Southeast Online Receives Online Learning Consortium’s 2018 Effective Practice Award

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Southeast Online’s Flipped Student Service Model at Southeast Missouri State University, an innovative approach to providing student support services using technology, just-in-time messaging, customer service and community-building, has been recognized by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) with a 2018 Effective Practice Award.

OLC effective practices focus on five pillars of quality in online education, including access, learning effectiveness, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction and scale, defined by an institution’s commitment to achieve capacity enrollment via cost effectiveness. The award will be presented at the OLC Accelerate conference Nov. 13 in Orlando, Florida.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Online Learning Consortium,” said Chelsea McNeely, director of Southeast Online. “Southeast Online is committed to providing students access to a quality distance education experience. There is truly no better feeling than receiving cards and flowers and messages from students sharing their appreciation for our assistance. Because of the systems and processes we have put in place with our model, we get to hear these accolades from students regularly and that keeps us energized and excited to come in to work and to keep doing what we are doing.”

Southeast Online has used the Flipped Student Service model for nearly a decade. The model focuses on student success, said Leah Michel, coordinator of online advising.

“Students who are completing their degree online often have priorities other than their education,” she said. “They are often juggling a family, careers, education, friendships and more. By pushing information to them when they need it, they get the information they need when it’s relevant to them. It’s essentially one less thing they have to worry about.”

Southeast’s Online advising resources and website are regularly reviewed to ensure students are receiving the most relevant information and support, added Michel.

The model strives to provide students the best service and innovative technology resources, said McNeely.

“Before we implement a technology, we thoroughly analyze our pain points and concerns and identify many possible solutions,” McNeely said. “We try to innovate using technology by using what we have available at Southeast, such as the Moodle Learning Management System and Microsoft Office products, and free, helpful products online. One example of how we integrated technology was with our advising database. It started as a fairly simple Excel spreadsheet. Over time, it evolved into an Access database. As our services and understanding of our customer needs matured, we designed and developed a database web application with the help of a talented student employee. We already had these technology solutions available, and we applied them incrementally as our needs changed. This type of process is what we believe is the definition of innovation.”

Southeast Online has presented the model at national conferences and webinars.

“We believe in sharing techniques and practices to provide better services for all students, and we’ve had great conversations with educators sharing experiences and advice,” McNeely said. “By presenting our model at conferences and webinars, we have generated a network of likeminded people who we share with and learn from to better serve students.”

For more information about Southeast Online, visit http://www.semo.edu/online/.

For more information about the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and its 2018 Effective Practice Award, visit https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/about/olc-awards/effective-practices/.