Access to Quality Skills Practice and Formative Assessment
York Technical College is a public, two-year institution of higher education that provides a range of associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates for students in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Committed to providing students with the best learning experience, the institution has focused on reimagining the online student experience.
York Technical College offers a variety of learning methods, including a HyFlex model and asynchronous learning options, but they had a few manual administration processes that weren’t efficient for students. The ITE at York Technical College was challenged to improve student engagement, feedback and assessment quality, and provide a learning experience directly correlating to successful course completion. A holistic approach was used to review and refine the experience for learners, ensuring students are engaging in an environment that is inclusive, flexible, and accessible.
Providing Engaging Courses for Student Outcomes
To support student engagement in courses, the ITE launched a campus-wide Kaltura integration, creating the opportunity for instructors and students to interact through videos, virtual class meetings and video quizzes. The integration has been a success in supporting course engagement, with 4,003 unique users in Kaltura, 56,009 videos watched and 525,789 minutes viewed in the past year.
“In the math department at York Tech, we found the Kaltura integration and faculty development courses very useful to our ongoing innovation in student success efforts. We are currently undertaking an effort to make every course at least 98% accessible, and we are using the HTML templates to accomplish this,” says JR Richardson, department chair of math.
Capturing student growth and learning competencies was supported with a new course design to include learning outcomes clearly displayed for students. The ePortfolio tool was implemented to capture skills learned, while badges and certificates allow students to celebrate milestones. Within an ePortfolio, students record growth and progress with artifacts. They can easily showcase their learning and skills to assist them in job searches. The gamification of learning was an inclusive way for students to have recognition in milestones throughout their courses.
An awesome feature in Brightspace are the competencies and learning outcomes for students. This helps track students’ progress throughout the semester. I really liked the learning paths that were added into the course redesign. The accessibility scores for the classes that have been redesigned are at a minimum of 98%, but most of my courses have 100% accessibility now, all thanks to the ITE department for the new course designs, HTML templates, pathways, gadgets and the overall ease of access that they bring to the students.Amanda Stevens, Welding Instructor.
Supporting Faculty with Integration Tools
The ITE recognized that many of the online courses needed authentic instructor-created materials to meet the direct instruction requirement and provide an equitable experience in online courses to their traditional counterparts. For this reason, the ITE piloted Creator+ and integrated new tools such as S3, iSpring Suite Max, and Articulate Rise 360 into select Brightspace courses. These tools allowed faculty to reach students in an online environment with a more interactive and responsive format, which included grading formative assessments and providing quality student performance data, enabling faculty to intervene earlier in support of student success. Creator+ empowered faculty to design interactive lessons and formative assessments within their own courses.
The ITE set up extensive training opportunities both online and in person for faculty and department heads so they could access and analyze the data to provide more timely intervention and support to students who may be struggling. There is now an on-demand professional development site with 100 course offerings and 231 users across campus, including both faculty and staff.
To address the lag in student enrollment and unenrollment from live courses, the ITE integrated Brightspace with Colleague. With the integration, student registration and deregistration will populate in Brightspace automatically within one hour of the process being initiated. This integration reduced the previous six-to-twelve-hour lag in student registration, deregistration and course creation process to one hour.
The D2L integrations and tools have resulted in more accessible content for learners, more consistent navigation, increased engagement and interaction, and the ability for instructors to create interesting learning experiences for students. ITE is also leveraging data available through integrations to empower faculty to track student progress more closely and see what tools are being used most frequently in their courses.
“The ITE has provided tremendous training opportunities for faculty, particularly in the area of introducing new educational technology. In my [science] department, we’ve used our training from the ITE to bring new life into our courses, especially those that are taught online,” says Dr. Jennifer Morgan, department chair of science. “Some of the projects they have supported include converting all online lab activities from static word documents into HTML pages that contain interactive links and full color resources that students can use; creating a digital safety training workshop that issues certificates upon completion, helping us maintain Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance; assessing and correcting accessibility issues in all of our courses to make them inclusive and accessible for all students; and using Kaltura media to provide engaging announcements, short lessons and instruction videos for students. The work done by this team to support faculty and students is nothing short of remarkable!” concludes Morgan.