Colleges, universities, and k12 schools are learning, albeit some faster than others, that having a successful online program requires more than just creating mobile courses. While developing courses to meet instructional design standards is important, that is only one student need among others. Often times schools stop there and fail to complete the circle that supports the online student to ensure his/her experience equals that of a face to face student who attends classes on campus, hangs out in the cafeteria, and participates in intramural sports on the weekends.
A recent article published by University Business, lays out seven mission critical steps (listed below) to ensure the online student is set up for success. Does your school have all of these in place? Read the full article here.
- CREATE ROBUST ORIENTATION PROGRAMS.
- PROVIDE TIMELY RESPONSES.
- TRAIN ACADEMIC ADVISORS WELL.
- OFFER ACCESSIBLE SERVICES.
- ORGANIZE SOCIAL EXPERIENCES.
- HELP MAKE JOB CONNECTIONS.
- INCORPORATE STUDENT FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITIES.
Contributors, Denise Evans of Lone Star College-Online, and Heather Chakiris of Penn State World Campus, offer additional key things to remember. Chakiris recommends tracking student data to identify correlations which aids in developing appropriate action plans. While Evans suggests creating a culture of support that educates faculty and staff about the unique needs of online students which helps them feel more connected and contributes to their overall success.