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Redesigning The Telecourse For The Millennial Generation. Erik Christensen Patricia Manderville South Florida Community College. 1. South Florida Community College. 4 rural campuses in 3 counties 3,521Enrollment 54% Female 34 % Full Time 36% Minorities Average Age 23

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Redesigning the telecourse for the millennial generation

Redesigning The Telecourse For The Millennial Generation

Erik Christensen

Patricia Manderville

South Florida Community College


South florida community college
South Florida Community College

  • 4 rural campuses in 3 counties

  • 3,521Enrollment

    • 54% Female

    • 34 % Full Time

    • 36% Minorities

    • Average Age 23

  • 29 Online Courses

  • 65 Full-time Faculty

  • Desire To Learn (D2L)

Traditional telecourse format
Traditional Telecourse Format

  • Watch a some videos

  • Take an exam

  • Watch some more videos

  • Take another exam

Traditional telecourse results
Traditional Telecourse Results

Passive learning experience

Minimal interface with instructor or other students

Requires a lot of self motivation

Poor retention

Poor student satisfaction

Poor student success

Procrastination rules!

Our guiding philosophy
Our Guiding Philosophy

It’s not what the instructor does that matters.

Rather, it is what the student does.

The telecourse redesign
The Telecourse “Redesign”

Digitized and loaded all videos on campus server

Added online components

Discussion Boards

Online Quizzes/Exams

Added Experiential Learning Components

Imposed a Very Structured Course Design

Millennial generation traits
Millennial Generation Traits




Team Oriented




- Howe and Strauss (2000, 2003)



  • Parents continual praise

  • Awarded for participation rather than victory

  • Civic generation


Monthly on line self reflection
Monthly On-line Self-Reflection

Forces students to reflect on their performance

Allows non-threatening opportunity for advising, counseling, or acknowledging good performance

  • How do I think I am doing in this class?

  • What do I need to do to improve my grade?

Rapid email response
Rapid Email Response

Promise a response within 24 hrs

But typically reply within 8 hours

Under promise but over perform!

Star project
Star Project

Each student is assigned their own star

Must apply fundamentals to their star:






Historical significance


  • Expect high grades for meeting standards

  • Prefer objective assessments, not subjective

  • Respect Heroes - media driven


Online quizzes and exams
Online Quizzes and Exams

  • Unlimited attempts allowed on weekly quizzes

    • Only highest score counts

  • Randomly selected questions from a larger database

  • Engages most students to seek highest score

Extra credit opportunities
Extra Credit Opportunities

Turn in projects one week early

Attend a Star Party

Service Learning Opportunities


  • Need structure

  • Trust and count on authority

  • Safety rules

  • Constant contact with parents


Detailed instructions examples
Detailed Instructions/Examples



Example of Lunar Observation Data

Be sure to do your observing between Moonrise and Moonset!

Shade in the parts of the Moon that you do NOT see.

Place a large dot on both figures to show the location of the Moon as you see it.

Team oriented

  • Like to congregate and desire cooperation

  • Readily volunteer for causes

  • Prefer group learning


Virtual teams
Virtual Teams

Class subdivided into small groups

Must work together online to respond to conceptual critical thinking questions

Great for conceptual homework questions

Students really enjoy discussion type exercises

Online chat rooms
Online Chat Rooms

Homework Discussions

Exam Reviews


  • Negotiators

  • Optimistic

  • High levels of trust


Online question of the week
Online Question of the Week

  • Students must post a response and comment on a classmate’s response each week.

How would you explain to an 8-year old what a black hole is and how we know they exist?


  • Multi-task

  • Structure to lead them to achieve

  • Use to zero tolerance policies

  • Perform in standardized tests, lack creativity


Weekly reminders with hyperlinks
Weekly Reminders with Hyperlinks

  • Week 10

  • We now are in week ten of the course. This week we will study about our solar system . This is presented in one chapter (16). The following items are due this week:

    • Read Chapter 16

    • Watch Video #16

    • Answer Question of the Week #10

    • Take online Quiz #10

  • REMINDER: Your lunar project is due NO LATER THAN 9:00 AM on Monday, November 12th.

Variety of assignments
Variety of Assignments

Each Week:

Read textbook

Watch videos

Question of the Week

Weekly Quiz

Two month-long projects

Goal is to minimize procrastination


  • Respect cultural differences

  • “Going along” is the best way to get along

  • Comfortable with parents’ values


Lunar observation project
Lunar Observation Project

Observe the Moon for one Lunar cycle (28 days)

Collect data

Analyze correlation between Moon phase and tidal cycle

The most demanding part of the course but also the most rewarding

Star parties
Star Parties

Twice each month

Telescope viewing sessions

See with their own eyes what we have been studying

Bring along family and friends

Great recruitment tool

for future students!

Clearly articulated outcomes
Clearly Articulated Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a workable vocabulary enabling them to intelligently read astronomy articles.

    This will be assessed through your Star Project.

  • Identify and describe the primary members of our solar system, galaxy, and the universe.

    This will be assessed via quizzes and exams.

  • Understand the relationship between the earth and movements of celestial objects.

    This will be assessed via the Lunar Observation Project.


Course enrollment is skyrocketing

Up 200% in one year!

High student satisfaction

Improved student learning

Highly recommended by peers

Challenging but rewarding

Typical student feedback
Typical Student Feedback

“I think this an excellent course and one you can excel at. As silly as it sounds, don't blow off this class for your "real" classes. This class deserves a full slot in your life! I am glad I took this course, I've learned a lot about something I knew nothing about. I did get all of my assignments done early instead of waiting until the last moment for once. It was great.!! P.S. Take part in the star parties and join in. They're cool!”

Thank you
Thank You

Erik Christensen

Patricia Manderville