November 24, 20130

Decisions

Almost every action taken by a student is the result of a decision. Some decisions are made quickly, others are a reactive response, and some decisions are complex and require purposeful thought. Every aspect of a student's progress in class is also the result of a decision. Students decide what their involvement in class will be, the amount of time they will allocate for their studies, and how much effort they will put into their academic skill set development – and the result will be their grades and progress in class. The outcome of these decisions may produce a result that was hoped for, where everything went according to plan, or the result may...

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November 17, 20130

Bored Student

Every online instructor hopes that they will have a class full of highly engaged and motivated students. For the most part students are involved in their class to varying degrees; some are very active and visible in the class while other students complete only the minimum requirements. On occasion, a student may start out strong and quickly lose steam as the class progresses or they are barely present to begin with and then at one point disappear. Sometimes an outreach attempt will be made as a means of re-engaging the student. If the student falls under the radar because they are not present, and the instructor does not intervene, they will likely become...

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November 10, 20130

Communication

The use of discussion questions has become a staple for online classes because it allows instructors to monitor students' engagement in the class and it is designed to encourage collaboration among students. The most common challenges for students include the development of discussion question responses that are meaningful and participating in discussions where the posts are often similar to each other. Students eventually learn to meet the minimum requirements, which can include a specific word count and required number of weekly posts. However, the development of substantive responses takes time and practice. To jumpstart their involvement...

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November 03, 20131

GradesChildren are taught while growing up that going to school means striving to earn good grades. As an adult, especially a new online student, grades are often the initial focus because it is a tangible result. Whether or not their instructor provides written feedback, grades are perceived as the ultimate outcome. When an instructor does provide feedback it may or may not change that perception, if they believe that their hard work and effort should equal a "good" grade. When students don't believe they are getting the grade they deserve it can be easy for them to become...

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