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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Online Human Touch: High & Low Tech Strategies to Personalize the Online Student Experience

Kristen Betts (Drexel University, USA)
Karyn Holt (Drexel University, USA)
James D. Dvorak (Oklahoma Christian University, USA)
Bucky Dodd (University of Central Oklahoma, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 11:45am
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Theory/Conceptual Framework
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere E3
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 1

Online Human Touch is a conceptual framework for personalizing the online experience for students. This session shares/demonstrates innovative low and high tech strategies for engagement.

Extended Abstract

The long-term sustainability of online programs is highly dependent upon student retention and completion. Today, online competition is just one click away so online programs must proactively address retention throughout student enrollment. Online Human Touch (OHT) is a conceptual framework developed to engage students from point of first contact throughout the student lifecycle. There are five areas of research that inform the OHT conceptual framework: (1) Student Engagement, (2) Community Development, (3) Personalized Communication, (4) Work-Integrated Learning, and (5) Data Driven Decision-Making.

This session will share and demonstrate OHT low and high tech strategies to personalize the online student experience. Presenters will showcase replicable OHT strategies, also referred to as High Touch strategies, that support student engagement (online open house and blended open house events, interactive orientations), community development (program/institution initiatives- onboarding, student support, campus and alumni engagement), personalized communication (directors, advisors, instructors), work-integrated learning (assignments, student generated content) and data-driven decision-making (enrollment data, formative/summative data). Low and high tech strategies include the use of mobile devices, digital media, Padlet, apps (free to low cost), LMS tools, VoiceThread, video (free to low cost), and video conferencing (free to low cost). Attendees will receive a detailed list of OHT strategies with low and high tech resources. Attendees will be invited to share OHT low and high strategies from their programs/institutions that will be shared collectively following the conference.

Lead Presenter
Kristen Betts

Dr. Kristen Betts is a Clinical Professor in the EdD Program in Educational Leadership & Management in the School of Education at Drexel University. She has 20 years of experience in higher education serving in key leadership positions within private, public, and for-profit institutions. Dr. Betts’ expertise is in higher education, online and blended learning, curriculum and instructional design, strategic planning, and evaluation. Dr. Betts publishes and presents nationally and internationally on critical issues in higher education, online and blended learning, neuropedagogy, neuro-instructional design, accreditation, accessibility, student/faculty recruitment and retention, eStudent Affairs, eAdvising, Online Human Touch, alternative instructional equivalency, and faculty development. Dr. Betts serves as a conference reviewer for several national and international associations and councils. She is a Quality Matters certified peer reviewer and she has also been a reviewer for eleven journals and publishers. Dr. Betts has received distinguished national awards for her work in higher education and online learning including the CITE 2015 Award by Pearson for Excellence in Online Administration. Dr. Betts has also been a keynote speaker at conferences and government-supported events in Sweden, South Korea, Canada, and across the United States.

Karyn Holt

Karyn Holt, Ph.D., CNM, is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Online Quality at Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia, PA. She is an Advanced Practice Nurse in the field of nurse midwifery(CNM) earning her Masters in Nursing at Georgetown University and her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Touro University, New York. She has over thirty years experience in the maternal child arena practicing in most areas of the specialty as a nurse, and later as a nurse midwife. She is an experienced midwife, author, presenter, teacher and online professor. Dr. Holt also the Director of Online Quality within the Division of Nursing. Dr. Holt is an experienced nurse midwife, author, presenter, teacher and online professor. She is also the Director of Online Quality within the College of Nursing, and a charter appointee by Drexel University as one of eight University Online Fellows. Dr. Holt works with this team to develop, demonstrate and share strategies that will increase the quality of the design, delivery and outcomes of online, hybrid, and enhanced face-to-face classes at Drexel University.

Jim Dvorak

Dr. Jim Dvorak is Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor of Biblical Greek and New Testament, and the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Oklahoma Christian University. In addition to holding a Ph.D. in Biblical Greek and Linguistics, Jim also has a graduate degree in education and human development and has earned a certificate in online teaching from OLC. More importantly, Jim has been married to his wife Celeste for 21 years and they have two children, Sydney and Hagan. Favorite apps: Evernote (hands down #1), Explain Everything, and any of the Google Apps.

Bucky Dodd

Bucky Dodd, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of eLearning and Innovations at the Center for eLearning and Customized Education at the University of Central Oklahoma. His research focuses on modeling learning environments, visual design for learning and instruction, and instructional design innovation. Dr. Dodd has consulted with corporate, government, and higher education organizations and has been recognized internationally for his research and instructional design expertise. Dr. Dodd is an alumni of the Online Learning Consortium Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning and Educause Breakthrough Model Academy and serves as a reviewer for the Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Awards. Dr. Dodd maintains an active research and innovation agenda and is a frequent workshop facilitator and conference presenter.