Equality for Online Students
100% Online Course Completion – A Westminster College Case Study -
Remember your favorite class in college? Odds are that the most important factor in your fondness for that class was your connection with your professor. Other important factors were probably interaction with your classmates and how successful you were in the class. What if your only communication with that same professor was via email and telephone? What if you were completely isolated from your classmates? What if your odds of completing the course were only 65%. Unfortunately, the latter is the experience of most online students.
Online education is in high demand and growing at a rapid rate. Over 40% of today’s college students have taken at least one online class. There are many reasons to celebrate the growth of online education, particularly the accessibility afforded to many students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to college. Unfortunately, too many online environments don’t provide students with the same level of access to services and connection to their campuses as “traditional” learning environments.
By providing online students the ability to initiate contact with their academic support teams, substantial increases in learning outcomes are happening as evidenced by Westminster College’s English Professor, Katy Evans. Dr. Evans conducted an A/B test with two sections of the same online writing composition course. In Course A, Cranium Cafe meetings were a mandatory component of the course. In Course B, Dr. Evans relied on her traditional tools for online student interaction of email and telephone.
“I felt so out of touch with them,” said Dr. Evans when referring to course B, “I don’t know what any of them looked like. I didn’t know if they were loving or hating it…They just sort of slipped away and I had no way of pulling them back in,” she continued. Only 65% of students in Course B completed the course and 19% of the students provided negative feedback, primarily relating to feelings of isolation.
Referring to Course A, Dr. Evans said, “Everyone was really engaged on the discussion board, and whenever I talked with them in the Cafe and about their papers, they always talked about how appreciative they were of feeling like they were part of a community.” 100% of the students in Course A completed the course and there were 0 negative comments.
Cranium Cafe was able to transform the experience for Dr. Evans and her students from one of isolation, frustration, and limited success to an engaging, connected, highly successful class with all of the components of your favorite class from college: Connection with your professor, Interaction with your classmates, and successfully completing the course.
Download the Westminster College Case Study
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