Week 7 Reflection 674
Our essential question this week was “How can we support students in being successful in our online course?”
There are many things we can do to support a student to be successful in an online course. The first thing is to make sure to have the course material posted before the course begins. This way the student can go through the syllabus and see if they have any questions.
Another good plan is from St. Pierre and Olsen (1991), who found the following factors contribute to student satisfaction in independent study courses: (1) the opportunity to apply knowledge, (2) prompt return of assignments, (3) conversations with the instructor, (4) relevant course content, and (5) a good study guide (Moore, 2012). I think these are great ideas that will help a student be successful in any online course.
In responding to others’ blogs, Teresa mentioned a good book: “101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors: Effective Teaching Tips for Daily Classroom Use.” I really like the points she mentioned:
• Recognize the importance of your influence.
•Realize that you will affect lives.
•Remember your most favorite and least favorite teachers and learn from them.
•Refuse to give up on any child.
I think this is wonderful advice. I know sometimes I want to give up on a child if I see the child is not trying or doesn’t seem to care. I need to remember this, because I do affect their lives and can make a difference. If they see I am not giving up them, they may try to work harder for me.
Sara made me think about my online course. She suggested to “Think projects and big ideas. Get creative. The students will be more engaged, and you’ll feel more fulfilled as a teacher.” This is excellent advice. Another great idea she offered is to ask for informal feedback on how the course is going, and to ask students if they have any suggestions to improve the course. If you need to, you can change things up. This will also give the students the sense that they have a voice in what they are learning. The last advice is great as well: plan a closing activity. This is good because most students will be stressed or tired from working all quarter and will be ready for a break. I like presenting projects!
I agreed with her that I wouldn’t be able to further my degree as well, without distance learning. Online courses give me the freedom to still take classes while I am working, which benefits me and my students.
Amy made a comparison that I liked. She said that a online course is like walking into unknown land; we need to navigate the students through it. That is a good comparison especially for someone who is new to online courses. She made another good point: “To help our students understand where we are going, we have to break down the course into manageable sections.” That is the key word: manageable. Some students will get overwhelmed if you do not break it down.
Josie made this important observation: “Online classes are not for everyone. Students must understand that they must be organized and most importantly be self-motivated.” This is very true. If they are not the kind of person who can work independently and still get work done, they will likely not be successful in an online course. I like the phases Josie mentioned, taken from Debbie Morrison (2016), to help keep online students motivated:
Phase 1: Guiding
Phase 2: Encouraging
Phase 3: Monitoring
It was a good week of classes and a great presentation from my classmates on planning for student success. I just wish that they shared this presentation with us, because I think there were a lot of good points in it that would be helpful to look back at. I will have to ask, when I see a good presentation, if we can get a copy or download it or something. Looking forward to this week and interacting with my classmates!
Morrison, D. (2012). Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/five-step-strategy-for-student-success-with-online-learning/