8 Tips for Universities to Stay Connected with Their Remote Students
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted an estimate of 124,000 schools in the United States to close, both public and private, according to a report by Education Week. This affected the education of 52.6 million American students, which is 99% of the country’s entire student population based on data analysis from the National Center for Education Statistics. In situations like that, remote learning is the best alternative for universities to continue the classes of their students. Technology trends such as automation tools and digital learning made education possible outside of the campus. So if you’re a university administrator who’s planning to adopt remote learning for classes and lectures, we invite you to read this article and learn a few tips on how to stay connected with your remote students.
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8 Tips for Universities to Stay Connected with Their Remote Students
What Is Remote Learning?
But first, let us discuss with you about remote learning. Remote learning is an alternative learning method wherein students attend classes online at their homes or any place of their preference. That said, technology use is mandatory in a remote learning setting. Many circumstances can prompt universities to resort to remote learning. But, some universities simply offer remote learning alternatives for certain enrollees/students, such as those who are part-time workers. In addition, remote learning can also be called as remote training, virtual instruction, and distance education.
Use an Engaging Digital Learning System
Professors teaching online isn’t a favorable setup for some students because, for them, it’s less interactive due to isolation. Some of them might even struggle to focus because of their homes not being conducive to learning. In that case, remote students might lose interest in their lessons and incur absences from time to time. So to avoid that from happening, make sure to use an engaging digital learning system. An engaging digital learning system will stimulate the students’ interest to participate well in their remote classes. You can let professors use software application tools that gamify their online classes and make learning fun for remote students. In that way, remote students will attend classes regularly; therefore, helping your university to stay connected with them.
Provide Students with Resources If Possible
To ensure that your university can provide quality education in a remote learning setup, you have to consider providing students with resources, if possible. Not every student has their laptop and internet connection, which makes remote learning impractical for them. So if there’s a budget, provide them with such resources so that they can stay connected with the university, particularly with their classes. Just instruct remote students to take proper care of the provided resources because they’re university property that must be returned once they complete their coursework.
Treat Remote Learning Like It’s Traditional Learning
Although remote learning is a much distinct setup, it should not be treated differently as traditional learning. Remote learning and traditional learning should have the same ultimate goal of meeting the student outcome checklist of your university. Both of them are essentially the same; only their setup is different. With those in mind, order your faculty to communicate with their remote students as if they’re on campus. Other than that, remote learning setups must also have certain risk management guidelines and policies for students to follow. The presence of guidelines and policies will incline remote students to exercise proper discipline and report to their online classes punctually.
Let Faculty Members Maintain Visibility
Throughout a remote learning arrangement, you should let your faculty members maintain visibility during class hours. Remote students might have some urgent questions or concerns about their lessons that require immediate attention. Plus, if they have emergencies that prompt them to be absent from their classes, they can inform their professors immediately, and the professors will know of them in real-time. Simply put, remote students and faculty members must have an open line of communication in a remote learning arrangement.
Check on Students Regularly
Monitoring the welfare of every student is important because it impacts their morale and motivation in studying. So in a remote learning setup, make sure to check on your remote students regularly. You can ask about how they’re feeling having classes at home, or whether they’re having difficulties with their studies and other personal matters. Make them feel that your university truly does care for the welfare of its students, even if they’re not on campus. In this matter, you can assign your university’s guidance counselors to contact the remote students via phone, email, video chat, etc.
Encourage Student Collaboration
Remote students will have more connection with your university if they’re able to work together with their classmates. That said, encourage student collaboration in their online classes, and let professors know about it. After all, it’s with their classmates or peers that they communicate openly, which builds camaraderie among your students, even a remote learning setup. In addition, learning and absorbing knowledge are better achieved with cooperation and collaboration, according to numerous advanced analytics in general.
Offer Tutoring Services
After class hours, you can offer tutoring services for remote students who want or might need them. Tutoring can also be a means of extra income for some of your faculty members if they’re willing to take it. Tutoring services will certainly help remote students to understand their lessons better and improve their academic performance. Consider the fact that some students prefer one-on-one learning sessions than online group classes. Plus, it’ll be easier to monitor the progress of remote students under tutoring services.
Provide Timely Academic Feedback
In a corporate business or company, HR management leaders implement supervisors to give feedback about their employees’ performance. The purpose of doing so is to help employees enhance their skills and earn equal chances of obtaining a promotion. In that way, their employee retention rates will rise. It’s almost the same principle in a remote learning setup. If remote students receive timely academic feedback from their teachers, they’ll know the areas they need to improve on. In such cases, their teachers can also help them. Providing feedback to remote students will strengthen their connection with the university. That’s because they’ll feel that they’re academic welfare is being taken care of.
In adopting a remote learning setup, you’ll have to facilitate a lot of planning and management procedures to stay connected with your remote students. Don’t let vast distances among educators and students be a hindrance in delivering quality education. Our modern technological tools enable us to connect no matter where we are. So, take advantage of them and stabilize your university’s connection with its remote students.