Aug. 30, 2022: EdTech explains, “Online Learning Can Lead to Increased Success for Minority Students in Higher Education”

This week in USDLA News: A Note from Dr. Corey King, USDLA Board Member “Digital learning increases access to equitable higher education and can catalyze improved course outcomes for historically marginalized students,” explains a recent article in EdTech.

Indeed, colleges and universities must recognize that online platforms are becoming the preferred learning modality.  Equitable access and success, in this platform, for all students are paramount, especially historically marginalized students. As our world’s demographics change, we are seeing a remarkable impact on the political landscape, social justice issues, and especially the learning framework in higher education. The topics of student access, student equity, and student success have been at the forefront of higher education for decades. Today, discussions on these topics have specifically focused on the success of historically marginalized students.

As we know, the COVID pandemic forced colleges and universities to pivot from in-person learning to online learning. In pivoting to online learning, faculty, staff, and students quickly learned the related challenges to ensuring equitable student access and success in online learning spaces.

The EdTech article discusses how online learning can lead to increased success among historically marginalized students.  The article expands on how success and access are realized through innovative teaching, digital learning tools, inclusive courses, and a culturally diverse curriculum.  The article further outlines strategies colleges and universities can implement to develop and implement pathways to access, equity, and success.  These strategies focus on identifying the issues, engaging digital tools, eliminating assumptions about students, having a social presence, and being clear and transparent.

This article provides strategies that are applicable in any online learning environment.  Colleges and universities must use the online platform as the preferred learning modality.  Equitable access and success for all students are paramount, especially historically marginalized students.

Click here to read the entire article, and scroll down to find details. Feel free to contact me with questions. — Corey

About Dr. Corey A. King: Dr. King is currently Vice Chancellor for University Inclusivity & Student Affairs at UW-Green Bay.  He brings over 29 years of higher education experience in student affairs, academic support services, executive strategic planning, enrollment planning & management, equity, diversity & inclusion.   He has been recognized by regional and national higher education associations for his work as a transformational leader. Throughout his career, Dr. King has been a champion of student success through his leadership by establishing an Urban Male Institute focused on the recruitment, retention, and graduation of urban males and a First-Generation Student Success Center geared toward providing support services and scholarships to the upward social mobility of first-generation students. In addition, as an associate graduate faculty member, Dr. King taught graduate courses focused on higher education leadership, contemporary and diversity issues, and comparative internationalization of higher education. He is also engaged in the community through his leadership on several boards including the Girl Scouts, United Way, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Dr. King received a Bachelor’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration/Student Affairs from Florida State University. He received his Doctorate in Educational Administration & Leadership from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Click here to contact Dr. King by email.

Online Learning Can Lead to Increased Success for Minority Students in Higher Education

EdTech article by Mol Doak

Research shows that student performance in gateway courses can predict retention, the likelihood of graduation, and all-around student success. Historically, minority students have been underserved in these courses. This leads to more minority students receiving D or F grades, withdrawing, or receiving incomplete grades, often resulting in lower retention rates.

While online learning is not without its challenges, experts say it can be a catalyst for improving course outcomes for disadvantaged and historically marginalized students.

Jessica Rowland Williams is the director of Every Learner Everywhere, a network of 12 organizations that help post-secondary education institutions use new technology and innovative teaching solutions to help Black, Latino, Indigenous, economically disadvantaged, and first-generation students. In a recent EDUCAUSE webinar, she shared strategies on how faculty and institutional leaders can implement equitable online learning at scale.

Acknowledging Disparity in Higher Education

Williams said the way forward begins by looking at the higher education environment and its history through a social justice lens. “Social justice is about the fair distribution of opportunities and privileges as they apply to individuals within a society,” Williams says. When it comes to education, it’s essential to consider how race, gender, and wealth, among many other factors, determine the quality of education to which a person has access.

To emphasize social justice and enhance access to higher education for underserved groups, society must acknowledge and understand existing privilege and ensure other factors such as poverty, mental health, and safety are addressed.

Click here to read the entire article.