This week we learned ways to help students to be successful as they take online courses. As instructors there are things we can do such as encouraging students to turn in assignments on times and reaching out to them if they haven't, maintaining positive interaction, and allowing for social interaction between students, but there are also many other little things to help a student feel important and like they matter. When students feel this sense of importance, I do believe that they will perform better.
Another teacher in my school approached me recently asking for advice on how do deal with a child who is not doing well academically and is a handful (to say the least) behaviorally. I mentioned many different things, which to all, she said she was already doing or had tried. I asked her if she has a personal connection with the student, if she talks with him, and has developed that connection. There was where she was lacking. She had not done that and for her, from the beginning it was all negative interaction with the student. I do believe students will work better for you if they feel you care about them. Thank you Dr. Graham for doing such a great job with this! You take time out of your day, respond to questions, concerns or anything that's going on.
I had initially thought as I was doing this week's response that there are so many similarities between encouraging face to face and online success and was really glad to see that Dan had thought the same thing. In addition, he mentioned that procrastination is another big thing to avoid especially in distance learning. I'm glad that Amy had pointed out that breaking the class down into manageable sections is important for organization and this may help with cutting down or limiting procrastination. I was also glad she pointed out the importance of a synchronous meeting at the beginning of the course. Although throughout the course meeting synchronously wouldn't be taking place, this initial meeting would help students to understand expectations, alleviate stress, and initiate social presence, which I see everyone is addressing. Josie mentioned that instructors can motivate students to succeed in three phases: guiding, encouraging, monitoring. Although these are familiar in how they're implemented, breaking it into phases and discussing each phase makes it easy to follow. In my response Amy's take away was the importance of starting the class off on the right note, and Theresa was interested in the book for menses (that's really good for all teachers). Great discussions this week.