“Students think online courses are easy” is a common refrain heard from faculty in the Office of Distance Education. The truth is online courses are hard. They require specific skills to be successful. How do we help students be prepared for that reality? If you are a faculty member looking for ideas on how to help students be prepared for the rigor of online learning or a student who wants to make sure they are as prepared as they can be for an online course consider these resources from the Office of Distance Education.
eLearnReady is a free web-based set of questions that evaluate a users readiness for online learning. Developed by a group led by Dr. Corey Lee and Dr. Natalie Abell this tool asks students 40 multiple-choice questions covering 9 success factors. Upon completion of the questionnaire, a user receives an email with their results along with resources and suggestions for improvement in each factor. Anyone can take the questionnaire at any time. It is an excellent self-assessment tool.
Faculty who want to collect course-wide data on all of their students using the tool need to create an account through which they issue invitations to students to participate in the survey. Using the tool in this manner allows an instructor to see class-wide areas of weakness or strength and target instruction accordingly.
West Chester University faculty who are interested in incorporating this tool into their course should contact their assigned instructional designer for support and use ideas.
Orientation for Distance Education Students
A more involved option for preparing students to be successful is our Orientation for Distance Education Students. Here is a 40 second introduction video:
Faculty must request access for their courses each semester they wish to use the orientation by contacting their assigned instructional designer. Students interested in completing the orientation on their own should contact Distance Education Support to gain access.
Tech Tip Tuesdays
Every Tuesday during the fall and spring semesters, the Office of Distance Education produces a short video on a new technology or tip for using a technology. These are a great way to stay current and learn new skills. You can see the full playlist of videos below.
Distance Education Support
Finally, faculty and students can always contact the Distance Education Support for assistance with anything related to distance education. If you are struggling with something related to distance education, contact support.
Support can be reached by phone at 610-436-3373 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours are usually 8:00 am to 8:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm on Friday, and 12:00 to 8:00 pm on Sunday. Be sure to check the Office of Distance Education website to confirm the current hours.
Don’t be fooled into thinking online courses are easy. Prepare yourself by making sure you know what it takes to be successful.