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					        Online Academic Advising
                    Mel Chastain, Ph.D.
                Director, Kansas Regents Educational
                      Communications Center
           Interim Associate Vice Provost for Information
                             Technology
                          chastain@ksu.edu
November 6, 2002          WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                    Online Student Services for Distant Learners
    Academic Advising at K-State
• KSU Focus for LAAP Project:
      – At the heart of the advising process
      – Provided diversity among LAAP Partners
      – Seemed to be our strength
• However, you can’t isolate one type of advising:
      – They each relate to the other
      – Decisions made in one arena affect the others


November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
       At K-State, All Academic Advising
                   is NOT the Same
There are differences based upon:
• Discipline
      – Requirements, sequence, performance, time, etc.
• Culture
      – Expectations about reliability, maturity, self-
        direction, motivation, etc.
• Advisor type
      – Full-time staff or Faculty/Researcher/Advisor
November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
        However, this project has led us to
                    (at least)
             one universal truth:

• There is no real difference between
  academic advising for the resident student or
  the distant learner, because, increasingly,
  there is no real difference between the
  resident student and the distant learner.


November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
            In Search of Solutions
• Respect the differences, but concentrate on
  the similarities
• Attack the “data base fiefdoms” (*)
• Use pictures to describe processes
• Select a small group of diverse but
  respected advisors
• Do the work, then let them correct it
November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   The Flow Diagram
              (Academic Advising at Kansas State University)




November 6, 2002            WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                      Online Student Services for Distant Learners
       Unified Modeling Language
• UML helps bridge the gap between subject matter
  experts (SME’s) and software/hardware computer
  professionals (“geeks”)*
     *(Burnie Blakeley, IBM, January, 2001 – Boulder,
     CO)
• Uses three components:
      – Context diagrams (people/system interfaces)
      – Use Case Lists
      – Scenarios


November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   Sample Scenario




November 6, 2002          WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                    Online Student Services for Distant Learners
     A Solution … by the Numbers
1.     Does the desired information exist?
2.     If so, where is it? Will those who “own” the data
       permit access?
3.     Is it in a user-friendly format?
4.     How much data is needed for 80% of the decisions?
5.     Can we agree on that 80%?
6.     Can the programmers create the software to retrieve
       and present the desired report?
7.     Is the end result simple and easy enough for ALL to
       use?

November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
 The Answers … by the Numbers
1.       Student data exists in 17 distinct locations; many
         different administrators.
2.       Most is in DARS (Degree Audit Record System):
     •      proprietary; concerns about program access or modification.
     •      extremely comprehensive, but text-only (DOS-appearing) format.
3.       Administrators authorized middleware interrogation of
         data base systems to produce a consolidated, “user-
         friendly” report.
4.       Academic Advisors agreed on “common core” of
         information to answer 80% of the most common
         academic questions.

November 6, 2002             WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                       Online Student Services for Distant Learners
 The Answers … by the Numbers
5.     “K-State Online” programmers created the software to
       retrieve and present the desired report.
6.     We’re determining now if the end result simple and
       easy enough to use.




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
The “Common” Academic Advising Data
              Sets
• Name, SSN, Address, e-mail, home address, ACT
  scores, photo, phone #
• Major/Option
• Requirements/Taken
• Electives (Restricted & Free)
• Transfer Courses accepted (that apply to Degree)
• Transfer Courses in limbo
• K-State GPA (by semester & overall)
• University General Education Requirements

November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
              Modeling an Approach
                   (Creating a do-able Model)
• Find the DATA ELEMENT common to most
  meaningful advisor/student scenarios
      – At K-State, it’s the transcript
• Model a do-able electronic transcript that
  answers 80% of the “common” questions
  posed to academic advisors



November 6, 2002            WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                      Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   Related Efforts
• Concentrate on the interactive PROCESS for any
  key scenario between the advisor and a distant
  learner
       – At K-State, it’s how the advisor and
         learner “look at and discuss” the
         transcript, deciding what courses to
         take next
• Technology solutions have as their objective the
  duplication of the face-to-face dialog.

November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                        Summary:
• Combining the common DATA ELEMENT with
  the desired PROCESS yields a do-able,
  measurable model with which to test the “proof-
  of-concept” of online academic advising.
• At K-State, the most widely accepted platform for
  combining the DATA ELEMENT with the desired
  PROCESS is our proprietary course management
  system, called:
                        K-State Online
November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   The Solution For KSU …
                   And Perhaps for Others




November 6, 2002          WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                    Online Student Services for Distant Learners
      Advising is a part of the K-State Online
                   Suite of Tools




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
          Access by Students and Advisors is
                 Password Protected




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
   The Instructor View Provides Access                            to
               a Suite of Tools . . .




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
      . . . similar to those found in Blackboard,
               WebCT and other Products




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
             The Advisor can Group Advisees
                 Like Students In a Class




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
            And Configure the Report Format
              to Reveal the Detail Needed




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
              Reports indicate whether or Not
                 Student Data is in DARS




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
        Users have Varying Levels of Access,
            Depending upon their Roles




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   Reports can be Called up
                   by Individual or by Group




November 6, 2002           WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                     Online Student Services for Distant Learners
           Clicking on a Name Reveals Quick
                 Student ID Information




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
    The Complete Report is a Single Scrolled
       Page, Containing the Desired Data




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
  If more detail is needed, clicking on (more)
              links directly to . . .




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                    The DARS Report




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
   The Advisor can Reconfigure the Report
       Layout to meet Specific Needs




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
             To accommodate face-to-face or
            Virtual Interactions with Advisees




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
      Chat Rooms or Message Boards Can be Added
       for Real-Time or Asynchronous Interactions




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
   Course Tools offer the Typical Assortment
     of Interactive and Planning Devices




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
     Templates can be Configured to meet the
     Needs of Specific Colleges/Departments




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
      The Calendar Displays by Activity Type,
         and by Day, Week, Month or Year




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
       The Threaded Message Board Enables
       Interactions With Groups of Advisees




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
     An Online Help Desk Provides Technical
      Support to both Advisor and Student




November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   Where Are We Now?
• Alpha Test model presented to Academic
  Advisors
• Modified following their reaction
• Beta Test model produced
• Training workshops began in Fall 2002



November 6, 2002           WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                     Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   Does It Work?
                          (one example)

• Leigh Cunningham, Arts & Sciences
  Advisor for over 400 Advisees
     – Set up a volunteer “online test group” with 150
       advisees
     – Invitations via e-mail to participate
     – Two opted out, the rest joined
     – Within 24 hours, she had 40 e-mail questions
       based on the online data they found without
       training
November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   What Happens Next?
• Intensive training on Beta Version after
  Thanksgiving Break (heavy advising time)
• Scale up number of Advisors receiving
  training (expand within current Colleges
  first, then include new Colleges)
• Evaluate Process
• Share results with Deans Council, Faculty
  Senate
November 6, 2002           WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                     Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                   Remaining Issues
 • System is “read only”
 • Accusations of security breaches have been made
 • Updates and changes still must be entered via
   existing systems
       – College-based
       – Registrar-based
 • Advisors say without “automatic” updates and
   revisions, the system is of little worth
 • Traditional “turf” battles will have to be waged
   again (middleware solution seems to have best
   chance of success)
November 6, 2002          WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                    Online Student Services for Distant Learners
                          Summary
• There is no question the online system will
  work, and will be accepted by students and
  most advisors
• Traditional resistance persists, but may be
  finessed
• Organizational change in the institution has
  resulted from this project, and will continue
  to occur as the process matures

November 6, 2002         WCET Pre-Conference Tutorial
                   Online Student Services for Distant Learners

				
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