Monday, August 15, 2011

Secrets to Student Success in Online Courses

imageThought I’d share some of the tips on ensuring student success in online courses.


  1. Blended instruction – we have adopted a program of online learning which blends face-to-face instruction with online connections.  Those personal connections in a classroom up the ante for student accountability and responsibility that this is a ‘real’ course and they can’t just let their work slide.  This also have the advantage of supervised testing.  There are times when teachers need to ensure that the work of students is their own and not just ‘tutor supported’. 
  2. Follow-up – as soon as a student misses an assignment or test deadline it is time to contact them.  Using an escalation approach from an email, to phone call to parent, to a phone call from the admin team lets the student know that we are concerned about them completing the course on time.
  3. Amazing teachers – can’t say enough about the fabulous educators who make every day engaging, relevant and interesting for students.  Kudos to you all!
  4. Use the best classroom tools available.  Our suite of tools includes: WebCT (soon to be Blackboard), email, Engrade gradebook and Elluminate Live for virtual meetings.
  5. Did I mention follow-up.  It is worth repeating that the more times a school reaches out to a student and parent the more likely they are to ensure their work is in order.

We are wrapping up our summer FastTrack online learning program and had another very successful year.