Speaker: Dr. De-Laine Cyrenne, Psychology Department – Emeritus Faculty, California State University, Sacramento
Description of the topic: Student retention at Sacramento State is addressed at a systemic level through faculty professional development, course redesign, and student programs that ensure each student has access and support to effectively use technology for learning.
The practice underlying all these projects is the integration of evidence based professional development for faculty, data informed course redesign, and institution level support for student access to technology.
Sacramento State has developed an online Faculty Learning Community (FLC) program that provides faculty with knowledge and skills to implement evidence based and culturally responsive teaching strategies. These FLCs utilize curriculum from Quality Matters, ACUE (Association of College and University Educators), and ESCALA Education to provide faculty professional development at scale, impacting over 500 faculty over the past 3 years. These online curricula are embedded in a yearlong FLC program that includes classroom “Observe and Analyze” sessions, teaching and learning portfolio creation, and a culminating event where implemented course design and teaching strategies are disseminated to the campus community.
Sacramento State’s course redesign programs are integrated with the faculty professional development programs and include institutional data informed assessment, and an online course quality assurance process. Evidence of success includes examples from STEM course redesign projects. A team redesign of an introductory Physics course utilizing ACUE and ESCALA strategies has reduced the failure rate and narrowed the equity gap for Hispanic Students. Redesign of an introductory engineering course utilizing ACUE active learning and equitable learning strategies has created accessible microlectures, formative assessments, and a higher level of student engagement using digital tools. An upper division thermodynamics course has been redesigned to earn Quality Matters Certification for online courses, meeting 23 essential standards for best practice. The redesign of these courses has been supported by one or more of our ACUE microcredential programs, Summer Teaching Institutes, Summer Course Compression Grant, or Online Course Services Programs, all sponsored through Sacramento State’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).
Student programs related to technology that support retention include a culturally responsive computer loan program and an online learning tutorial, Hornet Learning Online 101. These programs ensure students have the tools, connectivity, and skills to access and utilize technology mediated instruction. In addition to a campus wide long term computer loan program and reduced cost internet options, a specialized loan program was created for student groups that were found to be disproportionately impacted by the move to emergency remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. One group experiencing a large fall in student retention during this time was the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). Quantitative institutional data and qualitative CAMP program data revealed the need and special requirements for a computer loan program customized to the needs of the CAMP students and staff. This program has been implemented this Fall 2023 and data is pending.
Before March of 2020 Sacramento State had few online courses and little support for online students. To support the transition to remote online teaching and learning for the 2020/2021 academic year, an online learning tutorial, “Hornet Learning Online 101” was launched. Since the Fall of 2020 it has enrolled over 6000 students annually. The one-hour tutorial contains topics including basic academic technology literacy, nuts and bolts learning management tutorials, and emerging AI learning. Students receive a completion badge at the end of the tutorial that can be submitted to course instructors for credit. Of specific importance has been the “online learning readiness” survey that students complete as part of the tutorial. Because this survey can be linked to other institutional data sets, analysis of survey results in Spring of 2021 provided a snapshot of the discrepancy between the number and demographics of students who expressed a need for computers and high-speed internet access and the number who actually checked out devices.
Date: Thursday, March 7, 2024
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (AST/ Puerto Rico Time) | 2:00 PM (EST)
Modality: Online via Zoom