This post is provided by guest blogger, Paulette Richardson, graduate student, University of St. Francis, MS Training and Development Program.
Students must get the support they need if they are to succeed. This is especially true in an e-learning program or distance education program. In a 2019 article, Theresa Barger addresses steps to building virtual services for online students. She recommends that “The best practices for delivering services and supports include choosing the right ones and promoting them strategically” (Barger, 2019, para. 1). The article documented several best practices that will help when planning student support in the online environment. This was made successful through the collaboration with administrators from several universities that boast successful online programs. Ideas that were highlighted from this collaboration encompass the need to ensure that a strategy exists in the first instance, and to ensure that the strategy assists with properly aligning resources. Another idea was the need for administrators to be mindful that students are more likely to drop from programs when support is not easily attained. The awareness is being able to detect when students need assistance and have the support in place ahead of time.
This article was extremely insightful. I agree that providing support services to students should be more than a moral obligation. Online students deserve support just as much as their counter parts in the face to face environment. Colleges and universities should not be lagging behind when providing support services to their online students. The article can certainly assist schools to see the big picture; online support services can help to reduce the retention rates as fewer students will leave the program when they have needed support. For this reason I fully recommend the article to leaders and managers in the online environment.
Barger, T. S. (2019, August 22). Online learning success depends on services and supports a college offers |. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from https://universitybusiness.com/5-steps-to-building-virtual-services-for-online-students/