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Friday, August 30, 2019

Encouragement for Online Learners | Online Education - Faculty Focus

Prior to every course, faculty should consider how they can connect with their students, Dr. Jeremiah E. Shipp, adjunct professor in the John Wesley School of Leadership at Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem, NC. recommends.

Photo: Faculty Focus
Building rapport with students must be intentional and consistent (Glazier, 2016). Merely copying and pasting the course content into a learning management system cannot be the extent of online course development.

Our role as faculty must extend beyond grading assignments but include verbal and written encouragement, which is vital for the academic and personal development of students (Lowe, 2005). Encouragement can come in many forms such as positive feedback on assignments, emails, phone calls, and video messages.

To encourage online learners, faculty can utilize a video technique called “Midweek Motivation,” which consists of creating short videos that can be used to help students persevere through any academic and personal challenge they may be experiencing. The video topics are unlimited, but in my experience I have shared professional challenges I have overcome and funny stories...

Sharing stories with students can help create a bridge that often doesn’t develop automatically because of the geographical distance between the instructor and students. The level of transparency may vary among faculty, but a midweek video can open a door for fruitful conversations during virtual office hours. In addition, the lessons shared in the videos can create opportunities to mentor students as they juggle their academic and personal responsibilities. I have found that the midweek motivation videos help foster authenticity, creativity, and community in my online courses. 

Source: Faculty Focus