June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Minorities in Engineering
24.5.1 - 24.5.14
Keeping Up With Technology: Transitioning Summer Bridge to a Virtual Classroom For decades colleges and universities have used summer bridge programs to ease thetransition of incoming freshmen academically and culturally into their new educational setting.These programs typically targeted students traditionally underrepresented in the science,technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. While statistically such on-campusprograms have proven effective, increasing the retention and success of minority students in theSTEM fields; they have been largely constrained by an institution’s ability to financially supportthem. They typically demand extensive financial and administrative support; even whenservicing a small number of students (20-40 students). With the rapid growth of educational andcourse management technology it is reasonable to consider using such tools for implementationof a summer bridge program, ideally decreasing the costs of such programs withoutcompromising the end result. As part of the Virginia-North Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation, VirginiaCommonwealth University (VCU), following the lead of its partner institution George MasonUniversity, launched its inaugural Online Summer Transition Program during the summer of2013. Program facilitators utilized an intelligent tutoring system, ALEKS, as well as universitycourse management software to implement and expand the enrollment of its summer bridgeprogram. The use of a virtual classroom allowed students to access course material throughoutthe summer at their leisure and subsequently taught the importance of self-motivation, and timemanagement. However, financial incentives were used to motivate students to complete theactivities by the end of the summer. Our research explores VCU’s efforts to transform this once on-campus learningenvironment into a virtual classroom. We, further, explore the notion that the virtual classroomnot only offers the same advantages as a traditional classroom but develops a class of studentswho are self-motivated, self-reliant and are able to actively participate in their education.
Brinkley, K. W., & Rankins, F., & Clinton, S., & Hargraves, R. H. (2014, June), Keeping up With Technology: Transitioning Summer Bridge to a Virtual Classroom Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--19893
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