New Video Gives Students Preview of Online Course in Effort to Enhance Online Learning

By Katy Miller, Campus Director, Winter Park Library and Shara Lee, Campus Director, Faculty and Instructional Development

As a result of an external consultant’s report on online learning at Valencia College, five committees have or will soon be forming to address the consultant’s recommendations. One of these committees, the Student Readiness for Online Learning Committee, has been meeting for a year to research, identify and address opportunities to enhance the online learning experience for our Valencia students.

faculty-insight-news-id“The committee’s charge is to ensure that students are ready, willing and able to maximize their success in Valencia’s hybrid and online courses,” says faculty member Rhonda Atkinson, professor of education. “Although we know that most students are technologically savvy, we also understand that online work requires different skill sets and motivations.”

With the guidance of the Student Readiness for Online Learning Committee, Faculty and Instructional Development has created a video to give students a preview of what an online course looks like in Blackboard. In addition to explaining the difference between online, hybrid and classroom courses, the goal of this short video is to highlight key areas common to almost all courses that use Blackboard in any modality (online, hybrid and face-to-face/Web-enhanced).

In the video, students are shown where to access information from the Course Menu such as grades, course messages, tests and discussions. It can also be used by instructors who would like to give students a quick tour of Blackboard. The video can be inserted into Blackboard as a Web link.

Links to this video are also provided throughout the Valencia website in the following locations:

  • On the homepage under Current Students
  • In Blackboard under Learning Online
  • On the OIT Learning Technology Services page under Student Resources
  • On the Credit Class Schedule page on the Valencia College website in Registration – Classes My Way

Faculty member Liza Schellpfeffer, professor of speech, said, “Empowering students with information helps them to make informed decisions. The video is a great tool to use in a welcome letter or course pre-orientation to introduce students to various class formats and the Blackboard learning environment.”

It is hoped that this first of several upcoming products from this Committee will prove helpful for faculty and their students. As you watch the video and receive feedback from students, please share it with the Student Readiness for Online Learning Committee through co-chairs Michele McArdle, executive dean, Winter Park Campus at or extension 6801 and Shara at or extension 4723.

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