Course 3 Community Discussion

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    • #21889
      Katie Holloway

      What is the biggest personal challenge you face in teaching online and interacting with students in an online interface?

    • #24229
      Shelia Hall

      Hi Erica and Shaquana

      • #25833
        Sara Mercer

        This may be redundant to say, but getting participation from students is hard.  I think many log in and just walk away from the computer for a while or zone out.

        • #25834
          Sara Mercer

          Oops replied to wrong thread…  Learning

    • #24234
      Shelia Hall

      My biggest challenge keeping my online students engage.

      • #25618
        Ericka Reid

        Hi Shelia! I’ve tired some of the new techniques we have learned from this course. So far, the students are liking the new changes and they even say that they no longer feel rushed. I’m still working on getting the online students to want to answer questions though.

    • #24343
      Laura Sanabria

      My biggest challenge lately is how to create a sense of community with my students. While I was in the classroom, it was less complicated. The online is a cold medium and it requires a different approach. I already am beginning to see, after our first live session, certain tricks to creating community. If I can get students to feel like they are essential components of the group, they will stay engaged and support each other.

      • #24551
        Sophia Azhar

        I agree, these days with virtual classes, students do not feel like they are a part of the community.  Some of my students do not turn their camera on so I do not even know what they look like.  I try to have a discussion about current events and try to get the students to open up at the beginning of each class.

        • #25563
          Mary Baxter

          Sophia, I think we can all relate to the challenge of building community. Have the current events discussions helped?

          • #25672
            Laura Sanabria


            The no camera image bothers me. I am beginning to tell them that – no picture? no class attendance – but the students following a class on their phone are handicapped because I don’t think they can see the posted screen and show their image simultaneously. It’s SO important to be able to see their faces!

            • #27096
              Annette Merier

              I agree seeing a them is important.  I ask them to check in with the camera on but allow them to turn it off while they are participating in class as long as they show that they are participating like putting comment in chat or answering with the microphone.  I have noticed that some students are hesitant to participate with the camera on.  I think that some of them are shy or don’t want to worry about what they look like during the lesson or even worried that the area they are working in is messy.

        • #25619
          Ericka Reid

          That’s a great idea! I try to make myself very enthusiastic about math which causes everyone online to say that math is terrible. I then go back and forth with all of them trying to convince them how math is awesome. It makes them laugh and breaks the ice some.

      • #24576
        Joan Duffie

        Yes Sheila I agree! There is always a life crisis keeping them from working online!..

        • #27097
          Annette Merier

          Yes, I agree.  I see this with my students also.

      • #25512
        Matt Rector

        I really relate to this Laura. I used to feel like my classrooms were a safe space for my students where they could get a break from stress in their lives, and we could build relationships. Moving online makes that so much more challenging.

        I wonder what strategies you and your colleagues are trying to build community online?

      • #25528
        Roxie Carroll

        That was a challenge for me too at the beginning of the fall semester. I had all brand new students. (We had already had built a good sense of community when we started in March, so it was sort of seamless.) However, it took a bit more work with new students coming up. However, I think we’re getting there.

        • #25671
          Laura Sanabria


          I’ve started using What’s App to provoke responses to 2 weekly questions. They are 1 – a riddle. They always get the answers! 2- Question of the week. Some respond, others do not.  For now, all I want to do is get them accustomed to the activity. I would like to see them interacting with each other, rather than just to me. For Thanksgiving I asked Are you celebrating Thanksgiving?  Send me a picture. I got some cool photos posted on our What’s App.

      • #25556
        Brianna Gillis

        I agree Laura.  This has been a challenge for me too.  A sense of community in the classroom is easier to develop, but we working on this.

      • #25564
        Jackie Roach

        I absolutely agree!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • #25607
        Joan l Duffie

        I feel the same.. too many distractions

    • #24611
      Honoray Ard

      My biggest challenge is keeping them encouraged from a distance.

    • #25511
      Matt Rector

      Welcome back for course 3 Georgia educators!

      My name is Matt Rector, I am Education Coordinator at the SEAT Center in Schenectady, NY and your Instructional Coach for this course. I have been teaching young adult learners for about ten years. I’ve met many of you through our coaching sessions in course 1 and 2.

      Our programs went from in-person to online abruptly last March and we have been running both online and in-person classes since September, as state regulations allow. The biggest challenge for me in shifting online was building the sense of community and togetherness we always had in the building. Many of my students and colleagues told me things just didn’t feel the same.

      Looking forward to hearing from all of you!

      • #25529
        Roxie Carroll

        and I hope to see you again next Wednesday, Matt.

      • #25566
        Jackie Roach

        Bingo. Me too!!!!

      • #25608
        Joan l Duffie

        Yes I agree!. I miss one on one teaching in person!

    • #25527
      Roxie Carroll

      My biggest challenge is the lack of technology, or technical knowlege, that my students have. Many of my students have only a phone. That being said, I’m very proud of their persistence to continue in the program.

      • #25555
        Brianna Gillis

        I have the same challenge Roxie.  Most of my students are trying to do the best they can with what they have.

    • #25554
      Brianna Gillis

      My biggest challenge is the lack of technology for my students.  Most of them only have cell phones and do not have access to the internet when their mobile data runs out.  The students that have other devices seem to participate and interact more.

      • #25562
        Mary Baxter

        That is a good point, Brianna. Most of our students use cell phones as well which makes participation more difficult.

      • #25835
        Sara Mercer

        This is also an issue in my very rural small town.  Many join on their phones, but the connection is awful.  They will have to rejoin sometimes 6 or 7 times.

    • #25561
      Mary Baxter

      One of the biggest challenges with ESL students has been familiarizing them with the feature of online platforms in order to improve student engagement.

    • #25565
      Jackie Roach

      One of my biggest challenges is keeping my students engaged in an online program. Another challenge is the lack of technology for my students. I have a student that is trying to do Blackboard, but her laptop doesn’t have Power Point or Microsoft Word. This greatly inhibits her ability to do all of the assignments.

    • #25606
      Joan l Duffie

      My biggest challenge is keeping students engaged and away from distractions

    • #25617
      Ericka Reid

      My biggest challenge is making sure that I have all assignments, materials, and announcements posted in a timely fashion. Between making sure to find OER material, making sure that the documents are editable, and making sure that Blackboard does not flag the material as having accessibility issues, I can miscalculate the amount of time it takes for me to post assignments.

    • #27095
      Annette Merier

      The biggest personal challenge that I face is keeping the students engaged and away from distractions. There are many distractions the students face at home including children, other people, phones, pets, etc.

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