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SUPPORT FOR ONLINE LEARNING

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The quality of the study experience changes with the level of support received by students. This plays a major role in online learning even more than the traditional methods. It is because learning online is quite difficult and has many downsides. Most students worry about not getting enough support from their institutions. Since this is becoming a major concern among most students, the online learning providers have focused on ensuring the students’ needs in all different areas.

One of the main concerns that students have regarding online learning is the lack of in-person meet-ups with teachers. But the online course providers are working in bridging this gap through the use of more technology such as software platforms, video calls, etc. over the traditional methods of phone calls and emails. This brings down the major differences between student interactions online and in the institution.

How to Support Students for Online Learning

Unlike the normal learning methods, online learning is done primarily online. Therefore, it is necessary to pay more attention to the teaching and learning mechanisms. The following are some methods that can be used to support students in learning online.

Encourage students to engage during classes

Tutors should encourage student participation and make them engage in the classes actively. This can be done by requesting them to turn on their webcams so that the lecturer can see them. Depending on the facial expressions of the students, the lecturer can determine whether the lesson is boring and how he should make it more interesting for them. If this practice is not followed, students tend to be less attentive despite their participation in the sessions.

Break into groups

Another way to support students in learning is by grouping them into smaller groups and addressing them. It helps in discussing problems related to the subject matter. Tasks and projects can also be shared among these small groups of students. It will encourage the students to communicate among themselves and pay more attention to the course content. Not only the academic concerns but this will also help the students relieve stress by engaging in these group activities.

Break into groups

Personalized videos

Rather than sharing the main lecture videos, the tutors can personalize videos in answering the questions of the students. It will help them to clarify their doubts and make themselves feel valued to see their questions answered. Lecturers can even share important videos related to lessons within the small groups of students mentioned above. It’s just a matter of copying and pasting the URL but very useful to online learners.

Office hours

Lecturers can provide extra work hours for students as additional support. This time can be managed using simple forms where students can submit questions that they need to get answered. Thus, the tutors know what the students need to clarify and can answer directly. Allocating sessions to each question would make it more practical and saves time for both parties.

Student Support Teams

Most online education providers have a dedicated student support team. The main responsibility of this team is to provide care and support needed by students. Learning online is quite a hard task since a better part of the responsibility of learning is upon the students. The teachers merely provide the necessary resources and then the students have to proceed with minimal guidance in most cases. Therefore, most students face difficulties in online education. The support teams will provide the necessary help when online learners come across such situations. It may not always be related to educational matters but also personal issues that arise as a part of their educational life.

Student Support Teams

Student support teams are trained to provide assistance to a certain range of issues experienced by students. It includes personal issues from financial troubles to family commitments. It also applies to handling minor technical difficulties and even major technological troubleshooting.

It is not only these student services that become useful in such situations but also the fellow students. You can always get a great amount of help and advice from your colleagues. Most student groups will have online communities such as WhatsApp and Facebook groups. Students can talk to each other through these groups and help each other in overcoming different obstacles related to both educational and private affairs.

Freelance Instructors

Academic support is a major requirement in creating a supportive learning environment especially when it comes to online education. In addition to the usual in-house instructors, freelance instructors are also helpful in delivering the courses. They are equally qualified in the relevant subject areas and are able to guide the students throughout the modules. They will also provide the necessary feedback on the students’ performance.

SUPPORT FOR ONLINE LEARNING
credit: pixabay

Instructors will always provide constructive comments rather than letting you down on the performance. They will share important tips and advice necessary for the development of your future work. This will improve your confidence in learning throughout the course. Students can always get things clarified to broaden their understanding relevant to the specific subject matter.

Depending on the institutional concerns, these tutors will be available for individual consultation. You can contact your instructor directly for any academic clarifications. You can ask any questions about the content covered in the course, get feedback on your progress and the areas in which you need to develop.

Non-Academic Support

This is related to the mental well-being of students during online education. Everyone comes across hard times especially during a pandemic that keeps people locked down at the same place for weeks and months at a stretch. Counseling is provided by almost all institutions at present. Online education providers also need to focus on this during these hard times of the pandemic.  It will help students find more faith in themselves by overcoming the tough events of life.

Listen to Student Feedback

This is not only a good way to determine the students’ concerns but also to improve the teaching skills of the institute. This can be done by collecting regular feedback forms from students and managing them accordingly. It will help the learning process in the long run and encourage the feedback ideas of the students. The universities and online course providers can think out of the box to engage in innovative means of lesson delivery. This will enhance the quality of online education of the future.

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