Risk factors and online learning

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    • #16835
      Tamara
      Course Participant

      Identify the 5 risk factors one should consider when designing online learning environments for at-risk learners.

      Describe how you manage these at-risk factors in a live classroom.  How are these solutions different  in an online community?

    • #16865
      Susan Shoemaker

      The five risk factors needing to be considered when developing online learning programs are; Attention Span, Self-Regulation, Life Balance, Organizational Skills, and Progress.
      In a face-to-face classroom attention span can be addressed by throwing dry erase markers at your students when you see them “fading” or texting. However, in an online environment you cannot “see” when they are loosing interest. One idea may be to give them badges with animated high fives when they answer questions correctly and encouragement when they don’t.
      In the classroom setting we can demonstrate Self-regulation to them. When challenges with students arise, how we react and diffuse situations provides them with tools for their future use. I use stories, jokes, and laughter to model an appropriate way to handle frustration, impulsivity, and direction following.
      Helping our students with life balance issues whether in person or online requires that we have a relationship with our students. These are cultivated through contact/interaction both in person or online. I think that is take longer to develop in the online environment, but it is achievable.
      I think one of the most difficult challenges in an online setting is teaching students how to navigate through an online learning program. They all have different levels of technological proficiency and our assumptions about those are often incorrect. For example, I had assumed that the younger students would be more advanced in this ability, only to find out that just because they navigate social media and gaming does not mean that they will be good at navigating educational programs.
      Finally, progress in the classroom is achieved very simply with a smile, a clap, verbal praise, etc. Online, they need positive reinforcement and encouragement, possibly through badges and kudos.

    • #16869
      Sergio

      The five risk factors are:
      1- Attention Span
      2- Self-regulation
      3- Life Balance
      4- Organization Skills
      5- Progress
      The best way to address them in an online classroom is by understanding each student individually, getting to know what they need and want, what their aspirations are, what their personal situation looks like, and try to find ways of working with each of them. We can plan group activities, but we have to guide them, even teach them on how to get organized. Besides, positive feedback and reinforcement is really necessary all the time. Even though they make mistakes, we have to show them that, by simply participating in class, they are already making progress.

    • #19636
      Bruno

      Question 1: Identify the 5 risk factors one should consider when designing online learning environments for at-risk learners.

      The five risk factors one should consider when designing online learning environments for at-risk learners are ; Attention Span, Self-Regulation, Life Balance, Organizational Skills, and Progress.

      Question 2: Describe how you manage these at-risk factors in a live classroom.  How are these solutions different  in an online community?

      In a brick and mortar institution managing behaviors is much more simple. Students are able to engage with one another and create connections with peers and their environment. It becomes “their space”. The institution itself provides students a place where they can receive help and develop academic and social skills needed to navigate not only social interactions, but also spheres of higher education and eventually the workforce. Materials are also easier to access and in many instances easier to use.

      Without a doubt, an asset that the physical location has is the teacher student relationship. Educators many times have a better ability to help students directly, by redirecting their attention and focus or assisting on problems. This is done in group settings or one on one, something that I would say is difficult in an online setting due to disconnect that can exist and the amount of distractions off and online that are available. Often times modeling works well with students. They learn directly from watching us as role models. Students see how we react to classroom challenges and take these tools to help them deal with difficult situations. In particular, students become connected to use and inquire about what we did and how we acted during times of frustration, anger, injustice and so on seeking our direct and indirect advice.

      Having a physical space aids students in building an environment that is their shelter and as previously stated gives them a place of their own. The shelter that is put in place provides many students a space that helps them balance their lives. Here they learn a myriad of skills including organization and study habits. When they are there it is a place it is a break away from their personal struggles, although many times it spills into it as well.

      The challenge of technology is great. Students have a hard time doing many things that are much more simply addressed in a brick and mortar setting. Problems with attendance, attention, social interaction and a balance between personal and academic life are greater in online learning for many students and more so for at-risk learners. To become successful online teachers I believe we need love. Che Guevara once stated, “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” As teachers during an difficult time, I would say we are revolutionaries leading the way for not only our students, but in all reality our community. We need to have the love for what we do and believe in to stay inspired when facing difficult times in the online classroom. We are there to improve the lives of those seeking an opportunity to better themselves and the life of their family.

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