientations (Tabled) online students, in order to meet actual, rather than perceived, student needs. Participate in “Spring Fling” in April (Tabled) Some perceived student needs the committee Review tri-fold brochure “Online Learning” has identified preliminarily include: (Tabled) 1. Retention—Jim Clarke reported that our retention rate for online and hybrid classes last semester was 70%. It was noted that this is a marked improvement over previous semesters. 2. Phone/internet hybrid—Chad Redwing raised the possibility of using telephone conferencing to improve retention. George Railey shared that MJC now has a conference system available to anyone with an IP address. 3. Orientations—The issue of the timing of online orientations was brought up. Some suggestions for improving attendance at the orientations included: Summers in the Community, Online page in Class schedule, Hold session in Forum on projector (for those students VIRTUAL CLASSROOM COMMITTEE PLANNING RETREAT September 30, 2005 without computers), involve ASMJC. This discussion was tabled pending the results of the student survey. 4. The importance of helping students understand the Online Wait List process was discussed. Jim Clarke reported that students are supposed to be added automatically into classes from the waitlist if an opening becomes available before the semester starts. Committee members said that this did not happen in the Fall 2005 semester. 5. The issue of MJC-provided email accounts for all students was raised Write Senate resolution re: providing all K. Manner & again. One problem is that the form for students with email accounts. G. Railey (10/10) the online add card does not verify that the email address submitted is an actual email address (with domain name). It was decided that the committee would propose a resolution regarding this matter to the Senate. 6. Several outreach activities were suggested. This discussion was tabled pending the results of the student survey. Email faculty regarding Evaluation Tool. K. Manner Item 2. Faculty Needs – (10/10) 1. Awareness of students’ limited access Email faculty regarding asking for K. Manner to technology. evaluators. (10/10) 2. Be reasonably evaluated in online classes. VCC Chair to IAC to discuss faculty K. Manner 3. Training on WebCT. evaluation and online issues. 4. Communication regarding upgrade and opportunities. G. Railey & Talk to IT about hardware needs for new 5. Needs assessment. J. Clarke (10/10) WebCT. 6. Outreach to faculty who might be interested in teaching online. 7. Outreach to faculty at large so they understand online instruction. Item 3. Institutional Needs 1. More online classes (both sections and courses leading to degrees/certificates). Research classes we lack now for certificates/AA/AS/Transfer. 2. Quality of online classes. 3. Ongoing budgetary commitment. 4. Instructional designer. 5. PR/Marketing a. Perception of online classes- showcase an online student on MJC home page. VIRTUAL CLASSROOM COMMITTEE PLANNING RETREAT September 30, 2005 b. Place brochures where students will find them. 6. Partnering with Columbia College. Other: Distance Ed Consultant - George Railey discussed the new technologies in Distance Education and mentioned a consultant is coming to the ITC meeting on 10/10/05, 10:30- 12 in Conference Room A to share new software. All VCC members are invited to attend this meeting. Online Help Desk - George Railey stated Bring Online Help Desk call log of problems G. Railey Joanne Larson is now manning the Online Help to VCC Desk 40 hours per week and keeping a log of all problems. Software, access and minimum hardware needs continue to be a problem for some students. Distance Education – George Railey shared the USDA Grant made it possible to purchase $300,000 worth of video/teleconferencing equipment in Patterson, W. Campus, E. Campus, Columbia College, Calaveras, MeWuk Tribe, Tuolumne County Office of Education. (1.2 million grant.) He suggested VCC look into other grant opportunities. Next Meeting – Monday, 10/10/05, 1:00pm- Please bring two questions for the student Committee 2:00pm, MJC East, Morris Conference Room B. survey to the next VCC meeting. Subsequent meetings this semester: Monday, 11/7/05, 1-2 p.m. Monday, 12/12/05, 1-2 p.m.
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