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Getting Student Input for Online Learning Success

by Paula M. Bigatel, PhD

Faculty Focus

Article excerpt

Student Engagement Strategies for the Online Learning Environment

Research provides evidence for the connection between higher student engagement and persistence and retention in online programs (Boston, et al., 2010; Wyatt, 2011). Encouraging student engagement is especially important in the online environment where attrition rates are higher than in the face-to-face setting (Allen & Seaman, 2015; Boston & Ice, 2011).

Our take

Don’t Assume You Know What Students Want From Online Instruction

As online learning becomes more prevalent both instructors and students are looking for ways to achieve higher levels of engagement. It’s challenging, particularly when visual cues are absent, but direct input from students can help provide some important insights for enhancing online learning experiences–and outcomes. What can you learn from your students to help improve the efficacy of these offerings?

There’s much to be gained from seeking input from online learners about what resonates and what falls flat in the online environment. That’s what these authors sought to do as they questioned students about what online engagement means to them. Their feedback: interaction and timely feedback, relevance and real-world application, and motivation/interest. You’re likely to hear the same from your students about what they expect from online instruction, but don’t take it for granted—ask them.