Dr. Michael Jazzar published an article, Online Student Retention Strategies: A Baker’s Dozen of Recommendations, in the December 7, 2012 issue of Faculty Focus.
To help ensure a successful first experience, Dr. Jazzar offers the following baker's dozen of recommendations for effectively teaching adult learners online (to read the complete article, see Faculty Focus):
- Online foundation classrooms need to remain as centers of encouragement where the professor's enthusiasm is contagious.
- Professors need to maintain a learner focus of support as the needs of students in the foundation course will greatly vary.
- The responsiveness of the professor to his or her students' needs is critical.
- Empathy needs to be extended to learners at all times.
- Oftentimes our online students are not traditional, full time students.
- Foundation course professors need to understand that adult learners have their own unique learning needs, interests, and preferences.
- The foundation course professor needs to be aware of the learning curve that many students are enduring.
- The instructor's daily presence and participation in the online classroom is critical to helping students learn, gain confidence, and feel secure in their new and sometimes foreign environment.
- Faculty need to be mindful to always communicate in a supportive, professional, and set a positive tone.
- The foundational course professor needs to demonstrate a positive, proactive, and caring disposition at all times.
- The development of an online learning community is particularly beneficial to learners in foundational courses.
- The professor, along with each student, needs to honor and celebrate diversity of thought.
- The foundational course instructor needs to work closely with advisors in support of his or her students.