Opening New Doors: Using Online Distance Education to Attract (and by HC121104113812

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									 Opening New Doors: Using
Online Distance Education to
  Attract (and Keep) New
          Students
   Comments at the UNL Luncheon for
   National Distance Education Week
                 2011

 Mark L. Parker
 University of Maryland University College
          OVERVIEW
• Yes, you can!
• Lessons Learned by UMUC
• The Power of Online DL
• The Challenges
• Parker’s Principles
• The Big Questions for You
• Q&A
          YOUR GOAL
• 5,500 new UNL students by 2017
• And, this has to be accomplished in an
  environment characterized by:
 • Increased competition
 • Increased oversight & regulation
 • Rapid changes in technology
 • Economic uncertainty
       THE GOOD NEWS
You can achieve your goal, because:
a) It’s been achieved before, and
b) You’re already doing a lot of the
   right things
In fact, you can not only achieve your
goal (attracting the new students) but
   exceed it (by retaining them and
         ensuring their success)
     UMUC’s EXPERIENCE
• In FY 2006, total worldwide
  headcount was 84,188
• In FY 2011, it was 96,342
• Also note the following:
 • % Online of Total Enrollments in FY
   2006: 59%
 • % Online of Total Enrollments in FY
   2011: 74%
      LESSONS LEARNED?
• Online distance learning is an
  enterprise function of the institution.
• The demand for access to higher
  education opportunities continues to
  increase.
• For the moment, online is the most
  powerful distance learning paradigm
  available to the academy.
 THE TRUE POWER OF ONLINE
    DISTANCE LEARNING
• Our online students are:
 • Median age = 32 y.o.
 • 58% Female
 • 46% Underrepresented Minorities
   • 35% African American
 • 14% Speakers of ESL/EFL
 • 50% (U/G) First-in-Family University
   Students
 • 92% Working at least P/T
 THE TRUE POWER OF ONLINE
    DISTANCE LEARNING
   Allows institutions to serve students who
  might otherwise be unable to participate in
                higher education
• Working adults
• Persons who don’t live within a reasonable
  commuting distance of a 4-year higher
  education institution
 • Including community college graduates
         THE CHALLENGES
• Nature of online students themselves:
 • P/T, working, at a distance, varying levels
   of academic preparation, culturally
   diverse
• Constant, rapid change:
 • Technology, oversight, the economy
• Competition
• Costs
       Parker’s Principles
for attracting new students through the
  use of online teaching & learning:
• Congruence with mission
• Support services
• Technology infrastructure
• Institution-wide commitment
• Realistic expectations
   Your success to date suggests you have
               these down cold.
      Parker’s Principles
for keeping the students you’ve attracted
  (in other words, for retaining them):
• Outcomes-focused courses/programs
• Student engagement (with the curriculum
  & with the institution)
• Ongoing innovation (technology and
  pedagogy)
• Assessment/measurement leading to
  continuous quality improvement
   FOCUS ON OUTCOMES
• What it is that students should know (or
  know how to do) upon completion of the
  course/program?
• How are students demonstrating that
  knowledge/ability to faculty &
  administrators?
• Have the outcomes and means of
  assessment been chosen with the
  characteristics of online students in
  mind?
   STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
• Are students expected to be active in the
  learning process?
• Do online students feel a connection with
  the institution (e.g. communication,
  advising)?
• Do online students have access to the
  appropriate support services (e.g. writing
  center)?
          INNOVATION
• Are you staying as close to the global
  technology environment as possible (e.g.
  mobile devices?)
• Are you taking advantage of early-
  adopter faculty and staff?
• Are you conducting research into
  effective online pedagogy & human-
  computer interaction?
• Are you funneling the results back into
  practice?
ASSESSMENT/MEASUREMENT
• Are you assessing student learning
  outcomes (and using the results for
  quality improvement)?
• Are you measuring rates of persistence
  and success (and using the results for
  quality improvement)?
• Are you measuring the effectiveness of
  your support services?
          BOTTOM LINE?
• It costs more to recruit a new online
  student than to retain an existing one.
• We in the academy (and especially those
  of us in online distance ed) are under
  increasing scrutiny and pressure to
  demonstrate pedagogical and financial
  effectiveness.
• We compete with organizations that may
  not hold to the same standards we do.
      AN OUTSIDER’S VIEW
• UNL can achieve its growth goal.
• You (in online teaching & learning) have
  the potential to make a significant
  contribution to the achievement of that
  goal.
• Keep doing what you’re doing so well,
  and be open to innovation and change.
• Never lose sight of the tremendous value
  of what you do.
I wish you great success in
 opening those new doors!

     QUESTIONS?

								
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