The My Student Success Course session held during the 2017 APAG mini-conference was eye-opening and interactive. Daryl Smith and Sarah Bowers provided an update on the pilots held since fall 2016 and highlighted how they have been working to make this course timely, relevant, and engaging for students.
The attached handout provides a great snapshot including select screenshots that highlight content and features of the course.
The first version of the My Student Success Course was developed in collaboration of content experts and enthusiasts from across the College. Since fall 2016, Curriculum Development Consultants, Sarah Bowers and Carmen Larsen have been working with Daryl Smith and Teresa Brooks to create a dynamic, information-rich course that will help all students become familiar with academic life at Langara. In January 2017, Instructional Assistant, Stuart Folland joined the team to help with the logistics of an online course with over 800 students.
The spring cohort (Biology, WMDD students) worked their way through eight units from Classroom Expectations to What You Need to Know about Plagiarism. This summer, students from Biology, CSIS, LSM, and Modern Languages will take the course.
The course design incorporates best practices that you may want to consider for your course:
- Take advantage of some of the 330 intelligent agents available in Brightspace/D2L (contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more).
- Rather than creating long pages, the team preferred many short pages with most just one screen long (no scrolling).
- Pre-post self-assessment quizzes (student reflections) at the end of each unit are based on the learning outcomes and help students see what they have learned.
- Checklists, interactive polls, comics (!), time management calculators, and videos specific to Langara help engage students with the content.
- Videos are close-captioned, for accessibility — also helpful to all students (principal of Universal Design for Learning).
- Intentional choices in wording and content to avoid culturally- or generationally-specific language and references in order to appeal to/be accessible for a diverse student population.
Session participants were registered into the My Student Success course and could explore the content, multimodal learning environment, and helpful tools available to the students.
Going forward, we are hoping to roll the My Student Success Course out to all students. During the pilot phases, instructors assigned 2.5% of the final grade to the successful completion of this course. Analysis indicates that instructors need to buy into the course and make it mandatory. A subgroup of DDC is working with Daryl and Teresa to determine how this might work at Langara…. stay tuned!