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Watch for the signs

Distance learning can be challenging without the right support in place. Isolation and loneliness are leading factors of emerging concerns in distance learning. Secondly, online students have limited supportive resources that are alternatively provided in-person, or on- campus, and this includes limited access to socially and emotionally supportive resources.

Indicators that can lead to disengaged students:

1. Lack of human interaction and collaboration: One of the greatest challenges of an online learning program is the lack of face-to-face interaction and collaboration. This can lead to a sense of isolation and frustration, as students are unable to ask questions or engage in discussions with their peers.

2. Technical difficulties: Online learning programs can be difficult to use, and technical difficulties can be a major problem. If students have difficulty accessing the online platform, they may become frustrated and disengaged.

3. Unclear instructions: When instructions are unclear or not communicated well, it can be difficult for students to understand the material and complete assignments.

4. Low motivation: Without the presence of a teacher or peers, it can be difficult for students to remain motivated and engaged.

5. Poor time management: Online learning requires students to manage their own time and prioritize tasks. Without proper guidance, some students may struggle to stay on track.

6. Lack of accountability: In an online learning environment, students may not feel as accountable for their work, as there is no one to monitor their progress. This can lead to a lack of motivation and engagement.

So what is the solution? Sustainable Engagement.

Peer-to-peer support in an academic setting can take many forms, such as study groups, student-led tutoring, mentorship programs, and online discussion forums. In a study group, students come together to discuss and review course material, ask questions, and provide mutual support. Student-led tutoring involves students helping each other with course material, such as providing explanations, practice problems, and guidance.

Recognizing the behaviors outlined above can help to identify when support is needed.

WellThatWasInteresting © 2022 by Patty Wilkinson is licensed underCC BY-SA 4.0

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