Motivating & Understanding the “Online Student”

Message from Prof. Jenice Armstead

In my professional opinion, lecturing is a compilation of instructing students to understand a topic or concept and the ability to properly explain a topic with ease to students whom are less familiar with the topic. It takes practice to find what “type” of lecturing which is right for the students to receive the most out of the course. Lectures seem to have been given a “bum rap” because of the student’s perception of what a lecture is. When in fact, all topics have the potential of being exciting for all student-learning experiences. Traditional lecturing has strengths and weakness, which is one of the reasons I am always looking for ways to improve my course interaction and lecturing techniques for my students.

Motivating my students is one of the most important aspects of teaching. Positive learning environments stimulate academic growth of a student. Obtaining new online learning technologies is a way for improving lecturing techniques and developing a well-rounded academic environment for my students. As a professor, I utilized the “Learning Studio” for course interaction, discussion, electronic handouts, academic journals, class chats and assignment submissions. Learning online takes patience, dedication, motivation and constant communication. Without these key elements the success of a student is next to impossible. Professors and instructors have to be engaged and ensure that the lectures are interactive as well as informative. Implementing “interactive” learning methods and other new technology advances provide students with high opportunities for success in all courses.

After implementing the “Learning Studio” for all of my courses, my students are much more involved with the topics and are not afraid to ask questions or give an opinion during class. That was a part of my goal for implementing “interactive” lecture methods. I wanted my students to feel a sense of community and comfort with the topics being discussed. It has showed to be very effective in that student participation and communication has increased tremendously. When stimulating my students I use “blended” teaching methods. My students are heavily involved with the lectures. I make sure to have interactive questions for them to engage in the “Learning Studio.” I also make sure to have power point slides and direct “Live” Internet links to stimulate discussion among my students. The Socratic Methods are useful when teaching human resources and business management. The “Asking Instead of Telling” works especially when I want to have the class discussion on job structures and business ethics.

The four dimensions/factors for successful lecturing are: Attention (A), Relevance (R), Confidence (C), and Satisfaction (S) are attributed to learning comprehension (Guven, 2009). The attention span of a student is directly effective how the student learns. Is the student not attentive in your class? Why not? The lecture may need more “Pizzazz.” The way to give some life to a lecture is to involve you students more with their interests of the topic, or implement more of your real life professional experience into it. This is where the online relevance comes into place. How relevant is the topic to current events? Is there a way to implement current events into the topic? There is always something going on in the news or related to the Saint Leo Core Values one could use to increase the relevance of the topic. While building up the knowledge base of the student, the confidence of the student will increase. Which will increase student satisfaction of the learning experience overall (Guven, 2009). The success of the student in an online program strongly depends on the interaction, creativeness and motivation of the student as does it for the professor/instructor.

References

Guven, M. (2009). The Epistemological Beliefs of Distance Education Students. Turkish
Online Journal Of Distance Education (TOJDE), 10(3), 217-246.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2003). The Virtual Student : A Profile and Guide to Working
with Online Learners. Jossey-Bass.

Garlikov, R. (2012). The Socratic Method. Retrieved September 13, 2012, from
http://www.garlikov.com/Soc_Meth.html

Prof. Jenice Armstead

Prof. Jenice Armstead

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