Online programs must be built around student needs. Students expect to achieve their tasks without thinking about the department that’s serving them. They want to log into one place at any time of the day and see that all options/services are provided and personalized; they expect real-time and accurate responses with real-time resources. The single access point—the student’s computer—opens doors for navigating the “inside” and “outside” of classroom experiences seamlessly. Technology makes it possible to integrate often disjointed policies, practices and infrastructures to create a cohesive student support system.
Student Success Support
Universities spend enormous amounts of time and money recruiting students, but usually allocate far fewer resources making sure those students stick around and succeed. That’s not good for students, and it’s not good for an institution’s financial health and reputation. Online programs built by Noodle Partners have achieved retention rates comparable to those of corresponding on-campus programs.
Retention starts with having a team available seven days a week. When a student makes a request, by phone, email, text or chat message, the Student Support team responds right away. But “reactive” support services are not enough. Noodle Partners is proactive, with Student Success Advisors who create a rapport with students from the day they’re admitted until the day they graduate. Through the use of a Support Desk and Success Advisors, we create a team of individuals prepared to address students’ concerns and tech-issues as they arise but also to harness the power of learning analytics and other data to proactively support student success. The unified support team that we create can handle basic logistical issues on its own and is trained to connect with the appropriate campus personnel for resolution and then follow up until the issue is resolved.
Technical Support – Technology is the conduit to learning in the online environment. For that reason, technical support is a priority in every campus partnership we establish. We bring a Support Desk that is available 7 days a week to assist students with technical issues. The Support Desk is staffed by highly trained individuals who maintain a lens toward student satisfaction and success; they track all queries from students in order to identify patterns in student behavior that might create an at-risk alert or be used to better inform practice.
Student Success Advisors (SSAs) – Just like on-campus students, online students need to feel a sense of belonging, motivation and confidence. We provide a highly trained team of SSAs who proactively support students through their educational experience. SSAs build a rapport with students and coach them as needed through their journey. The SSAs start getting to know students from the moment they enroll, guiding them through the orientation process, and helping to ensure they start their programs organized, focused and motivated. They’ll help students, through both scheduled and ad hoc coaching sessions, to set priorities, articulate weekly goals and identify potential obstacles to meeting those goals. Further, they will help students through the processes of registering for classes, understanding prerequisites, and organizing deadlines and assignments, in concert with existing support centers at the University — for instance, financial aid or academic advisement offices.
SSAs also maintain an awareness of at risk indicators by harnessing Noodle Partners’ analytics to proactively retain students. Integrating your key data systems (CRM, SIS, LMS) with our analytics tools, Noodle Partners will identify and reach out to students with potential academic, social, or financial problems. We’ll work to resolve small issues ourselves and bring in campus partners when necessary. This approach provides advocates for students with problems or questions; leverages your existing systems; and allows us to continuously improve your support services.
Noodle Partners is experienced at working with academic personnel to facilitate their provision of services to support online students. Indeed, we’re committed to helping you provide such academic support services as part of our efforts to bridge the divide between online and on-campus higher education. We work to bring the best of your on-ground academic support programs like library services, tutoring, and academic skills development into the online setting.
Direct Academic Advisement – Ideally, academic advisement for online students is done in concert with advisement for on-campus students; the two groups will be taking the same courses and will have similar questions and issues. However, advising online students may be more than some colleges can reasonably handle. At a college’s request, Noodle Partners will advise online students directly. Noodle Partners will begin that process by determining the college’s preferred division of labor, that is, under what circumstances a student would be supported by one team or the other.
Academic Tutoring – As founder and longtime CEO of the Princeton Review, John Katzman has as much experience organizing successful tutoring programs as perhaps anyone in the world. Katzman and Noodle Partners developed OneWith, a platform that facilitates peer-to-peer academic tutoring. Noodle Partners believes peer-to-peer tutoring should be the default for your students. It would supplement this effort with paid tutoring.
OneWith also enlists alumni to tutor current students, strengthening the bonds of alumni to their alma maters. The various features of OneWith, including those involving alumni, will be available at your discretion.
A good orientation is one that not only gives new students necessary information but also makes them feel like they are part of a community. Noodle Partners has created online orientations that include synchronous and asynchronous modules to accomplish both of those goals. The orientations take place in the LMS and are designed in a similar manner as their courses, thus giving them realistic introduction to the learning experience.
Each college will have its own ideas about what student orientation should include. In general, orientation for online students welcomes students to the University community, establishes expectations of community member behavior and shares personal support resources, orients students to the online classroom, curriculum, and expectations, and gives students the opportunity to practice using the LMS.
Career Development Services
Our goal is to help universities and students achieve their goal, which for most students means gaining employment post-graduation. Our team works alongside campus-based career personnel to integrate online students into their programs (e.g. workshops, mock interviews, resume review, etc.) and to provide engaging asynchronous career development learning experiences. At the University’s request, Noodle Partners will provide a service to support students’ career development, exploration, and preparation.
Grounded in retention literature, Noodle Partners online student experience incorporates opportunities for students to engage with each other and with faculty and staff “outside” of the classroom. Students can utilize synchronous or asynchronous tools within the LMS to connect with a classmate for a study session, review an interesting current event posted by a peer, learn about virtual ways to connect with campus organizations, and much more.
Still have questions about Noodle Partners’ approach to student experience? Contact us and we’ll get some time on the calendar to discuss.