We are proud to announce new opportunities to join a faculty learning community (FLC) this spring. A faculty learning community is a peer-led group of faculty members who engage in an active, collaborative, year-long program, structured to provide encouragement, support, and reflection.
As the CTL enters its fourth year of hosting FLCs, we want to challenge those that have not participated in one. Joining an FLC places you as a Change Representative for teaching and learning at Forsyth Tech. We hope that you find interest in serving as a change representative by advancing one of the following initiatives:
Supporting our Students by designing interventions to positively impact student persistence, retention and completion
Advancing the philosophy of Universal Design and Accessibility by developing a platform that emphasizes universal design and equity in access as opposed to ADA-compliance
Championing Quality Matters by piloting the a Blackboard template and adopting the its rubric to enhance course design.
Develop a Quality Matters Faculty Mentor program to help onboard faculty members as early adopters.
Registration is open. Visit our Voices site to read more about each FLC and incentives for joining based on elgibility. Why would you want to be an FLC Participant? Click here to learn more. Apply by November 7th.
Online courses pose both opportunities and challenges for student retention. Some of the challenges in retaining online students is to keep them engaged and connected with the different learning environment experience. Studies show that “student’s dropout because of:
Feelings of isolation, frustration and disconnection;
Failure to make contact with faculty;
Inadequate contact with students by faculty; and
Lack of clarity in instructional direction or expectations” (Lehman & Conceicao, 2014)
To better support students, The Center for Transformative Learning recommends that instructors create a welcome announcement prior to the start of each semester. Not only will this allow students to know that they are in the correct course and semester, but also, it will provide a way for the student to be introduced to their instructor and learn expectations.
We recommend the follow components be included in the announcement:
Current course name and semester. For example, “Welcome to Intro to Business, Fall 2016”
Brief instructor introduction
Provide simple orientation to the course; briefly explain what they will find under each menu item
Provide a link to the course entry assignment and some description of what they are to do. The video (see below) explains how to create an announcement, which includes using the Course Link Feature
By including these items in a welcoming announcement to each course, instructors will be engaging with their students from the very beginning of the semester. It would be the hope that by making this connection, students will feel more engaged and motivated to stay in their online courses.
Lehman, R. M., & Conceicao, S. C. (2014). Motivating and Retaining Online Students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.