Day 9: Students with Inadequate Participation

By now, most of your students should be participating successfully in your course. However, you may have some students who aren’t functioning, or may not even be responding to you.

Withdrawal Options

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Now is the time to give them some reminders of withdrawal policies. For Andrews University, here are the important dates for withdrawing from the class:

  • Drop/Add: The 10th calendar day of the term (Fall/Spring) is the last day to drop or add a course. This is the last day registration can occur. Students may withdraw up to this day without an entry on their permanent academic record.
  • Credit to Audit: The 9th calendar day prior to the last day of classes is the last day to change from credit to audit or withdraw from a course with a “W” on the permanent record.

Remember, you can look up these dates online. Here’s a reminder of how. You might want to make a note on your calendar for the Monday before the Credit to Audit date so that you can remind any students who look like they may not successfully complete the course.


For now, it’s a good idea to remind students in writing (email) of the deadline to withdraw without an entry on their transcript. If they haven’t been responding to your emails, you may wish to call in addition to emailing. Taking care of this now will make life easier for you when the course is ending. It can reduce petitions, begging, incomplete forms, etc.

Your Turn

Reflect. How do you handle missing students in a face-to-face class? Is it different online? What suggestions would you add to this list?

This post is Day 9 of the 20 Day Challenge to Teaching Interactive Online Courses.

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