How To Get Online Students To Take Responsibility For Learning

Although technology is now very common in education, students can still fall through the cracks. Here is a conversation with Aamir Zaidi, CEO of Fast .

Learning takes place on campus. And throughout the world. But certain communities perform their education in ways that make learning difficult for our online students and, even worse, cause some of them to drop out. We can change the course of their lives with confidence and dedication, however. And before we look at how, we need to start by acknowledging that the U.S. Education System is in a crisis.

Many of the steepest learning curves, according to a 2015 Carnegie report, come from students who start with a marginal effort and fail to improve. We then have a massive generation of students with too much experience but no basic skill-building to help them out. Many of them fail to graduate due to lack of motivation or are forced to drop out, often due to the lack of support for students who are not members of a traditional university community. As the Global Center for Academic Innovation’s Global Link Class reports, “leaving first-year course is the most common reason that enrolled and transfer students do not graduate in time.” On top of that, 45 percent of university students drop out before their freshman year even starts.

We all want our students to be successful but, at the same time, we as teachers and organizations of higher education have to make the most out of what we have. There are tools that are available to us all. Each one of us has the right to grow, to move toward a goal. Yet, most of us struggle to know how to reach that goal. Online students just as face this challenge. They do not fit into the class made up of current students and require added effort and preparation, and sometimes they are met with skepticism when they ask for help. Online students may not be able to fully attend class in person because of busy schedules, geography or potential lack of time with their children. Even if we are able to find ways to schedule classes that are more convenient, our students should not have to struggle against the laws of the modern world.

There are many challenges that our students face on a daily basis. A World Learning Institute’s digital study shows that our students are losing out on over 1,000 learning opportunities each month by using or leaving their education in various ways. We must make our online educational institutions better equipped to deal with this issue, and there are plenty of options available to us. Education technology allows us to communicate with our students as we always have, and now we can provide continuous, interactive feedback and support to our students that is just as relevant and effective.

One advantage of the internet, in our case at Global Link, is that online students are able to quickly and conveniently access these tools. We embrace these technologies and better our solutions for learning without sacrificing our student’s personal connection with us. Just as we provide the same expectations and goals for all of our students, we can offer the same level of service that we know is absolutely necessary to their success. In addition, our website and our course materials are accessible around the clock and can be accessed by any student to take a course they’ve never even heard of. We take on the massive challenge of getting online students to give their time and effort to our system and provide our academic resources and support to them.

Being online is not a disadvantage or a weakness. It is something that students can be proud of and should seek to achieve. And when we recognize the value and potential of our student population, especially as online students, it can change how they think about their educational experiences. It can start conversations that are personal and enriching that will allow students to find their niche in their educational journey. They are the cornerstone of our institutions.

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