<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
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 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
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
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?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Best practices in online teaching. OpenStax CNX. Aug 28, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10453/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Best practices in online teaching' conversation and receive update notifications?