These comments are from a survey by the CONNECTICUT DISTANCE LEARNING CONSORTIUM. Here at the University of Mississippi, we sometimes hear similar comments from online students. I thought you might like to read some of the items.
What Online Students Want to Tell Online Instructors?
- Design a course that is clear and well organized.
- Make sure we know what is expected and when.
- Clear deadlines are important to students.
- Course outlines should better outline all the assignments that must be completed. That way it would be easier to gauge your time.
- Be patient and available. Please remember that some of us are first time online learners and are still trying to figure out this method of teaching and learning.
- Facilitate student access to other students by helping them share email and phone numbers so they can communicate among each other easily.
- Be accessible. “Quick response to my questions” was so nice. At least let us know when we can expect a response.
- Professor X sent emails of concern when she saw things going wrong. I did not feel ‘alone’.
- If you are going to assign group projects, do so with the knowledge that we signed up for these courses due to their time flexibility.
- Make sure students have the ability to communicate with you alone, outside of the course conferences. “Sometimes it has made me feel stupid to ask a question that everybody in the classroom already knew.”
- Give frequent feedback on assignments so students have a sense of what they have mastered and where they need to focus attention.
- Students should be able to examine the course syllabus and curriculum before signing up for the course.
- Have early lists of required books with ISBN numbers so students can order online.
Burton, L., & Goldsmith, D. (July 2002). Students’ Experiences in Online Courses: A Study Using Asynchronous Online Focus Groups. Retrieved from http://www.ctdlc.org/ResourceDocs/evaluation/StudentExperience.pdf