Years ago it was said that the students most likely to succeed at online classes where those who were good students. So it was never recommended for those whose educations were wanting. But now it seems all of that has changed and to a great extent that model seems to be reversed. I think this is the crux of the problem. Perhaps the technology should be leveraged in another way to better accommodate those with educational deficiencies. Conventional online classes may not be enough.
This discussion is very interesting! I love the assumptions that the student is lazy or not reading the instructions. I completed my undergrad and graduate degree online and the instructions were the issue. Although I finished my Masters with a 4.0, I always waited till the instructor graded the first weeks assignment before I completes the second week assignments. I did this because too often the same written assignment instructions meant something different to each instructor. I cannot tell you how many times I would lose points for giving first person examples in my writings, only to lose points in the next class for not including first person examples. The
issue is not the wording of the instructions or some student desire to have their hand held. The issue is the instructions within the context of the students past educational experiences.
however some of the for profits had open enrollment to increase their bottom lines. I’ve had students who were not ready to take college level courses. It takes more effort to teach those students because they lack so many fundamental skills.
As both an online learner and an online teacher, I see things differently. Sometimes we have to look at our class from the other perspective- the student's point and ask ourselves- did we give clear expectations...Is our information in two many places or is it in one place that we ask the students to read weekly. I found that with my angry students, I have to take some time and guide them, after a week or three they are on track to being a successful learner. After all that is why I got into teaching...to help others appreciate education just as much as I do.
I’m very sensitive to those issues and sometimes feel helpless to solve them. I’ve had students without books because their funds were late from financial aid. Their equipment breaks down or they’re depending on library computers.
I think we need to be very careful about accommodating one student, especially if there is no documentation letter to support the accommodating. Students talk, and brag, about their experiences with teachers. Students are very quick to make claims on favoritism.
I put in my syllabus that students are required to turn in documentation from Learning Plus (our on-campus student services for these things) for accommodation plans. I reinforce this is the first day of class. And I also detail expectations about deadlines and so forth in the syllabus and every week thereafter as needed. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law, says the old adage.
Deadlines serve a purpose much broader than getting papers in on time. My boss doesn't ignore deadlines, and there are consequences if I miss them. Grades are the student's currency, and they get paid accordingly. This real-world ethic is reinforced in my classes.
I think that there are several reasons why students turn things in late. Some are legitimate and some are not.
However in addition, as educators we need to remember that some people are not visual learners so the online environment may be more difficult for them to grasp. I try to keep this in mind when I have the same student who is frustrated because they did not read and follow the written directions. This has been recently clarified for me since I am teaching in a Special Ed classroom. Some students perform much better when they hear a question rather than seeing a question.