Technical Education at a Distance (TED) Model

Technical Education at a Distance (TED) Model

distance education, instruction, technology, mentors, regional adjunct lab instructors
  • Distance Education
  • Technology
  • Distance Education
0
Mitchell Technical Institute (SD)
http://www.mitchelltech.edu
https://sites.google.com/a/mitchelltech.edu/ted/
  • Institutions
  • Institutions

PURPOSE

Technical training and education typically includes face-to-face opportunities for students to observe, practice, and demonstrate hands-on skills needed to achieve required program competencies. The issue is how to provide hands-on skill training for online students without requiring their travel to campus. Furthermore, online students often feel disconnected and isolated in their studies. The TED model uses a variety of tools and activities to overcome this barrier.

  • Develop a hybrid model that can be used to deliver hands-on, technical education and training for distance education students.

  • Increase retention and success of online students.

DESCRIPTION

Provide a hybrid delivery model incorporating web based videoconferencing, mobile device technologies, virtual simulations, highly interactive software, mentors, and off-campus regional labs. Combined, this results in online instruction and hands-on skills training that results in high quality "Technical Education at a Distance". This tool has been piloted to provide a distance delivery option for students enrolled in the Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree program at Mitchell Technical Institute.

  • Online asynchronous coursework & virtual classroom – a variety of highly interactive software such as VoiceThread, simulations, and online tutoring have been incorporated to create a “virtual classroom”
  • Use of iPads with education & speech-therapy apps – iPads are routinely used by practicing SLPAs in a school settings, students in the TED program receive an iPad pre-loaded with apps for use while in the program.
  • Hands-on training of technical skills in regional labs – monthly labs at 5 locations across the state with adjunct lab instructors who are practicing Speech Language Pathologists.
  • Local mentor for first year – arrangements are made for a local mentor who is usually a professional educator or speech-language professional. The mentor provides both academic and professional support and guidance for students and can provide the personal relationship and connection that can often be lacking for online students.
  • 8-week fieldwork placement – students are placed in an "internship" type position which is done in a school setting.
  • Partner with schools for “grow your own” effort – arrangements were made several schools districts to provide tuition assistance to currently employed para-professionals to enroll in the TED SLPA program to complete requirements for the SLPA certification.
  • Stacked credentials: National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) & Para-pro opportunities – since not every student will complete the SLPA program, opportunities during the first year are provided for them to complete the National Career Readiness Certificate or ETS Para-Professional assessment in order to earn a portable credential that may be a gateway to future employment or training.
  • Tele-practice using high definition audio/video – the term “tele-practice” refers to the delivery of Speech-Language services via high definition audio/video technology or the use of this technology by the supervising Speech-Language Pathologist. The use of this technology is part of the TED model and students learn how to use this cutting edge tool.
  • Printed resources including student surveys, online student guide, lab instructors manual, and online faculty guide are available at https://sites.google.com/a/mitchelltech.edu/ted/technical-assistance
  • 3rd Party evaluation reports are available at: https://sites.google.com/a/mitchelltech.edu/ted/evaluation
  • AAS in Speech-Language Pathology Assistant – which is the ultimate goal of the program.
  • Student retention

  • Student program completion

  • Student Employment

As a grant funded project there were very specific measurable outcomes required by the grant funding agency. This project started in October 2012 and the outcomes are reported to the US Department of Labor on an annual basis. As of the end of Year 2 report, (September 30, 2014) the outcome measures for student retention, program completion, and employment have been achieved.

The tool has provided education and training resulting in qualified Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) to meet a desperate need in South Dakota schools. Furthermore, the tool has had a postive impact on the entire institution by providing best practices and tools that have been adapted for other face-to-face and online programs.

RESOURCES AND LESSONS LEARNED

Although development and implementation of the tool was done with support of a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, replication of the tool can be done with existing resources and staff and faculty that would be available on any campus.

  • Hiring of regional lab instructors - conduct approximately 1 lab/month

  • Local mentors - initially paid to get program launched, may find volunteers for continuation

  • Purchase of iPad for issue to students (loaned) - can also be made a program requirement

  • Purchase of software such as VoiceThread, Smart Thinking, and online simulations if available for program

  • Regional face-to-face labs are a significant enhancement - feedback from students overwhelmingly show this is a major program strength

  • Local mentors are beneficial for distance students desiring this personal interaction

  • Online simulation tools allow students to practice skills and what they have learned

  • Students need an orientation early to the various technologies being used in program delivery - student handbook developed to help

Future plans include continued review of other programs that may be a good fit for delivery using this model.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

https://sites.google.com/a/mitchelltech.edu/ted/

John Heemstra
Outreach Coordinator
Mitchell Technical Institute
1800 E. Spruce Street
Mitchell , South Dakota 57301
Phone: 605 995 7204

john.heemstra@mitchelltech.edu

John Heemstra
Outreach Coordinator
Mitchell Technical Institute
1800 E. Spruce Street
Mitchell , South Dakota 57301
Phone: 605 995 7204

john.heemstra@mitchelltech.edu