674 OLTAK – Week Seven

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:

  1. Purposeful: exist to support learners in their studies from first inquiry through graduation and beyond; integrated into institutional mission and strategic objectives
  2. Transparent: provide clear points of contact; clear standards of service identified
  3. Accessible: available on demand according to the needs of the learner; 24/7 where possible
  4. Responsive: responsive to individual needs; provide efficient turnaround
  5. Interactive: encourage and facilitate interaction among and between students(s), faculty, student support staff, and academic content
  6. Self-directed and developmental: facilitate self-management of processes and development of skills and attitudes necessary for independence and lifelong learning
  7. Integrated: demonstrate a high level of cross-functional collaboration that results in services being experienced as seamless by the learner
  8. 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

screen-shot-2012-08-30-at-9-52-44-pm1

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.

 

Resources:

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

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “674 OLTAK – Week Seven

  1. tmerculief says:

    Josie- This is a very good point that you make here, “Online classes are not for everyone. Students must understand that they must be organized and most importantly be self-motivated.” That is very true. It there are not they will likely not be successful in an online course. I like these that you mention from Debbie Morrison that we can motivate online students to be successful in the following phases:
    Phase 1: Guiding
    Phase 2: Encouraging
    Phase 3: Monitoring

    Like

  2. Teresa says:

    Josie,
    I like that you mentioned that teachers can help online learners by guiding, encouraging, and monitoring. This clearly points out that teachers should give information on expectations and deadlines, talk about and engage in the learning process, then monitor learning that’s occurred.

    I definitely agree that online courses are not for everyone and learners must be organized and self-motivated. Much of that motivation stems from work requirements and advancement. When I first went to college I wanted to do it for myself, to get a good paying job. Later, that motivation changed to wanting to make a better life for my kids. Motivation is a huge factor.

    Like

  3. Sara Lucas says:

    I like the idea of phases. I never considered online learning in this way but I think it is also true for the traditional classroom. First you need to make students feel comfortable with the organization of the class, next encourage them and finally see what they can do on their own for the last 1/3 of the class. This is something that I will be keeping in mind for how I set up my class.

    I also really like how you introduced your blog that online learning isn’t for everyone. I totally agree and I think a lot of it can have to do with the program you choose. I have found online learning to be far more beneficial than any of my face to face classes. I like that I can do it in my own time. However, it is hard to manage. But if it weren’t this way I would have no chance at completing a course becasue my time available each week varies so much. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  4. Mariah Smith says:

    Thank you so much for the graph resource that shows what and how much support students need at certain parts of the online course. The encouraging phase is what I need right now as a student (haha). I would like to highlight one of the ways that you mentioned of how we can support our students and it is being open to change. This is one of the main ways we can support our students because of how much education and the reasons of needing education (especially online education) changes.

    Like

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