Archive for March, 2011


Madam Presidents – Westchester Magazine – April 2011 – Westchester, NY.  Here is a nice article in Westchester Magazine which features CW President Karen Smith, among other women who are college presidents in the county.  Nice!

At the CW Online Division, we refer to Online as Online.  There are so many variations, and while there is no right or a wrong way to state it, we have chosen one variation – online or Online, not on-line, on line, On Line, etc.  After a while, it will become second nature to all of us.

Online@CW

April 2011

Online Division
Mary Beth
Proposal Delivery to NYSED
As you may know, the Online Division will present information at the April 5th Quarterly Meeting in order to better prepare all college personnel for coming events and to provide comprehensive information.  As mentioned in her email in early March, President Karen Smith and online division Lead Mary Beth  delivered our proposals for fully online programs to New York State Education Department in Albany in March.  The programs proposed are Associate Degree in Business Administration – Management/Marketing and Bachelor in Business Administration.  We are expecting that our New York State liaisons will reach out to us in the near future to gain deeper knowledge regarding our programs and infrastructure for future online students.  Thank you to online team members Marie, Richard, Ruth and Christine L..  A special thank you to Joann M. for her steady guidance and invaluable input throughout the process.
Tools for Success
A mixed bag of other news includes the continued review of possible vendors for secure proctoring and student identity verification, electronic bookstore considerations, helpdesk piloting, Turnitin for grammar, syntax and plagiarism scanning for both students and faculty.  A process is being finalized to help instructors identify and suggest technology tools for use in the electronic classroom.  Kelly and team continue to plow through myriad CampusVue considerations and updates, which will effect fundamental online campus functioning.
One item of particular note, Atomic Learning, a source for online training and professional development, identified by faculty members Lorraine and Gary, will be adopted for student and faculty online academic success.  It will give us resources for assessing student technology readiness, as well as providing tutorials for helping fill those gaps, among many other rich resources.  Atomic Learning, coincidentally, has a resource which will help our college staff and faculty become experts in the APA Stylesheet, a goal planned for 2012.
In addition, the online division continues to pay particular attention to the first year experience of students both inside and outside of the classroom.  We are hoping to utilize Campus Toolkit, which, as you know, is an integral set of tools for ground student success and identification of student needs.  U-Lifeline is being adopted for online student counseling resources, and military member and veteran specific resources are also under review.
Community Awareness
A website homepage has been approved and is under development, and a community awareness plan is developed and is ready to launch upon accreditor approval.  Social networking is ready to launch, and an enhanced technology compliance agreement which includes guidelines for appropriate social networking among students and employees will be available for review soon.
LMS Update
A number of instructors have been the brave, enthusiastic early adopters of LMS Moodle including Greg and Paul, Janet, Alexa, Andrew and Paula.  Courses being offered this term include Principles of Marketing, Statistics, Anatomy of Leadership, Writing for Business Professionals, Project Management Essentials and Writing Effective Business Documents. Thanks to these faculty members, as well as to Richard, Bill R. and Melina of the online division for their ongoing support and training, and other instructors who are now diving into Moodle.
Administration and Compliance workgroup
Marie, Lead
February was definitely a busy and productive one for the Administration and Compliance work group:  Ethan attended a week-long meeting with the CampusVue representative to continue the configuration of the online database.  Dianne also attended these meetings but then visited NYC and obtained some additional information concerning online programs with federal funding.  Nancy P. met with the CampusVue representative to discuss potential configurations needed for future monitoring and reporting.   Jessica  has been monitoring the development of social media policies.  Christina C. has written a number of in-depth documents that relates to financial assistance to new students.  Marie completed the NYS online proposal binders with compliance documents.
Admissions and Marketing Workgroup
Mary B. is the new team lead for the group, and Joe Q. and Mary Ellen M. are joining this group as members.  Thanks to all.
Progress continues with the online admissions group as we push forward with our Talisma CRM project.  The new system is beginning to take shape as a result of much analyzing, brainstorming and planning on the part of the CW Talisma team.  Talisma should make a positive impact on the ability of the CW to serve prospective students as they make decisions about their education.
The Communication Center team has been growing as well, which anticipate plans for future development of the Communications Center to support online admissions activities, including visits to peer institutions.
Teaching & Learning Team
Lorraine
The Teaching & Learning group is preparing many documents in preparation for NYSED proposal and MSCHE visit.   One of the necessary documents related to online teaching is the Online Best Practices Document.  In order to have uniformity and direction for faculty who are teaching online courses, Paul, Dean of the E/S College has submitted the first draft for this handbook.  Some of the faculty related topics addressed in this document include:
§  Faculty Readiness for Teaching Online
§  Knowledge of Online Pedagogy
§  Assessing Student Performance and Engagement
§  Using Discussions and Facilitating Discussions
§  Collecting, Returning Assignments and Managing Group Assignments/Projects
§  Communicating and Housekeeping Throughout the Course
This handbook is intended to be used as a basis for establishing, delivering and evaluating quality online courses at The College of Westchester while assisting faculty to promote online courses to be as challenging, engaging and vigorous as the on-ground courses are at CW.
FYE
Richard
The FYE/Retention teams are working in smaller groups to accomplish their goals.  During the past month, these groups and individuals from the team have completed meetings on strategies for increasing retention, produced a draft of the hardware and software requirements, drafted a notification procedure for ADA accommodations for online students, and assisted in launching the first two online courses in Moodle, Statistics and Principles of Marketing.
E-Books and the Library Online
Monecia
As most of you know, CW Library services are available in-person and online.  The Library website now displays a Meebo widget, allowing users to chat with a librarian in real time or to leave a message for a librarian when the queue is not being monitored.  Studies show that onsite users, especially in-Library users, use chat most when they want to ask a question, but don’t want to lose their seat in the Library.  Fortunately, in the coming months, we’ll get to test out this finding.
This fall, the online chat service will be in full force, accommodating all schools – Day, Evening, Saturday and the new Online College. Last month, the Library acquired NetLibrary, a collection of e-books that are now a part of the permanent collection at the CW Library.  NetLibrary books can be downloaded to select e-readers. Presently, we still subscribe to Books 24×7, a collection of e-books available through subscription only. The collection is used heavily by the networking students and a few textbooks were found available there as well.  Combined, both collections offer 26,400 e-books available right now to CW students.
The Library also has a handsome collection of e-databases than can be accessed onsite, remotely from home – and on your smartphone with your CW sign-on credentials.  Please stay tuned for more information about the Library’s online services.
Student Services
Maria G.
The team has been busy developing a number of important processes and identifying factors for student success, including an online student academic alert system which mirrors the adult student process, but is appropriate to the needs and schedule of the online student.  In addition, the development of document, Question and Answers Commonly Asked by Online Students, will empower students in the virtual experience.
The “teams of three” concept is being designed to support students in and outside of the classroom from the time they first inquire about CW through and beyond their graduation.   Teams of three refer to a cluster of staff that are in communication with each student, such as their success coach, academic advisor, and other CW individuals  at appropriate points in the student lifecycle.
Lastly, student services is playing an integral role, along with FYE and Admissions and Marketing workgroups, in developing a comprehensive Orientation process for new online students.

March 2011

Online Division
Our workgroups have continued results-based focus on means within their responsibilities.  Thanks to so many of you who continue your devoted assistance to our online program development.
Library activities have moved out from under the Teaching and Learning, and will now housed within the existing Library Advisory Committee.  Monecia will serve as team lead, as she is already head of the Library Advisory Committee which includes members Gary, Alexa, Jim M., Chris P. and Joseph.  (Chris and Joe rotate on this committee).  Monecia and Mary Beth will outline goals for this group to help support the online division, which will include staffing of online resource library services, research training and access in the online environment and copyright compliance, among other needs.
Faculty and students may now access Moodle LMS Helpdesk 24-7 via third-party provider.  This helpdesk service will provide support and direction as users sign on to Moodle and access classes.  Our intrepid, talented CW Helpdesk team will handle more difficult issues that arise.  In addition, students and faculty continued to have access to Moodle training sessions in the classroom, through web conferences and asynchronous training sessions, to guarantee an easy transition from Blackboard.  Faculty champions are already working with instructional designers as they create our first Moodle LMS courses.  Faculty focus groups are planned to help us further hone the functionality that faculty find most important for themselves and their students.  A full transition from Blackboard to Moodle will take place by September, 2011.
Online Student Services Team
Maria
Our big focus now is to set up all the proper processes of developing a comprehensive orientation experience for online students in order to insure a smooth and seamless transition into CW Online Division courses and programs.  We are also finalizing the top Q&A’s for online students that we feel will assist with quick responses online and then submit it for final approval to the online team.
Marketing and Admissions Workgroup
Craig
The past several weeks have been busy and productive for the admissions group.  We have been hard at work developing the plans for our Talisma CRM.  During a two week meeting with Talisma corporate staff, we spent long days planning how we will configure this system to meet the specific and very detailed needs of our college that will result in an enhanced experience for our prospective students and applicants.
Our next steps will be to move forward with the implementation process, setting plans into motion with the creation of the system we plan to roll out for use with online students June 1.  It has been a collaborative and productive time for our group and we are working tirelessly to create a system that creates efficiency and effectiveness for our admissions teams to utilize and our prospective students to benefit from greatly.
FYE Team!
Richard
The FYE Team is getting busier. Right now the team is working on the first set of First Year Experience courses (BUS103, GEN125, GEN127, and OFT122), piloting Moodle with instructors in the Saturday Spring I term, and preparing for a brainstorming meeting on first-year retention strategies for online students. In March, the team will be finalizing technology requirements and working on ensuring the online division considers universal design and accessibility in its course planning, and later this spring we will launch work on the additional first-year experience courses.
Administration and Compliance
Marie
·         Members are currently reviewing Program Integrity issues to ensure that the Online Division is in sync with all the new requirements that will be coming down the pike starting July 1, 2011, with special attention to State Authorizations and its impact to offering online programs in the future.
·         Coming out of a two-week engagement with the CampusVue Consultant, the Online Division Campus Location has been added to the CampusVue database, with key configuration items setup for Admissions, Academics and Financial Aid.
·         We are also writing current processes including scripts when meeting with ground prospective students and then we begin evaluating effectively how to transfer these processes to the online division.
Teaching & Learning Team
Lorraine
The Internship model for E/S BBA & Online Division BBA has been established.  Students will be involved in one of three options: on-the-job internship, internship at CW, or internship through the Volunteer Center which can link with Project Management with personal volunteer interests.
Since January Department Chairs have been meeting weekly reviewing course assessments, course projects, etc., for the Online Division syllabi for courses: Basis of Math, English Com I and English Com II, Intro to Business, and Office Applications for Word & PowerPoint.  The group’s goal is to create a syllabus allowing an online professor to utilize while teaching the online course with expectations of similar objectives, learning goals, and outcome assessments similar to taking an on ground course at CW.
Gary and Lorraine reviewed “Atomic Learning” which is an online software training video tutorial and technology integration resource designed for universities and college campus students.   This tool offers access to a complete training library of about 200 show-and-tell video training tutorials on the most common software application programs. It would allow students in technology course to experience auditory and visual demonstrations on accomplishing Microsoft Office projects.   Gary and Lorraine have received a free 2-week trial version.

Quality Does Matter – QM Training

submitted by Sheryl
Associate Dean of Baccalaureate Studies & Director of Outcomes Assessment
Does quality matter? Absolutely! But often times, quality is an ambiguous term. Defining quality in online course design is the objective of Quality Matters (QM) Training. QM training is a product of Maryland University, a consortium of higher education institutions, and a Department of Education grant (DOE).
Online Academic Dean Ruth and I recently completed this rigorous online professional development training. This training is a prerequisite for certification training as a QM peer reviewer, a designation which Ruth recently achieved.
QM training defines effective online course design according to eight standards:  course and unit level learning objectives, course introduction, learning activities and materials, assessment, ADA accessibility and technology. The common thread among these eight elements is alignment. Course objectives must align with unit or module objectives, and course learning activities and materials must facilitate course outcomes. Assessments must be appropriate for stated outcomes, and the entire course must be accessible to students with auditory, cognitive, mobility, and sight challenges.
QM training underscores the idea that quality course design is a faculty-centered, collaborative and highly collegial process. Faculty expertise, as curriculum developers, is enhanced with a firm foundation in course design. This process is not limited to online courseware, however. It can be effectively applied to live instruction, too. The benchmark for quality course design is 85%. QM training acknowledges what current research and best course design practices affirm: Standards-driven course design leads to achievable learning outcomes.

January 2011

The Online Division has reached many milestones throughout 2010, as well as ambitious goals for 2011, some of which are outlined in Karen’s The President’s Corner article in the January CW Review.  In addition, LMS Moodle transition has begun with the help of Kelly, Tracia and the IIT group and Richard of the Online Division.
Working collaboratively with Monecia and the Library team has been Media Resources’ Dawn, in order to begin building the online reference librarian chat function entitled “Ask A Librarian” which will be a very exciting addition to the CW Library.
Nancy and the Media Resources team have been working with Richard in order to develop the right branding, color scheme for our Moodle pages.  In addition, Nancy has been working with web contractor Jessica Perilla Design, JPD Studio, on creating our online division website, as well as Facebook, blog and student portal.  For those of you who do not know, Jessica Perilla is also a CW graduate!  Also assisting Nancy with web development and Richard with course development is Online Associate Melina.
Teaching & Learning Team  – submitted by team lead Lorraine
The Teaching & Learning Group has been busy registering for courses to prepare for teaching online.  During the month of December, Paula attended an online course from Equal Access to Software & Information (EASI) – Train the Trainer. This course will help prepare faculty to teach online courses using current technology as well as assist potential students with disabilities. Also in December, Sheryl registered for a course entitled, Quality Matters Training (Applying the QM Rubric/Peer Review Certificate) which she will be completing in the next few weeks.
In other areas, progress has been made concerning the Online BBA Internship; students will be required to complete an in-person internship. The preliminary Faculty Guidebook and Best Practices document has been developed and will be submitted within the proposal to NYSED as well as the Substantive Change document to MSCHE.
The First Year Experience and Retention – submitted by team lead Richard
The First Year Experience and Retention team is beginning work on the Moodle transition, set to begin in Feb. 2011 and complete in Sept. 2011. Beginning the first week of January 2011, a team of faculty, including three of the chairs, will begin developing course materials for four of the first-year courses.
Administration and Compliance – submitted by team lead Marie
The Finance, FA, HR and Compliance workgroup has a new name:  Administration and Compliance.  Individual members have been very busy working on different aspects of this workgroup umbrella:  Dianne has focused time on writing information for the future Financial Aid webpage which will be a part of the online website being created by the Media Resources department.  Nellie as CW’s Veterans Affair certifier has partnered with Dianne to provide information for the Veterans section of the webpage.  Ethan is absorbed in the development of the CampusVue online database which Kelly Walsh had more fully noted in his December CW Review article.  Marie continues to meet with various college staff to focus on documents and forms and the individual role these documents and forms play in the college’s processes.  Michele Sandman is beginning to review her operation to assess needs and possible changes or questions as it relates to online processing.   Nancy P. is helping to refine Online Division budget projections.  Jessica anticipates beginning to review and make recommendations for hiring of online adjunct faculty.  We expect that this workgroup will begin to focus on this project some time in 2011.
Student Services Workgroup – submitted by team lead Maria
The Student Services Workgroup are in the process of mapping out what our current add/drop process is so that we can start to draft out how we should mirror this for our online students.  In addition, a process flowchart is being developed which will outline how E-Reserves will be used by our professors and our students.  We will be working with the First Year Experience group to begin to finalize what orientation, registration and at-risk definition and outreach will look like for our online students.  We feel that the connection of these two groups will further assist with providing our students with stellar customer service and the continued personal touch that embodies the CW Way.
Admissions and Marketing Workgroup – submitted by Craig, team lead
Stop by the Communications Center which continues to house CW admissions associates and staff, and is the future home of CW Admissions Online Division.
In addition, Talisma planning activities continue as we lead up to the modified date of January 31 for our two long week implementation planning engagement.   The Talisma team is in the process of developing detailed plans to even further maximize the level of service offered to prospective students throughout the time leading up to their enrollment.  Lastly, at this time, training materials for admissions counselors and associates continue in development for the online division.
Applying Project Management Essentials: BBA student involvement with planning OL Faculty Development & Training
Submitted by Ruth, Dean of Instructional Design & Faculty Development, Online Division
If you have ever taken or taught an online course, you know that success, in terms of delivery and learning outcomes, depends on commitment and collaboration among faculty and students. This has been validated by results of the student and faculty needs assessment surveys we conducted during Spring 2010, as well as by recent research and follow-up interviews, conducted over the past two months by BBA student Lorecia.
When Lorecia approached me at the beginning of the Fall semester, the idea of her working on an Online Division related project was novel.  However, this was an opportunity for me to get firsthand knowledge about the internship experience through the lens of the project manager, as well as the student. It was important to consult first with the OL Division team, as well as BBA Internship course instructors/facilitators, Leslie, Sheryl, and Erica.  Once we decided that Lorecia’s involvement with OL faculty development and training fit the criteria of a viable project (with a distinct beginning and end point), I set out to ensure that she had a number of opportunities to demonstrate all she had learned during the Project Management Essentials course.
At the time of this article, Lorecia has completed 103 hours of the required 114 internship hours. She has definitely applied the concepts introduced in her Project Management Essentials course. For the past two months, as she worked on the planning phase of the project, she has interviewed faculty, analyzed data, and researched best practices of online instruction at other colleges. Her final written report still needs to be finalized, however, during our last weekly debriefing, she was amazed by the amount of work required to plan faculty development.
Prior to beginning the research for her project, she had a number of assumptions, and through her lens as a student, she also had a number of recommendations. One area that she believes is key to student success (for web-enabled, hybrid, and online classes) is consistency in the look and feel of content presented in LMS.
I am looking forward to her final report, which will document her findings and recommendations in terms of best practices. It will be interesting to see how much her views have changed as a result of her involvement with this project. I look forward to reading her lessons learned document, as well as reviewing her classmates’ responses to her blogs documenting about her internship experience.
Lorecia would have been unable to complete this project alone and therefore it is important to acknowledge her mentors and fellow students Ja-Juan and Esperanza.  She also consulted with her former Project Management instructor, Paula and James M., her current instructor for the Writing Technical Documents course.

December 2010

Online Division News
Mary Beth, Online Division
The ink is drying on our contract with new LMS Vendor Moodlerooms.  Keep posted for more information regarding trainings and professional development for faculty.  We are compiling our student services “Frequently Asked Questions” survey and will share soon.
Optimal Resume is a new service that JoAnn  and Career Services will pilot beginning in January 2011.  Students and grads will have the opportunity for online support as they develop resumes and cover letters. They will learn interviewing tips and opt for mock interviews with real people online.  Students can pick the questions they want to be asked so they can become stronger in the interviewing process, and interviewers will ask those questions.  There will also be a job bank that students can search, in addition to the comprehensive services now offered by CW Career Services.
Library News
Monecia, Director of the Library
Almost 2 dozen CW staff and faculty took a look at NetLibrary functionality.  Just to be clear, e-books and audio books in the NetLibrary trial database do not represent individual books or sets of books we plan to acquire. The trial is designed for testing the functionality of the service and features of the system.  Weigh in and let Monecia know what you think.
We’re extending the trial and want to share new access information below.
Q1. CAN I USE THE NETLIBRARY BOOKS ON MY E-READER?
You can use NetLibrary with non-trial e-books. NetLibrary offers nearly 150,000 PDF titles that are compatible with increasingly popular eBook readers, including:
·         Nook from Barnes & Noble
·         Sony Digital Readers (PRS-300, 505, 600, 700 and 900)
·         COOL-ER
Q2. CAN MORE THAN ONE USER BORROW AN E-BOOK AT A TIME. Yes!  2 people can borrow 1 e-book at the same time.
Finance, Financial Aid, HR and Compliance Workgroup
Marie, team lead
The team with the IT staff has been evaluating the CampusVue database for the delivery of online programs but, in particular, this work group has been focusing on the compliance aspect as it relates to federal and state funding guidelines.   In conjunction with this, the team has begun to identify needed custom reports and one of those custom reports have already been created for use by the Financial Aid Department!  The team with the Student Servicing work group and IT staff continues to evaluate third-party servicing vendors and we expect that very shortly a decision will be made.
Teaching & Learning Workgroup
Lorraine, team lead
Phase 1 of the Project Syllabus Launch was held in October.  Conversations with Instructional Designers are being held with chairs of the General Education, Business, and Office Technologies Departments to discuss consistency within syllabi, module learning and outcomes for the creation of universal syllabi.
Ruth, Sheryl, Pat, Paul, Mary Beth and I attended the Webinar “Helping Faculty Manage Online Workload” in October.  The webinar discussed specific strategies and best practices to help faculty manage their online teaching workload; specifically the commitment faculty would need as opposed to face-to-face instruction.  Topics included: course development, balancing instructional activities, teaching strategies, classroom management, communication and institutional strategies.
First Year Experience/Retention Workgroup
Richard,  team lead
After several rounds of presentations and interviews, the College has identified an LMS vendor, and has made a recommendation to the president and cabinet. The Online Division and IT are collaborating on a training program for faculty and interested staff that combines live overview courses, online tutoring, and personal tutoring. The FYE/Retention team is now getting ready to start developing the first year experience courses in consultation with the teaching and learning team.
Student Services Workgroup
Maria G, team lead
We are currently in the process of reviewing 3rd party vendors that will assist us with maintaining our stellar customer services.  As we provide online courses; we will want to be available 24/7; therefore, we are in the process of creating what our tier systems should look like and how we will best be there to respond to our students’ needs and/or questions as they arise.  We have also started to map out what our current orientation, registration and at risk procedures are so that we can now start to draft how we can mirror these services to our online students as well.
Admissions/Marketing Workgroup
Craig, team lead
The Admissions group has been working diligently to coordinate the completion of the Admissions Suite renovation and to establish plans and resources needed for the development of the Online admissions team.  The projected date of completion for the Admissions Suite is December 2 – sooner than initially expected!  In addition, the Campus Cruiser based admissions training program and accompanying resources are close to being rolled out.  This includes a variety of content and exercises aimed at sharpening the knowledge and skills of CW staff recruiting for all programs, including Online.   The Talisma project is in full swing as well, with plans being developed in anticipation for a two week planning session happening in December here at the campus.  We’re making significant progress toward building a solid foundation for our current and future efforts!

November 2010

Online Division News
The CW Online Division plans to bring you monthly updates via the CW Review and here in the online blog.  As reported in last month’s CW review, we devised a way to engage the larger CW community by creating workgroups made up of CW personnel.  We have asked each workgroup to report in the Review monthly on some of their activities and projects.  This is our first edition.  You will also be hearing from members of the CW Online Division periodically, including Mary Beth, Richard, Ruth and Marie.  Thanks to all team members, team leads and many of you among our larger CW community who have become involved and engaged in the development of the Online Division.
There are a number of projects and initiatives within the workgroups and supervised by the Online Division, and many solely owned and under development through the CW Online Division.  Please feel free to direct your questions or comments to me, Mary Beth, at x463 or via email.
Library News
The CW Library will be piloting an online chat function called MEEBO which allow students to chat with one of our librarians to seek assistance with resources, coming soon.  Also, The Library currently is hosting a NetLibrary eBook Trial, and will, most likely, hold trials with several other e-book vendors.  The current trial will allow access to 500 eBooks and 50 eAudiobooks geared for academic libraries. Customized trials, tailored to specific colleges, are not available at this time. However, purchases tailored to College concentrations are expected and eBooks acquired become part of the Library’s permanent collection.  Monecia recently sent out an invitation that will allow trial access to NetLibrary.  Give it a try.
A Rose by Any Other Name….”Online” as a Proper Noun/Name
At the CW Online Division, we refer to Online as Online.  There are so many variations, and while there is no right or a wrong way to state it, we have chosen one variation – online or Online, not on-line, on line, On Line, etc.  After a while, it will become second nature to all of us.
Visits, Course Development and Internships, Supporting Students in the Classroom
The Teaching and Learning Work Group is comprised of team members Ruth , Paul, Greg, Joann M., Monecia, Sheryl, JoAnn S., and team lead Lorraine.
The name change is a more accurate reflection of the type of work this team will be overseeing; namely, topics relating to curriculum design, syllabi revision, as well as supporting and developing online faculty.  The team is preparing for the NYSED and Middle States Compliance visit concerning Courseware Development and the BBA Internship as it relates to the online program.
Submitted by Lorraine, Teaching and Learning team lead
Supporting Students Outside of the Classroom
We have already hit a few milestones in the Online Student Services Team.  We have created profiles of characteristics for our new on line admissions, enrollment services and academic advisors should possess.  We have identified current staff members who could assist with the training of these new advisors.  We have compiled a student survey that will be administered to current students enrolled in either BBA or Associate degree hybrid courses which will help us identify needs of students to make our students’ educational experiences that much smoother.  In addition, In conjunction with the Finance team, we are preparing a helpdesk survey to best assess what the needs of the CW community, and whether a 24/7 helpdesk vendor might help us better achieve that student, staff and faculty support in the off-hours.  Some of you will receive that survey soon.  Please participate.
We are very excited about hitting these milestones and are in the process of reaching many others.  Group members include Jean, Daphne, Pat, Julie and Tracia and team lead Maria G..
Submitted by Maria, Student Services team lead
Communicating to and Engaging The Prospective Students
The Admissions and Marketing Workgroup oversees projects including the Communications Center, Talisma implementation and online prospective student engagement process.  Team members include Mary B, Nancy T., Bob C., Dale, Sean and team lead Craig. The Admissions Communication Center will house the Admissions Associate Team.   Completion of the new center is expected by the end of December, 2010.  The Communication Center renovation includes reconfiguring the 2nd floor Admissions Suite.  Human resources include Admissions Associate staff, manager, and improved training resources for all.  Our new CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) System, Talisma, is scheduled for a mid-late spring 2011 rollout.  The Online Communications Center Team will take advantage of communication center training, Talisma and further populate this process at the appropriate time in 2011, after program approvals.
Submitted by Craig, Admissions and Marketing team lead
Do It Right
The Finance, Financial Aid, HR and Compliance team are excited to announce a few of the efforts underway to accommodate future online Students. Jessica is taking the lead on the important work of extending the CW philosophy to our soon-to-come online staff and faculty to ensure consistency in approach to customer service both throughout our ground campus and online.
Marie has been taking an inventory of forms and documents used in the different departments, classifying each forms and documents attributes and envisions each forms and documents use for online students.   Ethan has begun studying the departmental touch points of the ground campus Student Life Cycle and has created a draft report documenting these touch points.  Dianne, Nancy P., and Michele S. have other exciting upcoming online initiatives including; packaging online students, financial services support, and financial administration.
Submitted by Ethan, Finance, Financial Aid & Compliance team lead
A New Learning Management System (LMS)
The First Year Experience/Retention (FYE) workgroup is made up of team members Kelly, Michael S., Michael L., Ava, Bonnie, Judith and team lead Richard.  FYE has met a major milestone.  As many faculty are already aware, CW recently decided to transition from Blackboard Vista (previously known as WebCT) to Moodle and is currently in the process of identifying a company to host and support Moodle for the college. The target date for the transition is September, 2011.
For a variety of reasons, including the desire for greater functionality, the need for off-site hosting, and the gradual discontinuation of the Blackboard Vista system, CW has known that it would need to either upgrade or change to a different learning management system. While the initial plan had been to transition to Course Cruiser, part of the Campus Cruiser system, Course Cruiser did not have a features or support that would meet our needs. While staying with the Campus Cruiser portal, CW began considering other market-leading learning management systems that could integrate with it. The list was quickly narrowed to the two systems:
1) Blackboard 9.1, a new system from Blackboard that is very different from Blackboard Vista.
2) Moodle, an open-source system supported by multiple vendors, with a comparable market share and set of features. Moodle is used by the majority of school districts in New York State through their RICs and BOCES and is used at several SUNY campuses.
After examining costs and comparing features, Blackboard 9.1 was removed from consideration during the September meeting of cabinet. Its costs were significantly higher than Moodle, and the quote we received did not include faculty retraining or course conversion. Even with conversion and training costs factored in, Moodle was roughly a third of Blackboard’s cost over a three year period.
Of course, with Blackboard’s prices rising, we are not the only campus exploring these sorts of major changes. In the past 2-3 years, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Delhi, Louisiana State University, Florida International University, SUNY College of Optometry, Pennsylvania’s and California’s state systems, North Carolina’s community college system, Columbia University, and New York University have all either transitioned off of a Blackboard system or have started transitioning away from Blackboard and to other systems. Other campuses, such as SUNY Empire State, have started the process of examining their alternatives.
LMS Training
Once a vendor is selected, we will be working with them on a two-tier training program. First, all faculty will receive basic training in Moodle’s features and functionality. Depending on the vendor, we plan to give faculty some options for training, based on their intended use of the LMS, their availability, and their level of interest. This will include in-person training and/or online training, in addition to printed books on using Moodle in teaching and curriculum design. We are also working with contract instructional designers to ensure that interested faculty who have taken at least one of the training options will be able to make at least one hour-long appointment with someone who can consult with them on setting up their first Moodle course site.
Submitted by Richard, FYE (First Year Experience)/Retention team lead