How ASU Online is going the distance for students
Online education has come a long way in the past few years. The digitalization of education has produced exclusively online degree-earning institutions, that are consistent with the quality of an in-person education. These impressive efforts have helped digital education and academic institutions to thrive.
However, running an online education platform requires more than simply putting courses online. Joe Chapman, Director of Student Services at EdPlus, believes we still have some work to do when it comes to when it comes to delivering a connected experience for online students.
“While we’re seeing significant growth in and adoption of online learning, helping those online students feel a part of their university or college can still be a struggle,” Chapman said.
The good news? According to Chapman, more institutions are realizing that an excellent support structure is a necessary component when it comes to student success. At Arizona State University, the focus is on minimizing the distance between online students and the university in four important ways:
Enrollment and orientation
Every student should feel connected to the university and empowered to ask questions. Their success is based on feeling a sense of belonging and making a deep connection with the university. ASU Online provides week long orientations, enrollment counselors and peer-to-peer engagement.
“Students who complete the ASU Online enrollment and orientation process are more prepared to overcome their time management obstacles and are more adjusted to a work/school/life balance,” Chapman said.
ASU Online educates its students in best academic practices through utilizing success coaches.
“Success coaches are exactly what they sound like—personal cheerleaders who encourage online students throughout their entire college journey,” Chapman said.
Implementing success coaches has been a great way for ASU Online students to engage in the conversations surrounding their exploration, goals and obstacles, and implementing success coaching has been very valuable in terms of student prosperity.
Advising students on their academic career is key in helping them feel connected and closing the gap. Things like course optimizations, knowledge of degree requirements and long-term planning can be extremely valuable for student success in an online environment.
“These in-house academic advisors serve as a one-stop-shop for students, not just for major-specific course information, but for all university-related questions, too, even if it’s connecting a student to another resource that will assist them,” Chapman said.
The use of digital technology makes having the capacity to support all students an essential part of the process. Providing ongoing virtual support is vital to keeping up with technical needs and helping students plan for their careers.
“Technology is a critical component of online learning,” Chapman said.
The year-round support offered by ASU Online helps students develop their career path with person-to-person interaction. Chapman also noted that when it comes to students enrolling from all over the globe, providing technology support 24/7 is a necessity in an online environment.
As online education continues to evolve, strong resources and support will be the most valuable thing for student success, and a way to close the gap between academic institutions and students.
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