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The Dynamic Student Development Meta-Theory

A New Model for Student Success


Edited By Mark A. Frederick, Pietro A. Sasso and José Miguel Maldonado

The Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel (DSDM) is a meta-theory based on empirically based inferences drawn from a national survey entitled the University Learning Outcomes Assessment (UniLOA). The UniLOA’s current dataset consists of over 500,000 college student participants and has supported impressive findings that allow for the reconceptualization of long-held cultural artifacts and assumptions regarding the way students grow, learn, and develop (GLD) and how decision makers within postsecondary education have selected to engage the domains of student development measured by the UniLOA. This book champions a model of student success. The DSDM was developed from common factors identified in multiple theories and models within the areas of human and student development as well as empirically based theories and models of education. By first defining complementary elements within the theories and models then establishing accurate operational definitions, the planning and engagement of appropriate services, supports, interventions, and programs (SSIPs) and the active assessment of their outcomes can lead to a more effective response to current challenges faced by higher educators. As a metamodel, the DSDM reconceptualizes student success within higher education that is disruptive to the current accepted paradigm of student learning and engagement. This book is intended for faculty and staff interested in critical debate about issues in higher education and for deliberation by graduate students in college administration programs.

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Chapter Six: Bridging the Digital Gap for Distance Learning Students (Kathie T. Erwin)


chapter 6

Bridging the Digital Gap for Distance Learning Students

Kathie T. Erwin

Developing student engagement in the online classroom is about relationship building more than technology or class structure. Where the learning management system is used effectively, online learning can equal or exceed engagement levels of face to face classroom particularly with Millennial generation students. Beyond technology is the need to create a higher value aspect of learning by developing models closer aligned with “communities of practice” (Wenger, 2000) or “communities of inquiry” (Garrison, 2007). With an affective oriented and collaborative approach, the level of personal connection increases, learning moves higher up the Bloom’s taxonomy and class interaction becomes an enjoyable for students.

This chapter looks at how to reach distance learning students in ways that support the DSDM Model with consideration for demographic, social, and technological capability of students. Some distance education techniques explored that are consistent with the DSDM Model include class organization, re-design of classroom interactions for online, ability to interface with popular media, and new ways to add creativity that engages distance students.

Demographics of Distance Students

The old assumption that distance learning is most appealing to mid-career and career changing adults is being shattered by Millennials. The average age of the 2016 online undergraduate student is 29 years old, a notable drop from 34 years old in 2012. The decline is smaller among graduate students whose average age in←109 | 110→ 2016...

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