Diane Johnson, assistant director of faculty services for the Center for Online Learning at Saint Leo University, offers these seven tips for creating an engaging online education offering:
- Remember that the human element is the most important tool to keeping online learners enrolled and engaged in your program.
- Before hiring any new faculty, make sure that person is caring and student-focused.
- Faculty members must build relationships with each student and let them know that they really care about the individual’s education and success.
- Students must know they are not just a name out in cyberspace, but that they are really human beings who are on the other side of the screen.
- Instructional immediacy is paramount. “We require faculty to respond to student inquiries in a maximum of 24-36 hours,” says Johnson.
- If a student misses a deadline, instead of blaming the student with an accusatory “Why didn’t you meet this assignment?” a much better approach is to ask, “Are you okay?”
- When you build a trusting relationship and invest in the student, he or she is more likely to invest more in the course.