How Online Students Stay Connected

Janice Daniel: Normally in a face to face course we would have office hours and these would be the set times that students are able to come visit you. It’s hard to do that in an online course so I tell them at the very first class here and I give them my hours and I’m usually here most days of the week, these are the hours that I’m here, you’re free to email me, to call me.

And then another thing that I do at the very first day I have them introduce themselves to me and to everybody else in the class so there’s a virtual introduction and I encourage them to use as a portion of the software that we use that you can put your picture or something that represents yourself and many students take advantage of that. And then throughout the course as I have discussions with students or I have a different topic I will have a discussion topic and the students will respond to it. So it’s just they’re reading each other, they’re hearing from each other, they’re connecting with myself and they’re connecting with the other members of the course.

And then finally we have also projects, some of the courses that we have projects that they will get into groups with each other, they may self-select to be in a group with each other, they may choose to be by themselves so there’s a little bit of flexibility in it. I believe I keep them engaged through these efforts of just making myself available to them as well as allowing them to be able to connect with the other students that are in the class.