Monday, January 21, 2013

MCCC Online Course Recommendations

Greetings, MCCC online and blended instructors:

As some of you may already know, the withdrawal rate for MCCC online courses runs nearly 6% higher on average when compared to the traditional on-ground course withdrawal rate. There are several possible reasons for the higher withdrawal rate in online courses, such as: change in work or home situation, the online format didn’t suit the students’ learning style, the students didn’t have the necessary skill set for online coursework, etc. Some of these factors are obviously beyond our control; however, some of the factors could be positively influenced by course design and instructional approach.  To this end, I recommend the following:
  •  Ensure that your online course is clearly organized and easy to navigate. (eLearning tips: Ask a colleague to look at your course from a new student perspective to see if it is intuitively organized. Limit the number of links on your Course Menu to 10 and arrange them in alphabetical order)
  • Clearly communicate your overall course objectives and individual assignment, assessment and lecture unit learning objectives so that students clearly understand where they need to focus. (eLearning tips: List overall course objectives on syllabus and individual assignment, assessment and lecture unit learning objectives within the instructions for each).
  • Help online students feel connected, as opposed to solitary, by using the discussion board to facilitate instructor-student and student-student discussions (eLearning tips: Create a “self-introductions” forum and ask your students to introduce themselves to their classmates. Host weekly discussions on the vital topics of your course).
  • Identify those students that lack the skills, motivation, etc. early on in your course and intervene by encouraging them to contact the eLearning office for additional assistance.
 If you are interested in implementing some of the recommendations above but need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, if you have other recommendations that may help with this issue, I welcome your input.

Have a wonderful semester,


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter 2013 Blackboard and eLearning Information


I hope you had a wonderful break and that your winter 2013 Blackboard course development is going well. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you require any assistance with your Blackboard course. This week, the eLearning and Instructional Support office is hosting several Blackboard information sessions to which you are invited (see details below):

·        Blackboard Open Lab - Monday, January 7th from 2 PM to 6 PM in C8 (Please RSVP by email or phone for individual appointment / or 734-384-4129)
·        Using Blackboard to Supplement Instruction - Tuesday, January 8th from 1 PM to 2 PM in C8 (Please RSVP by email or phone if  you plan to attend the group workshop)
·        Blackboard Open Lab - Tuesday, January 8th from 2 PM to 6 PM in C8 (Please RSVP by email or phone for individual appointment)
·        Blackboard Open Lab - Thursday, January 10th from 2 PM to 6 PM in C8 (Please RSVP by email or phone for individual appointment)

Also, below are numerous links to information related to effective Blackboard course design and utilization. I hope the information provided below is helpful to you. Let me know.

Have a wonderful semester,


Blackboard tutorials

Print-based resources
Additional resources: