Setting Expectations for Distance Learning Students
September 1, 2005
Distance learning students often live and work too far from campus to make visits to campus. Therefore, you likely never meet them and may never speak to them either. Most of your communication with distance learning students will be asynchronous, such as e-mail and discussion board postings in myWPI. Since distance learning students rarely get to meet you and ask any questions they might have about the course, assignments, etc., it is important that you set clear expectations for them in a written format. Although students can certainly ask clarifying questions via the discussion boards and e-mail, they often need clarification at the time they are asking the question. Having the information they need ahead of time will eliminate any confusion they may have. Clearly stating your expectations is critical to helping distance learning students succeed.
Key topics that you may want to set expectations for are:
- Contact policy - let students know the best way to contact you and what your turnaround time is for getting back to them.
- Participation requirements - how much participation are you expecting from them, how do you expect them to participate, and what are your expectations for the quality of participation?
- Class schedule - when does the class start, when are assignments due, etc.?
- Assignment details - what assignments will the students complete, when are they due, what are the criteria for completing the assignments, and how will the assignments be graded (such as, the point value for each assignment and how those points are allotted to parts of the assignment)?
Last modified: Aug 30, 2005, 17:41 EDT