Hi I teach on line, and am pleased to be getting positive feedback from my students and enrollment is growing however, I want to know what others are doing to improve the success rate of on-line learners. Keeping students engaged and interested is always a bit of a challenge and part of it relates to the platform being used. I like the idea of using more of the web 2.0 tools but also don't want the students to have to set up 3-4 new accounts just to complete my courses. The drop out rate is aways higher for on-line students than the regular classroom and keeping them actively involved for 20 weeks is a challenge. Many of my students prefer to work independently when they have the chance to work with a partner. So I'm also looking for success tips on group collaboration works with online high school students.

Tags: attendance, elearning, engagement, online, student, sucess

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Hi there MJ. I'm Eileen a Head teacher of an online secondary school in the UK. With over 900, 11 to 16 year olds, and 40 or so subject teachers the way we have fould to keeping our students engaged is to keep lessons short and sharp and regular. Our courses, in the main, run for a full academic year so having students stay with us is vital. We've gone for 4 x 30min lessons per week, with a drop in tutorial on a Friday. Additionally we keep the classroom as interactive and LIVE as possible. We use Elluminate as our classroom and all our students meet up in there. We are looking at some kind of social networking for them but at the moment I haven't seen anything that has sufficient filters/ moderation in built - I can't afford the time for my teachers to be moderating everything our students want to post. Hope this helps! Warmest wishes, Eileen.
Thanks Eileen, wow 900 courses and 30 teachers! I agree that the lessons need to be short and sharp! I tend to prepare the activities to last a bit longer, I've used elluminate some of the live 2.0 classroom but my board has Adobe Connect. When it works it ok, but ever since we had it available to use Fall 08, we've also had board server issues which have be frustrating. In order to keep the lessons LIVE I assume you have to set times and dates for the students to attend?? are the live sessions required or recorded for those who can not attend?
The Basics for my programs are set up using "First Class">"The version we are currently using is version 9.1. There is apperently a new version that will have web 2.0 features but I'm not sure when those will be available to us. Our Board has also gone with the Adobe Connect system, so far we have only had limited sucess. The program is fine but there seems to be a bottle neck because it is run off our school server.?
Goups can utilize an intant chatt in first class but they would all have to agree on a meeting time. otherwise groups use "shared document" that they can edit.
What did you mean by group contacts?
I think you've started a terrific discussion. I tech a semester Info Lit course to HS students. They are in the lab but I design the course ONLINE-style. So I see their reactions to assignments good or bad. These are block schedules so keeping them ingaged has been a challenge. I've been at it for a year, two semesters, and have alot of insight for next year.

At first I used a calendar on EDLINE, our LMS, to provide instruction in mini-snippets. On any given day there were a handful of assignments squished in a calendar space, with no hiarchy. They did not sort in any particular order. I struggled getting the sequence to work out.. I moved to creating my own modules using a word document so that they are formatted just as I want them.. links, etc like a WEBQUEST. The snippets are aligned in a sequence with descriptions that take the student through the process. Sort of like a story line. I only place a link to that module in the calendar spread over a couple weeks. I know that isn't anything new in online ed. I just accepted it now
Hi Mr. Murphy,
sound like you have the advantage of getting immediate feedback from the students, I think that is key. You can provide extra instruction in person and adjust the assignments as needed. I'm using a colloboration program that we have used Board wide "First Class" http://www.firstclass.com/Divisions/FAV13-0024FC6F/FirstClass%20Col... the advantage is that all students in our board grad 2-12 have accounts and depending on the teacher they have seen the program before. It has limitations but overall pretty good.
Our First Class conference is closed but you can view my orientation video here.

What kind of activities do you use? you mentioned web quests- are those find and seek where student type in responces?

I just had a look at the jing presentation listed above - I like the set-up. I use Moodle with my students but as part of an extended learning initiative. I'd like to learn more about how you do your on-line teaching. I live in Australia and teach full-time. I teach English, Drama and History but currently mostly teach English. I'd like to know more about the platforms that work for you. I am using wiziq in tandem with my Moodle site.

Is it hard to teach online?



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