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Summer 2021 - Volume 24, Issue 2

From the Editor

Greetings readers,

As many colleges and universities face declining enrollments, retention efforts have nearly universally moved to the forefront. In fact, it costs far less to keep a student than it does to gain a new one. Online learning presents unique challenges for students, but also holds enormous opportunity for improvement in supporting students.

Primarily, our focus should be on learning outcomes and discovery, and less about strict deadlines and inflexibility. When I developed our first training course for eCore instructors, one of the requirements for being assigned a class was that they logged in to the course every single day. When we reached a module on reaching out to struggling students, there was a heated discussion about "coddling' and demonstrating to students that they can "never be late in the real world." I pointed out to the group that two-thirds of the training course participants had failed to login every day. If we were to strictly enforce our requirements, many of those talented instructors would have never been assigned to a course section.

To bring those Cs to Bs and Ds to Cs, we must consider individual circumstances, provide meaningful opportunities for make-up work, round up a 69.8 to a C, and teach students that the real world actually includes people eager to encourage and support one another.

Enjoy this fabulous summer!

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.