As you design a course for online delivery, it is
important to consider factors that contribute to the success of students in
online courses. First, consider the problems that are common among online
important for students to assess their readiness for online learning.
Consider building content or links into the beginning of your course to
assist students in evaluating their readiness. There are many resources
online that can help students do this. Most assessment tools will consider
the following factors that contribute to a student’s success or
failure in an online learning:
- Learning Style –
Students must be comfortable with reading and writing, as that is the main
mode of communication. Visual learners do best in this environment. Diablo Valley College has an online learning styles inventory that provides students with
immediate results and information related to their learning style.
- Motivation and Self Directedness – Some inventories
will ask questions of students about their self-directedness.
- Time Management Skills – Procrastinators are more likely to
fail. You can build in numerous deadlines to assist students in staying on
target. Again, self-assessment can be useful in this area. Resources to help
students improve these skills can also be found under “Resources.”
- Expectation for the Class –
Students frequently have unrealistic expectations of the time required.
Counselors advise students that the general rule of thumb for academic
classes is to study for 2 hours for every one hour in class. For a
face-to-face class this translates to 3 hours in class and 6 hours of study
per week for a total of 9 hours per week. The online class may take 9 hours
per week of study and participation. Communicate to your students an
approximate time commitment.
- Computer & Technical
Skills – If students are struggling with the technical skills they
will have less time to focus on the class content. CATE has a self-assessment that students can use to evaluate
their readiness in terms of technical skills. Several resources to assist
students in this area can be found under “Resources for
Student Readiness for Online Learning
The following resources are available to help
student assess their readiness for online learning:
Resources for Students
There are numerous resources for students to help them with the skills
they need to be successful in the online environment.
- “How to Be a Successful Online Student” – A DVD that was
created through the CVC4 region and available to California Community
- “Online Survival Guide” – A
printed publication, also available on CD that was created through the CVC3
- Study Skills Online – Virginia Tech has an extensive site that is self-help for students to improve their
study (and time management) skills. Much of the content is interactive.
SRJC Resources for Students
Orientation to SRJC – A general orientation to SRJC is offered by the Counseling Department. While not specific to distance learning, it addresses many matriculation services available to SRJC students.
Information is helpful to all new SRJC students, and also to those who did not
take an orientation when they became students at SRJC.
- Online Counseling Services at SRJC – Students may
ask questions of counselors using a Web-based intake form. A full range of
counseling services are available online. Students can expect a response
from a counselor (via e-mail) within one or two business days. During the peak
registration time, the response time may be longer.
- Distance Education – Provides information to students about registration, checking in, self-assessment, and the necessary technical
skills and equipment.
- On-Campus Computer Labs – If students prefer to use
on-campus labs, they can use this schedule for the hours of operation.