An employee on our campus who is taking an internet course here, also, made and very good suggestion.  She recommended every student be called to see if they were successful in getting their internet account/software/etc set up.  Our internet math class requires software to be installed and some people have trouble doing that.  Adding that frustration to any existing math anxiety can be a recipe for immediate failure.  I thought this was a valid insight.
Kathryn Van Wagoner
Coordinator, Math Tutorial Services
Utah Valley State College

>>> [log in to unmask] 09/17/02 07:54AM >>>
Gary Probst replied:
I agree that orientation is very important for online students.  However,
some people take online classes because they cannot come to college at a
certain time.  Therefore, you must make your syllabus very clear.  It is
important that you communicate with each of your students before the class
begins. I mail each student a letter before orientation and after
orientation explaining what is expected in the course.   Keeping a FAQ list
online helps from answering the same question many times.

  While I try to communicate by email, you need to communicate by telephone
at the beginning of the course.  I feel it is very important in the
beginning of an online course to keep calling a student at least once a
week.  I keep a telephone log about what we discussed so that it appears
that I remember what was discussed in prior telephone calls.  Because of the
unique schedules of students taking online courses, I have to call students
between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pat McCurdy" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: Online students

> Hi Liz-
> One of the biggest needs I see for students who are taking online courses
> ORIENTATION!  This form of study is very different than sitting in a
> classroom with a professor.  How to become an active member in an online
> course is something many of these students take several weeks to figure
> By the time they've figured out how to be a successful online student,
> have lost time and possibly received a lower grade for the first two
> Just my thought-
> Pat McCurdy
> Cayuga Community College
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