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Keys to Success for Teachers and Students

Teachers who have an online class must reach out to students even more than they would in a live class.  Knowing this, teachers must make frequent and consistent comments to their students throughout the course.  The other tip for teachers is to give their student the benefit of the doubt with late work.  I have found that when I give my students extra time they really appreciate it.

Students of online classes must be more decisive with their time spent on their online class.  They must set aside the time that would normally occur with the travel and seat time of a live class, and put that toward their online class.  They must also know when their best working time is, and be consistent to use that time as apposed to making it free time.

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Comment by Daniel Rubin on October 30, 2013 at 8:35am

You make a good point about the value of frequent feedback. However, I must disagree about 'late' work. Online courses require much more student responsibilityand if you set deadlines, they must be adhered to. I find that this works very well for both discussion assignments as well as assessments. My comments are based on online experience at the college level, of course, where I'm dealing with 'adults' and treat them as such, with respect as well as exercising the appropriate authority when enforcing course guidelines and policies.

Comment by Thomas McLaughlin on October 31, 2013 at 2:48pm

Daniel and Amy, 

I am kinda in the middle here.  I believe HW and assignments should be turned in on time but sometimes assessments (test/quizzes) might have to pushed back for lots of reasons --- illness, lack of understanding...In the class room you know when a student is sick and misses a test or a quiz because of it, but how do we deal with illness online?  I think the reason for missed work (assessments or tests) must be looked at.  Habitual lateness is not acceptable, but if a student were to send me a message and let me know they were ill and could not work that day or the next then I would have to provide an extension.  

So that leads me to a larger question:

What is the sick policy with an online course?

Thanks for reading


Comment by Daniel Rubin on October 31, 2013 at 4:05pm

Of course, Thomas, I, too am flexible, but students know that they have to have a legitimate reason for missing a test/etc. My policy requires a note from the Doctor/Hospital to verify the illness. Keep in mind, students have 24/7 to do the assignment so it's not like they miss a class. I've heard all kinds of 'stories'; students know that I don't accept excuses, but I do respond to reasonable requests; e.g. they have the course schedule from the beginning so if they know that they are getting married, going on a trip, etc. in advance, they can let me know in time to find a reasonable solution. However, it is also true that the Internet, and hence access to the course is almost everywhere, from McDonald's to school and public libraries. I treat my students respectfully as adults, which is what they are. Taking an online course involves more student responsibility and it's not for every student, just as it's not for every teacher either.


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