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Jan 22

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Day 13: Dealing with Challenging Students

Occasionally online students will present special problems. Some challenges you may experience include:

  • Discussion domination
  • Student may seem to be completely unprepared f
    Photo by Microsoft and iStockphoto

    Photo by Microsoft and iStockphoto

    or the level of work required

  • Academic dishonesty
  • Disappearing group members
  • Belligerent and opinionated students
  • Additional scenarios of difficult online students

Prevention

  • Be clear and explicit in your expectations in the syllabus.
  • Model expected online behavior.
  • Be clear and concise on how students are graded (rubrics, final grade, etc.).

Strategies

  • Address issues individually with the student. Document conversations and explanations via email; use the phone when appropriate.
  • Set a tolerant tone in the class: explain that all opinions will be respected in the forums.
  • Withdraw the student from the discussion forum and do individual journals if necessary
  • Intervene quickly and supportively

Assistance

Several options are in place to assist you with serving challenging students.

  • Your department chair and dean
  • The School of Distance Education Director of Student Services
  • The Student Success department
  • The associate dean for online higher education
  • University instructional designer

Additional resources and strategies can be found at these two websites:

Your Turn

Reflect. How do you deal with difficult students in your face-to-face teaching? What principles and strategies can guide you in your work in online teaching?

This post is Day 13 of the 20 Day Challenge to Teaching Interactive Online Courses.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5216

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