Presentation Title

Virtual Connections: Engaging online students in virtual co-curricular programs to increase social interactivity and influence measures of student success.

Start

10-2-2020 10:00 AM

End

10-2-2020 11:00 AM

Short Description

As of 2019, fully online students comprise 33% of the total student population at Indian River State College. There is an upward trend that has been observed by the institution which is exhibited by the 30% increase in online student enrollment. It has been noted that student engagement may influence student success, therefore, the development and growth of online student programming may be a key aspect in improving measures of student success for distance learners. This presentation will highlight the design and development of online student programming and the impact of online co-curricular activities on student engagement at Indian River State College.

Abstract

This presentation will discuss the development of a virtual community at Indian River State College and outline the ways that technology is used to actively engage online students in virtual activities and events to improve student success at the institution. In addition, this session will provide suggestions for institutional administrators and staff who wish to integrate technology to provide engaging co-curricular activities for online students. Despite the fact that there has been tremendous growth experienced in distance education, online learners are experiencing more difficulties completing courses and degrees than their on-campus counterparts. One reason speculated for this is the physical and psychological separation that may be experienced by distance education students. When students are physically separated from their peers and instructors, they may also experience a psychological separation driven by feelings of disconnect and isolation (Rovai, 2002). Ultimately, this psychological separation may lead to a decrease in persistence rates and affect overall completion rates. Current literature recommends creating a plan for improving social and academic engagement to increase the overall sense of community and connectivity with the educational environment to positively impact online students’ persistence and completion. Research also suggests that students who engage themselves socially are more likely to persist and complete (Tinto, 1975) and that technology may aid in improving student engagement and interactivity in ways that would likely be difficult otherwise. Likewise, the interaction experienced between learners and the inclusion of valuable activities drives meaningful engagement (Schneider and Kearsley, 1999). Specifically, technology can be used to connect and engage online learners socially to improve the isolation and disconnect experienced in the virtual space. By understanding how social interaction may improve student success among distance learners, higher education institutions can create a successful plan for raising the bar through technology integration, social media utilization, and online co-curricular programming.

Format

Concurrent Session

Institutional level targeted

Higher Ed

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 2nd, 10:00 AM Oct 2nd, 11:00 AM

Virtual Connections: Engaging online students in virtual co-curricular programs to increase social interactivity and influence measures of student success.

This presentation will discuss the development of a virtual community at Indian River State College and outline the ways that technology is used to actively engage online students in virtual activities and events to improve student success at the institution. In addition, this session will provide suggestions for institutional administrators and staff who wish to integrate technology to provide engaging co-curricular activities for online students. Despite the fact that there has been tremendous growth experienced in distance education, online learners are experiencing more difficulties completing courses and degrees than their on-campus counterparts. One reason speculated for this is the physical and psychological separation that may be experienced by distance education students. When students are physically separated from their peers and instructors, they may also experience a psychological separation driven by feelings of disconnect and isolation (Rovai, 2002). Ultimately, this psychological separation may lead to a decrease in persistence rates and affect overall completion rates. Current literature recommends creating a plan for improving social and academic engagement to increase the overall sense of community and connectivity with the educational environment to positively impact online students’ persistence and completion. Research also suggests that students who engage themselves socially are more likely to persist and complete (Tinto, 1975) and that technology may aid in improving student engagement and interactivity in ways that would likely be difficult otherwise. Likewise, the interaction experienced between learners and the inclusion of valuable activities drives meaningful engagement (Schneider and Kearsley, 1999). Specifically, technology can be used to connect and engage online learners socially to improve the isolation and disconnect experienced in the virtual space. By understanding how social interaction may improve student success among distance learners, higher education institutions can create a successful plan for raising the bar through technology integration, social media utilization, and online co-curricular programming.