From the Institutional Research and Planning Department comes this example of using technology to engage students:
Just as technology opens doors for careers, it broadens avenues for engaging students. There are so many competing demands for students’ time — work, child care, commuting, and other responsibilities — that our opportunities for engaging students are limited. Finding new ways to engage students is critical.
We all are accustomed to using technology more to conduct day-to-day business, and GRCC is no exception. We are taking advantage of technological advances to better engage our students by extending our interaction with them.
The following table shows the extent to which GRCC students are using technology to support their learning. These results are from the 2009 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) administered to a random sample of 1100 GRCC credit students last March.
In the current school year, about how often have you done each of the following? (% answering “often” or “very often”) GRCC Students 2009 CCSSE Benchmark Used the internet or instant messaging to work on an assignment 66% 65% Used email to communicate with an instructor 49% 51% Used social networking tools to communicate with other students, instructors, or college staff about coursework at GRCC 69% 63% Used course management systems to communicate with other students, instructors, or college staff about coursework at GRCC 89% 66%
GRCC students are using such social networking tools as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Text Messaging. When asked whether these tools were used multiple times a day or week, 79% of GRCC students said “Yes.” Yet when asked the extent to which GRCC used social networking tools to communicate information about such college services as financial aid, advising/counseling, library, bookstore, or tutoring, 44% of students responded “never.” This gap represents an opportunity for GRCC administrators.
GRCC is well positioned to enhance communication for tutoring, library, advising/counseling, and other services through using tools such as Wimba Pronto. Pronto provides instant messaging, audio chat, web video conferencing, application sharing, and whiteboard technology that can be leveraged for tutoring, office hours, and remote library assistance and more. This Fall, several tutorial labs offered weekend tutoring hours to help meet the needs of students on the weekends.
The college has also recently integrated text messaging into Blackboard, using a system called Rave Wireless. This system provides students with the ability to receive announcements, grades, assignments, and calendar events that are posted in their Blackboard courses by text message. Finally, in addition to the College’s Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook page, students can receive Blackboard course updates and announcements within Facebook using an application called CourseFeed.
When it comes to using course management systems, GRCC appears far ahead of other colleges nationally. Course management systems are used by faculty and students to communicate, share content, manage assignments, and exchange grade information. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of GRCC students reporting using these technologies compared with 66% of students in the national sample. GRCC data reinforces what students are reporting. For Winter, 2009 a total of 1555 classes at GRCC utilized the Blackboard content management system to at least some extent.
Blackboard is an effective and efficient tool for my studies. As a non-traditional, non-degree seeking student, the on-line format Blackboard offers allows me to tailor the class work to my schedule. The system is quickly learned, easily navigated and a breeze to use. As I consider future courses for my continuing studies, I certainly would look for on-line courses first.
Pingback: Fall 2009 Student & Faculty Blackboard Survey Results « Eric Kunnen’s GRCC Blog