Module 5: Managing your online unit

5.2 Managing students

For blended learning to be successful, students must be motivated to participate online. You cannot assume that, just because there are online resources and activities available, students will take advantage of them to support their learning.

Make sure your students know about the resources you are providing and understand how they are to be used and that are confident about using the technology. Students must be able to see a clear and relevant purpose for the activities you have developed.

The following tips will help your students to feel comfortable in the online environment and will also help them to establish the habit of regarding the online component of the unit as integral to their learning:

  • Remind your students (in class or via email/ SMS) to access the online environment
  • Notify your students whenever a new resource/ activity is added (or the date it is set to be made available falls due)
  • Make sure students know how to get technical support
  • Provide practice exercises when you are using new tools (e.g. a practice quiz)
  • Monitor student participation using the Blackboard iLearn reporting features so that you can follow up any students who aren’t accessing the online components of the course.

Decide how you want to introduce the Blackboard iLearn site to your students. Some options might include posting a discussion message or announcement, providing the information in a handout, taking students through the site in class, or even giving students a quiz. Make a note of your ideas in your learning journal.