The Center for Digital Education (CDE) announced the winners of its 2017-18 Digital Community Colleges Survey, and Rappahannock Community College was again among the winners. This year, RCC brought home a second-place ranking in the small college category. This marks a positive move for RCC since CDE ranked the College 3rd over the past two years.
“This evaluates how we stack up against our colleagues from across the country — in our case, community colleges with under 5,000 students,” says Tim Hoffman, an eLearning Specialist in RCC’s Technology Department.
Hoffman served as the primary information collector for RCC. He worked with the rest of the Technology team to answer and submit the survey. All of the questions required all members of the team to have input.
While Hoffman is happy with RCC’s new ranking, he’s not sure exactly what pushed the College up to the number two spot. Hoffman and his colleagues do not get specific items on which they are graded in from CDE.
“They ask many questions differently each year,” says Hoffman. “This year a lot of what we were talking about was the design of our many of our systems, including the website and other learning applications.”
Though he’s not sure what the ranking liked about RCC exactly, Hoffman says that he and the team will continue to innovate and find new solutions for making the learning experience better.
“Not all technologies are mandatory, but we have a lot of different tools that can be used,” says Hoffman.
“Our classes aren’t just ‘show up and write down notes.’ We have a lot more interactive materials that go along with them.”
The Technology Department at RCC includes Hoffman, Michael Anthony, IT Security Officer; Rhett Moore, Network Technician; Dave Newsome, Network Operations Manager; Drew Metz, Network Technician; Benjamin Smither, Evening Technician; Brandin Thompson, Network Technician; Kathy Vanlandingham, Administrative Assistant and Joe Wolski, Network Technician. At the time of this ranking, the team included Dr. Virginia Jones, who served as RCC’s Dean of Technology, but now is employed at Patrick Henry Community College.
The survey revealed insights about community colleges’ technology priorities in general. Colleges surveyed indicated that mobility devices/app support is their top priority for the coming year, followed by cybersecurity tools and testing, website redesign/updates, upgrading classroom technologies, digital content and curriculum, and disaster recovery/business continuity.
All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in the Digital Community Colleges Survey within three classifications based on enrollment size.