2. Provide Support Tools
Along with a tailored code of conduct, institutions should provide students with support tools that address the unique needs of online learners. For example, the University of Florida adopted online proctoring with live proctors to augment their online assessment strategies and enhance students’ learning experience. By implementing remote proctoring, the university was able to offer innovative assessment delivery methods and students could take online exams that went beyond the typical multiple-choice test. This also provided students with the flexibility to take their tests from home, rather than have to travel to campus or a testing center. The use of live proctors also gave students a chance to receive real-time support during their test.
There is no one-size-fits all approach, and thanks to technology there are many available vendor solutions. Institutions can learn more about support tools for online students at conferences like upcoming EDUCAUSE Annual Conference or events by the Online Learning Consortium.
3. Encourage Collaboration and Use of Outside Resources
Simply because students are learning online doesn’t mean that they have to learn on their own. Connecting and building relationships among and across online students can not only enhance their course experience, it also sets up a support system and outside resources that can help deepen their understanding of the course material.
There is no one-size-fits all approach, but some ideas include conducting online meetups or study groups for students or hosting office hours via Skype. Fostering an open and collaborative environment can ensure that students are asking for the help they need when they need it.