University Business - May 2012 - (Page 19)

By Elizabeth Millard LeveL Playing Field B oosting success for students in remedial education is crucial, particularly given the readiness gap seen at some community colleges. A recent report from McGraw-Hill Higher Education showed that despite receiving a high school diploma, at least 75 percent of first-year students at community colleges aren’t college-ready. And the number of students dropping out during their first year of college continues to rise. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including financial difficulties. But one of the most major issues for students is feeling overwhelmed with the rigor of college-level work. Some community colleges are bucking this trend by using a mix of technologies for instruction. Lecture capture, they’re finding, can be a powerful tool for lowering dropout rates, increasing student involvement, and getting students through developmental education more quickly. The technology, in essence, is being used to help create a level playing field for these at-risk students. The college has been using lecture capture in combination with other technologies for about five years, but lecture capture was first used in pre-core classes this year. “It was a school-wide effort,” Jones says. “We recognized that the population of students who need it could be well served by this.” Although they’re still waiting to gather results to see how lecture capture was received, anecdotal evidence suggests that withdrawal rates have lowered in pre-core courses over the past year. “Students are sticking with classes more than before,” says Jones, adding that these kinds of classes tend to have a higher withdrawal rate. Jones believes that savvy editing of captured lectures is key. At some colleges, large files containing entire lectures are made available to students. At Holmes, lectures are broken into smaller snippets. For remedial students who require a higher level of repetition to grasp course material, this can be especially beneficial. “If you try to watch a 50-minute block, your eyes glaze over pretty quickly,” she says. “So, we try to identify what will confuse students and concentrate our lecture capture only on those parts of the lesson.” In general, she tells professors to limit their lecture snippets to eight minutes, and suggests that five minutes is even more ideal. That creates a series of “mini-lectures” that can capture an essential component of a particular subject. Jones notes, “We call it the gold nugget: the moment that makes the light bulb go on for the student. Maybe it takes just a Community colleges using lecture capture in remedial courses The Gold Nugget Moment With their mainly commuter, and many part time, populations, it makes sense that two-year schools would incorporate lecture capture. At Holmes Community College (Miss.), eLearning Instructional Design Coordinator Jenny Bailey Jones notes that remedial courses (called “pre-core”) benefit from judicious use of lecture capture with Blackboard Collaborate to keep students interested. Students enrolled in remedial courses at Holmes Community College seem to be sticking it out in those courses, and the use of lecture capture may well be a big factor in why. May 2012 | 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - May 2012

University Business - May 2012
Editor's Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Human Resources
Education Gateways
Big Ideas
Reaching Higher
Admissions Goes Social
Learning Disabled Students Welcome
Who Goes There?
Computing Trends, Today and Tomorrow
Money Matters
End Note

University Business - May 2012