In class last week we discussed the fact that numerous research studies, and the Bates text itself, identify that there is no difference in student success when face to face instruction is compared to that of an online approach. This being said, most of us enrolled in ECI834 deliver our daily lessons in a face to face manner. One can assume that each of us facilitates success strategies in our classrooms to assist learners to learn in unique and meaningful ways. Throughout our education we have honed our skills in assessment of student needs and understand that individuals learn differently. As a result of our experiences and formal education, each of us is armed with numerous strategies to assist learners be successful in the classroom.
Our final assignment of this class is to develop either and online or blended course. Over the course of the last few weeks we have discussed learning management systems and numerous programs and applications that aim to assist in the delivery of information and the transfer and facilitation of knowledge. But as teachers do we understand strategies that can assist online learns to be successful? This week I read a short article that examined strategies that facilitators of online courses can utilize to assist learners achieve success in online courses.
An article published by John Hopkins University explains that there are numerous strategies that can be promoted by teachers and utilized by learners to aid in the success of online classes. In fact, Dr. Jennifer Bachner, has narrowed the numerous strategies into a top five.
Bachner recommends online students devote consistent blocs of time to their course. Although online classes offer students flexibility, student success is evident when consistent blocks of time during the week are devoted to their online course work. Success is most evident when online students set aside consistent time periods that allocated specifically to “school work”.
The second success strategy that online instructors can encourage their students to partake in, is regular communication with their instructor. Students should be encouraged to ask questions when course content is unclear or expectations regarding assignments are vague. Instructors and students should be open to establishing relationships despite the fact that face to face instruction does not occur.
Like Alec and Katia promote, Bachner goes on to state that online courses should encourage classmates to interact with each other outside of the mandatory discussion postings. Students should be encouraged to share their knowledge, insights and experiences through such means as relevant news stories or publications that relate to course content. I feel we in ECI834 do this through our #ECI834 hashtag, our individual comments to our peer’s blog posts and through the google plus page. This sharing promotes a feeling of collaboration and collegiality, things that often happen in successful face to face courses.
The fourth strategy discussed in the article encourages online students to understand and work within the confines of the online world. Working with new software and programs often takes time to learn to navigate and understand. I know last semester when I signed up for ECI833, it was the technology of the class itself that scared me away. I could not imagine myself creating a blog, signing up and managing Zoom US and tweeting every week. The content of the actual course didn’t scare me, it was connecting and interacting online. Bachner feels it’s important for students to understand that they will encounter certain hurdles and unfamiliar approaches to learning but those who reach out, ask for assistance and give themselves time to adjust, are often successful.
The fifth and final strategy that can promote the success of online students is to understand that not all online classes are the same. Understanding the instructor’s expectations and how the facilitator structures their class is important. Some online classes are heavily weighted on online discussion posts while others utilize group projects or papers. Student success increases when students ensure the expectations of the class align with their learning style and needs.
After reading Bachners article I have to say that I am hopeful that I may make it successfully through #ECI834. Not only due to my hard work and determination, but due to the strategies, expectations, and requirements that Alec and Katia have incorporated into this class. So thanks guys! It’s nice to know there is a “method to your madness” and you have done everything you can to promote success within all of us within #ECI834!!!!