Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

Year Two: 2009 - 2010

In 2009 – 2010, the benefits of the Connecting to College Grant became apparent as most phases of the grant are in the implementation stage. Program based orientations, a Virtual Orientation Site, College Success learning outcomes as well as a college requirement of a First Year Experience, DegreeWorks implementation into the advising process, PLATO Accuplacer Prep utilization prior to testing (over 700 PLATO registrations), and Gateway course pilots in several course disciplines.

The work on the Connected College Title III Grant team has enhanced our services to first year students and connected and aligned our efforts with other college departments. In particular, Academic Affairs and Information Technology collaborations and partnerships have been fostered and strengthened.

Year Two of the grant officially began on October 1, 2009 and focused on two objectives:

  1. Increase the number of first-year students accessing connected services from 0 to 500 through completion of an online individual learning plan by 9/30/10
  2. Increase number of Connected College Gateway courses using integrative learning from 8 to 16 through the incorporation of integrative learning methods, assessment rubrics, and academic supports, and critical thinking outcomes by 9/30/10

Year Two Summary:

  1. DegreeWorks training has been made available to faculty and professional staff advisors. Of the approximately 100 full-time faculty members, 47 have been trained in DegreeWorks. In addition, 68 staff and administrators have received training with a total of 178 (duplicated) attendees this year.

    Academic Advising Specialist Ben Baumann reported that as of September 30, 2010, more than 621 students have developed individual learning plans in DegreeWorks. Faculty and professional staff advisors have embraced this tool and are using it to move from a “course selection/registration” model to an academic planning tool. For professional staff advisors, both full-time and part-time, using DegreeWorks is becoming a requirement.

  2. The second group of faculty (Cohort 2) redesigned eight courses: BIO 33 Human Anatomy and Physiology I, CIS 17 Programming: Logic, Design and Implementation, ENG 12 Composition II: Writing about Literature, HST 12 The West and the World II, MTH 021 Foundations of Algebra I, MTH 031 Foundations of Intermediate Algebra, SOC 11 Principles of Sociology, SPH 11 Fundamentals of Public Speaking.

    This cohort had the benefit of a full-time instructional designer and of the lessons learned by Cohort 1. In addition, the developmental math curriculum was revised and approved, which provided the outcomes needed to move these courses forward. Title III grant funding also provided the resources to send a team for training in the “Math Emporium” model. This computer-based, module-driven model provided a “best practice” that could dramatically change how developmental math is taught at BCC. So far, this model has been well-received by students and piloting faculty at the college. Lori Cooney and David Henry were invited to serve at a conference hosted at UMass Worcester on Best Practices in Course Design in the mathematics curriculum.

    In addition, the grant has provided increased funding for supplemental instruction. This allowed for tutors in the class and for additional study sessions. This was rolled out in the spring 2010 and summer 2010 semesters and will continue this academic year.


The Course Redesign Toolkit has transitioned from a paper document to SharePoint to an integrated part of the college’s eLearning space. Faculty now have access to the resources from within the Angel platform off accessBCC. This should enable easy access to the resources as well as the ability to adapt model syllabi and integrate course materials easily in faculty course spaces.

All of the second year cohorts have also participated in demonostrations, either online or in person, on using supplemental online course materials such as MySpeechLab, MySocLab and MyHistoryLab. These and other resources are available in the toolkit.

Our instructional designer put together an assessment design team (Karl Schnapp and Michael Geary) to build materials on a variety of teaching and assessment methodologies, such as exams, quizzes, writing assignments, formative assessments, presentations, authentic assessments, project-based learning, rubrics, plagiarism prevention, ESL & disabilities, etc. The “Assessment Toolkit” is included on the eLearning space in all of the course design toolkits.

Professional Development

Approximately 78 faculty have attended Title III professional development days during the 2009 – 2010 academic year. Some have attended more than one event, resulting in a total headcount of 128.

Professional development activities continued this year with approximately 120 faculty attending workshops thus far. Additionally, other activities have involved 76-82 faculty members (e.g., a variety of “MyLab” training: 34-37 faculty (not all unique); Developmental math redesigned curriculum meetings: 22-25; and Learning Community development: 20). Elaine Previte also met with individual faculty members in Attleboro and Fall River and have presented toolkits to them. New initiative: reflective practice groups starting in ENG, COM, RDG (no numbers yet)

There will be additional PD in January (both Attleboro and Fall River) and design faculty will be retained to train their colleagues as we go forward this year

This number will grow considerably during AY 2010-11 as Cohort 1 classes are rolled out, Cohort 2 classes are piloted, and Cohort 3 courses begin the redesign process.

  • Cohort 1 teams consisted of 19 faculty; this year, approximately 45 others have been trained.
  • Cohort 2 teams consist of 27 faculty.
  • Cohort 3 teams consist of 29 faculty (plus additional faculty on ESL and CSS teams).

Lori Cooney, our Instructional Designer, has trained many faculty members in various aspects of these new technologies; she has also guest lectured at least a half-dozen classes to train students on Web 2.0 technologies and on an online ePortfolio system (Digication). Presentations on Web 2.0 technology and the course toolkits have been made to several departments (e.g., English, History) as well; other work has been done with non-Gateway courses and programs (e.g, Massage Therapy, Deaf Studies). All these outreach efforts demonstrate that Title III is becoming institutionalized at BCC, and is changing the way faculty are teaching and engaging their students.

Lori has also made several presentations off-campus, bringing the BCC name and Title III to the educational community at large. Presentations were made at the Teaching and Learning Conference, LAANE conference, MassCUE conference, SCITT meetings, etc. She has also been involved with a grant at a local elementary school and is making technology recommendations for the eHealth Care initiative in New Bedford. Lori and Mike Vieira also served as proposal reviewers for the Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) workshop which is part of the ISTE 2011 (International Society of Technology Educators) conference in Philadelphia, PA. ISTE represents more than 100,000 education leaders and emerging leaders throughout the world and informs its members regarding educational issues of national and global scope.

Lori Cooney also attended the September English department meeting to demonstrate how to access ENG 090 Basic Writing Skills, ENG 101 Composition I: College Writing and ENG 102: Composition II: Writing about Literature Title III Toolkits through our eLearning site.

First Year Experience


DegreeWorks has made inroads and is helping change advising from a prescriptive to a developmental model. Lloyd King, the Grant’s Web Developer, has been instrumental in his behind-the-scenes work inputting catalogue data and customizing the software to meet BCC’s needs. As we go forward, DegreeWorks will be the catalyst that transforms the advising model here at BCC.

To date Ben Baumann, the Advising Specialist, has trained:

  • 178 faculty/advisors (duplicated) on DegreeWorks software through scheduled group sessions as well as individual appointments
  • 194 students on DegreeWorks software through class visits, training sessions, and individual advising appointments
  • 18 faculty and staff on PLATO courseware.

There are currently 1152 registered users in the PLATO Accuplacer Prep Module.

Ben also helped facilitate the two to three digit course conversion. He served as the point person to ensure that there was consistency in the assignment of numbers. This helped with the programming of DegreeWorks and should make advising easier.

At the end of Year 2 of the grant, Lori Cooney and Lloyd King created a database of technology equipment to monitor and track all of the usage of the materials for the toolkits. There are a total of 15 FLIP video cameras, half a dozen audio recorders, mini-laptops and 25 iPads for instructional use. It is recommended that faculty create Podcasts (audio and video) of their lessons because:

  1. Podcasting offers both faculty and students a flexible learning agenda.
  2. “According to one study, audio is the preferred format for recorded lectures, and RSS subscription increases the odds that students will download files.” (Teaching with Technology White Paper)
  3. 82% of undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said they preferred courses with online lecture content.
  4. The Stern’s Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning conducted a recent study addressing faculty concern that students would stop coming to class if lectures were available online - the study found that students continued to attend classes with online lectures.
  5. Duke University captured more than 200 lectures which were accessed by students more than 17,000 times.
  6. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell found that students who accessed recorded lectures had an 11% success rate increase over their peers and received fewer Ds, Fs, or withdrawals.

Also, faculty will soon be able to participate in an iPad initiative program where they will research, learn and utilize the iPad as an instructional tool for efficiency and student engagement.

Learning Communities

Efforts are also underway to expand the college’s Learning Community offerings, as well as the number of courses in which Supplemental Instruction is offered. Karl Schnapp, Lash Center’s Technical Specialist, will be working in conjunction with the Title III grant this summer to research other community colleges’ work with Learning Communities and will be creating professional development workshops for faculty wishing to participate in this aspect of the grant. Funds have been allocated in the grant for this purpose.

A two-day training session was held this summer and another was held in the fall. Approximately 10 new learning communities are being developed because of this new focus on LCs. A group of faculty also attended a conference this fall which provided additional professional development in the learning communities, and the registrar has changed the way they are listed which should address a long standing problem with how students register for learning communities. More attention will be provided to this new technology in Year Three of the grant.

President John J. Sbrega asked the Title III team to present to the faculty on opening day. Mike Vieira and Lori Cooney modeled the use of several types of emerging technology during the presentation. Feedback has been positive and the interest in using iPads and Web 2.0 tools has increased as evidenced by the number of requests for demonstration and instruction.