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This module provide strategies for monitoring students' progress in an online environment. This module is part of the Best Practices in Online Teaching Course created by Penn State University World Campus as a guide for faculty who are new to teaching in an online environment.

What to do?

Lost, Photo by and used with Permission from Penny Mathews, Photo #576588, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/576588

While recognizing different student learning styles, instructors monitor student progress, identify lagging students, and help them minimize their procrastination through appropriate monitoring and encouragement.

How to do it?

  • Be aware that students who fall behind are in jeopardy of not completing the course within the same semester of enrollment. This may endanger student financial aid for the following semester, or student reimbursement of tuition if the student is receiving funds from a third party (such as an employer).
  • Many Course Management Systems have tools to track student progress in course activities (e.g. the WhoDunIt Agent in ANGEL allows an instructor to track students’ progress in course activities).
  • Contact students who haven’t logged in for over a week to inquire whether they’re experiencing technical difficulties or problems with course content, team communications, etc.
  • If students cannot participate due to technical problems, connect them immediately to get technical help.
  • Contact students who have not completed assignments by email or phone.
  • Send a weekly email summarizing course activities as a general reminder to the whole class near the end of the week.
  • Introduce a new week with an overview of upcoming events and deadlines. ( See Example )
  • Include flexibility in grading if possible (e.g. Allow students to drop lowest grade; Give choices for when students can complete assignments (e.g. Pick 2 out of 5, etc.)
  • Differentiate lurking learners from lagging students.
  • For more information related to this section, please see 2.6 Feedback and Support module.

Introducing a new week

Email sent to class, PSY 451, Spring 06

Hi, 451'ers. I hope that you are all having a good week!

I just wanted to remind you that this week's case (based on the Hartwick Case on MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail) is due on Sunday. It is an individual assignment, and so far only one individual has completed it.

Looking ahead to next week, your group will need to complete another movie case by 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 9. I suggest that you start determining which movie your group will watch/discuss so that everyone can view it and respond in time. Your movie choices include: Remember the Titans, Apollo 13, and Lord of the Flies.

Plus, keep progressing on your final group project. Be sure to get in touch with your interviewees and conduct your interviews as soon as possible!

Dr. L

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Why do it?

Although some students may do better in an online environment than in a face-to-face classroom, we should not expect every student to succeed in an online environment; therefore, instructors should recognize and work with those who are not successful in the online class (Palloff and Pratt, 2001).

Students seem to have more opportunities to procrastinate in online classes than in traditional ones; procrastination may affect students’ satisfaction with online courses but not for students in traditional lecture classes (Elvers, Polzella,&Graetz, 2003).


Berge, Z.L. (1995). Facilitating Computer Conferencing: Recommendations from the Field. Educational Technology, 35(1), 22-30

Vonderwell, S.&Turner, S. (2005). Active learning and preservice teachers’ experiences in an online course: A case study. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13(1) , 65-84

Wilson, G., Stacey, K (2004). Online interaction impacts on learning: Teaching the teachers to teach online. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 20(1) , 33-48

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
While the American heart association suggests that meditation might be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments as a way to manage hypertension
Beverly Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Best practices in online teaching. OpenStax CNX. Aug 28, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10453/1.2
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