Documentation of student support services available and accessible to online students (e.g. online tutoring)
The college offers an array of support services available and accessible to students enrolled in distance learning courses. Distance learning students have access to online tutoring services, including SmarThinking and the National Repository of Online Courses (NROC). SmarThinking is an online tutorial service which is available 24 hours a day, allowing students to work synchronously and one-on-one with professional tutors via the Web, where they receive assistance with a variety of College courses, including mathematics, science, English, history, economics, humanities, and more. Use of SmarThinking is monitored via online usage reports, and students can be allotted additional tutoring hours upon request. For the most recent calendar year, 2015, students participated in 7137 discrete sessions, totaling 4776 hours of usage (see HCC SmarThinking Usage for details). A dashboard of recent usage is available on demand online (see example included in the HCC Smarthinking dashboard). HCC also has purchased access to NROC which is a database containing learning objects, course materials, and other high-quality, online pedagogical resources that instructors may use as supplements to their courses.
HCC’s distance learning web pages are a primary portal for most services required by distance learning students and are heavily used. “Hits” (page view statistics) from off campus for the distance learning pages total over 11,000 for the period of October 2015 through May 2016 (see HCC DL page Analytics for details).
The library has created a distance learning website for students containing several resources, including an online library orientation, videos and tutorials, and Ask-a-Librarian—a service allowing students to speak with a librarian via online chat, email or text message.
At the course level, distance learning students have an array of online learning resources frequently supplied by the publishers of required course textbooks; for example, most math classes use an online homework system, such as Pearson or ALEKS. ALEKS is adaptive and creates a learning path for every student (see report example). Faculty in other discipline departments, such as English, also collectively adopt textbooks bundled with online learning components for student use. More specifically, faculty use a Norton product that includes a textbook with an online component that features grammar quizzes and tutorials; whereas other faculty require students to use a Cengage e-book, The Essentials of Writing: 10 Core Concepts, and a Cengage textbook with an online access code that allows students access to required grammar tutorials.
The College also ensures that students engaged in distance learning have access to general training in the use of technology through automatic enrollment in an orientation course in MyHCC, the College’s learning management system (LMS). Student training to use the publisher-supplied, online learning materials is multifaceted: instructors in the Math department provide an orientation assignment that offers practice in how to utilize resources and enter solutions within the MyMathLab program software; syllabi contain step-by-step instructions about how to access, register, and use the program; video tutorials walk students through the relevant processes; and a 24/7 technical support line is available for call, email, or chat.
Online usage report: http://www.hccfl.edu/media/3504393/hcc-smarthinking-usage-30apr2016.pdf
HCC Smarthinking dashboard: http://www.hccfl.edu/media/3504392/hcc-smarthinking-dashboard.pdf
HCC Libraries Online: http://libguides.hccfl.edu/hcclibraries
Online library orientation: http://libguides.hccfl.edu/onlineorientation
HCC DL website: http://www.hccfl.edu/distance-learning.asp
HCC DL page analytics: http://www.hccfl.edu/media/3504390/hcc-dl-page-analytics-20151001-20160531.pdf
ALEKS report example: https://www.hccfl.edu/media/3504016/aleks-example-report.pdf