EQ: How can we support students in being successful in our online course?
Online classes are not for everyone. Students must understand that they must be organized and most importantly be self-motivated. In addition to the student commitment is the need to have clear requirements for each student. Lee’s statement “…These requirements should be quite transparent” is on point. Often print out requirements and check off each one to ensure that I have completed all of my tasks.
|Barriers||What you can do|
|Lack of understanding of what support online students need||Engage with past, present and future students to find out what support they need|
|Gather intelligence from external sources|
|Allocating and managing staff support for different needs can be difficult||Consider alternative mechanisms to support students in different time zones|
|Offer staff guidance on roles and boundaries|
|Provide staff training and support|
|Lack of joined up systems to track where students have accessed support (and been referred onwards if needed)||Develop institution-wide policies about student tracking activities and data management|
Characteristics of Effective Online Learner Support (Nord):
Support services for learners are all those measures taken to facilitate learning persistence and success, and to improve the quality of the learning experience through engagement and integration into the academic community. From a student perspective, learner support services should have the following characteristics:
- Purposeful: exist to support learners in their studies from first inquiry through graduation and beyond; integrated into institutional mission and strategic objectives
- Transparent: provide clear points of contact; clear standards of service identified
- Accessible: available on demand according to the needs of the learner; 24/7 where possible
- Responsive: responsive to individual needs; provide efficient turnaround
- Interactive: encourage and facilitate interaction among and between students(s), faculty, student support staff, and academic content
- Self-directed and developmental: facilitate self-management of processes and development of skills and attitudes necessary for independence and lifelong learning
- Integrated: demonstrate a high level of cross-functional collaboration that results in services being experienced as seamless by the learner
- Open to Change: evolve continuously to accommodate new learner populations, educational developments, economic conditions, technological advances, and findings from research and evaluation.
Online classes do have different requirements than a traditional classroom. I often find there is more work to do; however, I am able to complete the work in my time – adhering to the deadlines of course. We learn through Debbie Morrison that we can motivate online students to be successful in the following phases:
Phase 1: Guiding
Phase 2: Encouraging
Phase 3: Monitoring
The guiding phase is when we introduce the requirements through the syllabus so that the students are aware of the weekly assignments and due dates. Encouraging is when the teacher and peers talk about the lessons to further knowledge on the class subject. Students are often engaged in group projects or interact via Blackboard which further supports the weekly theme. Finally monitoring takes place when we see that the student is able to apply the newly learned knowledge to other areas in classwork.
Moore, Michael. G. and Kearsley, Greg. (2012). Distance education: A systems view of online learning, 3rd edition.
Nord. n.d. How to Build Effective Online Learner Support Services. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from http://teachonline.ca/tips-tools/how-build-effective-online-learner-support-services
Morrison, Debbie. (2012, Aug 3). How to Motivate Students in the Online Learning Environment. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from https://onlinelearninginsights.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/screen-shot-2012-08-30-at-9-52-44-pm1.png
Unknown. (2016, Jan 20). Supporting Online Students. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/curriculum-design-and-support-for-online-learning/supporting-online-students
JISC. (2016, Jan 20). Supporting Online Students. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/curriculum-design-and-support-for-online-learning/supporting-online-students