Supporting Student Challenges

Online education can feel ‘distant’ at times, but having a strong support system can go a long way in ensuring both faculty and students succeed.

SUNY Empire Online strives to identify and support students who may be struggling in a virtual setting.

Communication is key when it comes to bridging the distance between the instructor and learner.

Best practice encourages faculty to check their email at least once a day and reply to student inquiries within 24 hours.

If faculty find that a student does not appear to understand the materials, then they may want to consider scheduling a quick virtual meeting to address concerns and questions. SUNY Empire supports the use of Teams, a virtual meeting platform allowing the sharing of audio, video, screens, and other application files, thus making it easier for faculty to accommodate their students’ various learning styles.

When hosting online meetings, encourage students to turn on their cameras and microphones to establish a more engaging experience. As most online learning classes are asynchronous in nature, understand that some students cannot attend live sessions. Most virtual meeting software, including Teams, allows for sessions to be recorded and shared.

Student participation is critical to student success.

Our learning management system, Moodle, offers the ability to track student attendance and discussion board postings. This is very useful to help faculty identify which students are active. Not all classes are designed in such a way where students are constantly required to log in, but faculty should try to make note of any missing discussion posts or assignment submissions. If inactivity is becoming a pattern, it is a good idea to either follow up with that student, and/or notify their school’s student support services department. It is better to catch these patterns early when there is still time to offer additional support.

Academic Support

It is a good practice for faculty to keep an eye on their grade book for trends.

If a certain student is scoring low, it may be a good idea to reach out to that student with some additional constructive feedback and guidance. If faculty notice that many students scored low on a certain assignment, then they may want to take time out of their next virtual class meeting to discuss this.

ADA Accessibility: It's the Law

This presentation is designed to review our legal obligations to provide accessible learning activities at a distance. We will be reviewing Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Now that you are aware of how to best support student challenges, consider the next step: Finalizing a Successful Semester

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