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Fact Sheet: NACCE-HP National Survey on Use of e-Learning at Community Colleges

Thursday, May 15, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeanne Yocum
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• Background on survey methodology -  In Quarter 4 of 2013 the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) distributed the National Landscape Survey to community college faculty across the United States. Pushed out widely through many channels, 253 faculty participated on behalf of their colleges. The data collection was headed by Eric Liguori, entrepreneurship professor at California State University, Fresno. Liguori reports that the survey completion rate was strong (44%), and that the sample was a very diverse representation of U.S. community colleges.


Survey findings

• Use of e-learning - 47% of the teachers/administrators surveyed say their community colleges uses online components in teaching. When asked to think two years ahead, there is a slight increase (now 55%) in the online teaching modalities. This is primarily due to foreseen increase in hybrid and purely online learning.


• Efficacy of e-learning - Community colleges appear to be confident in the ability of online learning to improve learning outcomes; 84% of the respondents confirm that e-learning is a valuable educational tool.


• Preferred teaching modalities - More than half (56%) of teachers prefer to use teaching modalities that have some form of online component: 38% prefer hybrid, 12% prefer primarily face-to-face but with some online supplements; and 6% prefer purely online structures. Some 5% are okay with any modality.

• Barrier to adoption - Most respondents have no hesitations in incorporating new e-learning tools. However, some of the most cited concerns are: doubts in capability/reliability, acceptance of both students and teachers, and lack of resources such as time, ICT access, and technical support. Moreover, about 10% have little control over materials used in classes.

• Top five benefits identified - (1) Increases access through location and time flexible learning; (2) more resources and information are available to students 24/7; (3) wide variety of tools and methods teachers can use for teaching; (4) a good supplement to F2F curriculum e.g. as additional study materials; (5) it can lead to a richer learning experience if integrated correctly, freeing up class time for more engaging activities.

• When does online/hybrid learning best facilitate learning - When asked when online/hybrid classes best facilitate online learning, respondents raised a number of features that are found in the HP LIFE platform:

1.    Depends on the nature of the course (29%): Online learning works better for more self-paced courses that tend to require students to work individually; for more basic and introductory courses that are less applied; for teaching technology skills; when supported with face-to-face sessions.


Modules on HP LIFE e-Learning are designed to fit different delivery methods, can be a supplement for face-to-face instruction and also for individual, self-paced learning. Topics simplify complex concepts.

2.    Depends on the resources available to the online course, including its format & features (23%): Need for teacher training, high quality content and curriculum design, use in conjunction with real world problems and situations, opportunities for student-student and student-teacher interaction, discussion boards, collaborative team projects, activities (e.g. exercises, quizzes, assignments, presentations), online simulations. HP LIFE e-Learning content carries these features.

3.    Depends on accessibility (7%): Need for basic or adequate technology skills (e.g. able to troubleshoot on their own). One suggestion is to include a module on ‘how to succeed in online and hybrid courses.’

• Student access to technology – Students generally have high access to technology for their e-learning courses either in or out of school. Respondents estimate that 65% of community colleges students have low to no difficulty in accessing online course content.

• Other online tools/information suggested that could increase effectiveness in entrepreneurship classes include:

         1. Other types of teaching/learning methods – e.g. flipped learning strategies 

         2. More teaching resources – e.g. social media, videos, case studies, webinars

         3. More collaborative activities – e.g. funded competitions, community engagement

         4. Broader content/topics – e.g. training for “soft” skills, info on start-up funding

         5. More school-wide resources – e.g. incubators, entrepreneurship clubs


• Use of technology for teaching entrepreneurship - More than 70% of the time, community colleges advocate the use of technology in business settings and processes, business ventures, and in teaching entrepreneurship.

Additional statistics

• Among all 253 respondents, 91% are open to considering alternative methods of teaching, and 83% would be able to integrate an effective, free, e-learning module that worked for their course.

• Overall, 63% feel that it would be easy to incorporate entrepreneurship-related curricula in their existing courses.

• 136 teachers of the teachers surveyed (54%) teach business or entrepreneurship-related courses (54%). Of these teachers, 75% say it would be easy to incorporate entrepreneurship-related curricula in the classes they teach.

• 38 (15%) of the teachers surveyed teach other technical courses but are not specifically business/entrepreneurship courses (e.g. trade courses, engineering, sciences, economics, IT).  Of these, 53% say it would be easy to incorporate entrepreneurship-related curricula in the classes they teach.

• Despite the courses taught, teachers are still essential in students’ entrepreneurial learning experiences. 49% say that students regularly come to them for support in starting a business, while some 45% say past students have similarly sought their guidance.

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