Integrating Technology to Increase COI within First Year Experience for New / Transfer Adult Learners

Student-Generated Content
Author Information
Linda C Algozzini, Instructor
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
American Public University System
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

This author currently teaches a foundations course for new/transfer first year students entering an open access, asynchronous online university. The course is standardized and has a set design model, which cannot be altered or added to. Changes are not allowed to the syllabus, lesson content or instructional flow of the course.

The course requires a level of proficiency with information literacy skills for reading, writing and written communication. Scaffold learning activities are present to facilitate the construction of a final APA research study by course end. However, the past two years have noted a change in students who enter the university and are required to take the foundations course. Students exhibit a wide range of proficiency from those exhibiting deficit literacy skills, lack of self-regulation, to a large majority of students lacking the meta-cognitive practices to reflect and think about their own thinking in order to shift from old paradigms to new. The learning activities maintain the scaffold purpose but students miss connections and relevancy with the content and seek further clarification to internalize their understanding.

There always seems to be something lacking in getting the students comfortable with LMS / navigation; ability to engage in critical thinking; frustration with the utilization of the APA style of writing; or inability to produce quality work from the expected learning activities.

Thus, a need was determined. This author set out to explore mobile/tablet apps and multimedia tools to find simple, yet effective options, which would provide value added resources to a standardized course design. The primary goal was to ensure that each of the Community of Inquiry (COI) presences were provided to enhance:
1. Building a community of learners
2. Engagement/collaboration with the content
3. Feedback
4. Support access
5. Student satisfaction
6. Increase retention
7. Meaningful learning experience for all students enrolled

The value added resources could be added to the front of forum (discussion board), the forum Q & A, classroom messages, and announcements. No other areas within the LMS could be altered.

The primary focus of the exploration was to determine the instructional use of each digital tool based upon the category criteria (practice, communication, content creation, assessment, collaboration and presentation). The intent was to align to weekly objectives and expected level(s) of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The desired outcome from the value added resource integration would be to encourage student understanding and proficiency with the content while increasing instructor presences for social, teaching and cognitive within instructional delivery. In addition the value added resources would provide exposure to media literacy (Core competency for 21st Century Learning).

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Description of the Effective Practice
Week 1
Forum 1 Through the Years with Mrs. A --Animoto Family Video with Bio (My model for forum and visual introduction to my family)

Webcam Opening Welcome Video inserted as a reply to every student’s Who am I? Initial post (This video greets and outlines expectations for students as they begin the course)

Week 2
Forum 2 Bulldog VOKI--(60 second instructional frame on how to cull out information from the research and place on the attached framework sheets to support the use of paraphrasing (prep for research writing)

Week 3
Forum 3 Blooming Up to Critical Thinking VOKI--(60 second instructional frame on using Bloom’s for forum replies to peers. Written Bloom’s question stems also added under the VOKI as guides to effectively respond with Blooms


Week 4
Forum 4 Research WORDLE

Week 5
Forum 5 Topic Style Show Me IPad App Screen Cast APA Citation (Whiteboard Demo on APA citation)

Thesis Development Links; generators and slide show

Forum 5 Case Study

Week 8
Forum 8 Closing Webcam Video- (Summary of course, key learning’s and the continued use of reflective practice)

Pre Announcement
Screen cast video for navigation (Skitch screenshot and Screencast-o-matic tool to provide an interactive guide to navigation and access for the Sakai LMS)

Q & A SECTION –Posts Serve as Answers to FAQ

NAVIGATION SCREENCAST GUIDE (Created from IPad Explain Everything App and Telligami)

FORUMS-VIDEO EXPECTATIONS (Animoto Video on Week 1 Expectations/Examples which used ppt slides within video)

HOW TO’S-ADD VIDEO VOKI TO FORUMS (VOKI intro on how to add a voki or video the forums or LMS)

RESEARCH STAGE ONE-WEEKS 4, 5, & 6 VIDEO (Animoto video with ppt slides on gathering information, MindMap and thesis development)

RESEARCH GRAPHIC PROGRESSION OF ASSIGNMENTS TO FINAL PAPER (Info graphic created to visualize the progression of weeks learning activities to the final paper)

RESEARCH WEEK 4 GATHERING INFORMATION (Powerpoint slide with Audacity vocal track)

RESEARCH WEEK 4 OUTLINE/MINDMAP (Powerpoint slide with Audacity vocal track)

RESEARCH WEEK 4 THESIS DEVELOPMENT (Powerpoint slide with Audacity vocal track)


Week 3 Personal Essay
Sound Cloud Interactive Voice Guide to understanding the grading for the essay

Educreations IPad App Visual and audio screencast guide for understanding grading
for essay

Week 5 Assignment 8 Reference Page
Webcam Video with Audio interactive guide to understanding the grading of the scaffold reference page assignment

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

At the present time there is no quantitative data available. I have been piloting and beta testing the digital tools that are simple and easy to embed within our Sakai LMS for the COLL 100 division to roll out and train faculty on various tools to create and implement as value added resources within their COLL 100 courses. Since I began a year and a half ago students have commented on how it helped their understanding to hear my voice or to see and hear me demonstrating a concept. Since I have been sending out the navigation interactive screencast two days prior to any course opening I have had less emails with students being overwhelmed and not able to find their way. Each of the digital tools have reduced the emails on clarifying as students are generated to the tool first and then requested to come back to the message center if they need more. This has not only supported the students but overall has reduced my workload management. All emails are archived in our classroom message center and are ready for the IFR to capture and sort by data topic. The tools are logged and ready for the university to attempt to utilize some data analytics when ready.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

The tools were provided to support an increase in learning effectiveness, access, faculty satisfaction, and student satisfaction.
Students need to feel comfortable within their LMS or they will not be ready to take a risk with collaborating and engaging with their peers or instructor. In order to increase retention and prevent early withdrawals or drops student need to feel as if they are in control of their learning and understanding the content to the point that their proficiency is adequate to advanced. They need to enjoy what they are engaged in and that cannot be accomplished when they are overwhelmed or worried. Faculty are judged on their effectiveness and their COI data scores which are directly aligned to student surveys on the course and the instructor interactions with them.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Webcam, Computers, Ipad
Sound Cloud, Vocarro, Youtube, Animoto, Screencast-o-matic Voki, Tellagami sites
Ipad Screencast apps: Show Me, Explain Everything, Educreations, bContext,
Skitch screen shot Ipad app

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

To date, my costs have been with my Ipad Air, Macbook Air and IMac computers. Any computer or tablet device can be used as well as the equivalent apps for screen casting, screen shot, webcam etc. All of the sites that I currently use are the free versions and provide date storage except for Vocaroo.

I am currently beta testing Voice thread which would involve a cost.

References, supporting documents: 

I recently completed my Sloan Teaching Certificate program on November 25, 2013 with a specialization in Online Tools.
I will upload my three Eportfolio forms for the Online tools specialization.
In addition I will add my final portfolio Powerpoint presentation that was part of my final portfolio live session. During this session I provided a guided tour of the course I designed along with integration of digital tools.

Other Comments: 

My powerpoint could not be uploaded as it stated I exceeded the 2MB requirement. I will provide if the committee would like to see it.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Dr. Amy Peterson
Email this contact:
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Dr. Angela Gibson
Email contact 2: