Online Learning for Higher Education Enhancing Access, Student Experiences and Course Outcomes
Monika Sikand, Assistant Professor, Bronx Community College
This presentation will provide, pedagogical approach and assessment of student performance in Stellar Astronomy course, taught in online class section and traditional classroom section at Bronx Community College. Many students opt for Astronomy as a STEM variant course to fulfill core science course requirement in pursuing liberal arts and science degrees like media, communication, education, criminal justice etc. at Bronx Community College. The choice of access to online learning environment for core science course requirement offers many advantages to students especially working students in enhancing science learning experiences. The use of technology for quicker assessment of student performance, grades in weekly submissions, access to technology rich Smart Work Astro tours, Astro dictionary and Nebraska simulations overcome various pedagogical challenges in face to face classroom setting. The access to online technology provides an advantage to reach more students in limited time, maintain detailed record of student interactions, weekly submissions and comprehensive assessment of student performance. The weekly timed activities, simulation exercises, submissions using smarter technology encourages students to submit work in timely manner, assess their grades weekly as semester progresses and prepares them better for final exam. The online learning access for undergraduate education in core science requirement mitigates the barriers in making higher education accessible, encourages student centered learning and advance teaching in 21st century digital age.