June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Electrical and Computer
24.954.1 - 24.954.17
Online Student Support Services for STEM Courses in New Mexico: A Cross-Institutional ApproachThis paper describes the results of a cross-institutional collaboration between the University of NewMexico (UNM), Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) and the Central New Mexico CommunityCollege (CNM) to offer and develop high quality on-line content STEM courses. This program has beenfocused on two primary initiatives: (1) expand the delivery of online engineering courses to remote and/ortwo-year institutions using a shared-curriculum and joint-instruction model, and (2) improve studentsuccess in these courses by strengthening course content, instructional delivery and student supportsystems.In expanding the delivery of engineering courses, the three institutions established an automated methodfor registering students at multiple institutions. Students were provided access to the UNM coursecontent via the UNM Learning Management System. Course content and primary instruction andassessment for four Electrical Engineering undergraduate courses were developed and provided to NNMCand CNM students online by faculty members at UNM. Supplemental content and secondary instructionwere developed and provided by faculty members at NNMC and CNM. Final grade assignments forUNM, NNMC and CNM students were provided by instructors at each institution.In strengthening instruction, UNM instructional designers collaborated with faculty members indeveloping the content of the courses to increase the quantity and quality of multi-media learningmodules and to restructure assignments and assessments for the online environment. Theseimprovements were made based on the best practices established by the Quality Matters Program.In strengthening student support, an embedded tutor was located in each improved course. For students atUNM, NNMC and CNM, an early-alert academic intervention system was piloted. This system involvedUNM Teaching Assistants (TA) and professional staff contacting students who were underperforming intheir engineering course(s) to assist them in accessing support resources and developing strategies forimprovement. Moreover, a group of Supplementary Instructors (SI) from the Center for AcademicProgram Support (CAPS) at UNM, as well as the active participation of the Academic Advisor at theElectrical and Computer Engineering Department, allowed the tracking of student performance aimed toimprove student success while keeping communication with the students to explore their motivations andinterests associated to their studies. Furthermore, at NNMC, synchronous weekly problem-solvingsessions were offered by the NNMC instructor/facilitator. During these sessions, students receivedadditional content support, peer interaction, supplemental learning resources and encouragement.The main conclusions of this work are supported on a set of quantitative and qualitative survey andevaluation instruments that allowed effectiveness of the courses and their associated services to be judgedand improved. For all courses, the Office of New Media and Extended Learning (NMEL) at UNMadministered a mid-semester survey to assess student perceptions. Additional data was collectedcomparing student achievement in improved sections to their non-improved counterparts.
Luna, J. M., & Schroeder, T. L., & Heileman, G. L., & Abdallah, C. T., & Crichigno, J., & Lopez Hurtado, I., & Perez, A. J. (2014, June), Online Student Support Services for STEM Courses in New Mexico: A Cross-Institutional Approach Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22887
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