Director’s Corner

By Les Balsiger

Increasing Student Success and Retention in Online Classes

National statistics tell us that online students have slightly lower retention and success rates. It does not have to be this way. Student success and retention can be improved in your online classes. First, make sure that your class is well organized and easy to navigate for students. You should make it clear what your expectations are and when assignments are due.

Make sure that your presence is observed by the students in the class. You can do this by responding to their posts and grading their work in a timely manner. You should also answer your student’s questions within 24 hours. Remember these students can’t come to your class and are turning in their work online.  Remind students of deadlines and make yourself available to them for online office hours so they know they can reach you.

When students are not turning in work, reach out to them right away and call them if they do not respond to your e-mails. If all else fails, contact Advising and let them know so they can assist you and intervene, before the student fails.

Use engaging materials in your class and not just plain text. Students need to have materials that explain the content and your assignments. There are lots of great free materials out there, you– can use videos like Kahn Academy for math or Open Educational Resources that are easily obtained.

Finally, if you need assistance in building your online classes to increase your student’s success and retention, contact the Center for Learning Technologies and let us assist you in your course development.

Email the Center for Learning Technologies the number of total medals Michael Phelps has won in his lifetime for a chance to win a prize.


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