MIA online students: why bother?

Date November 14, 2008

Online teaching is funky. The students complain sometimes that it’s harder than face to face because they have to make time for it, and I always tell them that if they’d take a Tuesday night class then make Tuesday night the time for working on my online class. Of course, I don’t take my own advice. We don’t work that regularly, but the one constant is communication. Perhaps we don’t grade every deadline, but maybe we grade every other. But always remember to keep in communication. Shelley likes to remind everyone that there’s always that one student who is a luddite and is stuck in an online tech course. We both think there should be some warning in the course catalogue, but these are the students you work with. You sit down and help.

I sat down tonight to work on my 8 week course. Yes, I have a course that’s only 8 weeks but boy is it intense! Now, I have students in that class who have NEVER CHECKED IN! Nada. Never. Ooooops. I’ve tried to call many of them (1 disconnected phone, 3 voice mails, 1 ring ring ring), but nothing. For the people I have tried and tried to get ahold of and totally failed, I finally dropped. I don’t feel too badly. It’s been 5 weeks!!! The class only has 3 more weeks. Bye bye. If they’ve logged in atleast, then they stay.

Problem is (and it’s controversial) is that some students will never work on a class. They just log in to get the student aid. They’re ok failing it for who-knows-why. Some opinions are to let them stay and fail, while other people balk that it’s our taxpaying money putting them through school & it’s being wasted. What do you think?