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Online Instructional Strategies for the Nontraditional Student

#Twitter: 
#OnlineInstructionalStrategies
Presenter(s)
Colita Nichols Fairfax (Norfolk State University, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 2:30pm
Track: 
HBCU Innovations (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Featured Session
Location: 
Southern Hemisphere III
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Session: 
Concurrent Session 8
Virtual Session
Abstract

Online learning is the instructional modality of choice among Xers and Millennials. These online students have completed an associate's degree, or have had a military career, and have employment and family responsibilities, therefore convenience is desired throughout degree attainment. At Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), online offerings are growing. In fact, at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia, 48% of the student population took online courses in 2014-2015 school year, even though HBCUs only account for 2% of higher education institutions (Flowers, et. al., 2012).

Extended Abstract

Online learning is the instructional modality of choice among Xers and Millennials. These online students have completed an associate's degree, or have had a military career, and have employment and family responsibilities, therefore convenience is desired throughout degree attainment. At Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), online offerings are growing. In fact, at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia, 48% of the student population took online courses in 2014-2015 school year, even though HBCUs only account for 2% of higher education institutions (Flowers, et. al., 2012). Yet, those students who drop out of these courses are finding themselves unprepared to meet the demands of course while balancing the demands of their lives. So while the literature suggests that students who participate in online learning are academically superior, the literature doesn't investigate the percentage of students who do not prevail (Jaggars, 2011). Technical difficulty with blackboard is the least likely reason for the nontraditional student to continue in the course. Not being connected to the campus community, misunderstanding the time management reality of adhering to blackboard responsibilities, reading and studying, intellectual development responsibilities with regards to theoretical, historical and conceptual content mastery, and social isolation and stress are chief reasons for the nontraditional student to either withdraw from or fail the course. This lecture introduces instructional strategies for the nontraditional student, without compromising content mastery and student outcomes, while providing some of the cultural variables of the HBCU experience in the online course experience.

Bibliography:
Flowers, L. O., White, E. N., Raynor, J.E., & Bhattacharya, S. (2012). African American Students' Participation in Online Distance Education in STEM Disciplines: Implications for HBCUs, SAGE Open, 1-5.
Jaggars, S. S. (2011). Online Learning: Does It Help Low-Income and Unprepared Students, CCRC Working Paper No. 26, Accessed at http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/online-learning-help-st..., May 16, 2015.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax is an Associate Professor and Honors College Liaison in The Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work at Norfolk State University. She has engaged distance education learning since 2007. Her research has focused on African philosophy in socio-historical and community systems, in areas of marriage, women roles and ideology in the community development. In fact, she has researched the development of community systems in Hampton, Virginia, focusing particularly on the evolution of African American community, given the storied history of Black people in Hampton. Fairfax also examines the contributions of African American women throughout the state of Virginia. She has written several articles, reviews, chapters and a book entitled Hampton, Virginia, (2005) published by Arcadia Publishing, and edited book entitled Social Work, Marriage and Ethnicity: Policy and Practice, to debut this August (2015) by Taylor and Francis Books.

She was named Eminent Scholar at Norfolk State University in 2012. In 2014, she was inducted as an honorary member into the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Dr. Fairfax earned the Doctor of Philosophy and the Master of Arts in African American Studies from Temple University. She earned the Master of Social Work from Rutgers University and, the Bachelor of Social Work from Howard University. She is also a certified online instructor, through E-LERN.