Students Need to be Taught to Read Webpages

Last one for tonight. This was about a year ago (again).  Maybe I still need to work on this one, because I still had one student ask me what book we were reading and where to find it. But, it’s better than 2 last year. haha. Same protocol I followed. I even added the audio version this year! I’m not a professional elearning teacher yet and I’m sure you have plenty of suggestions to help me, but all the students are now on the right track!

April 10, 2013

This entry will have me try to make a frustrating experience and turn it into something positive or find a proactive way to combat it.

On my class page, I had for 3 weeks posted about an upcoming novel study. I had mentioned it in the newsfeed numerous times, I left audio messages and I even created a widget beside the newsfeed aimed specifically at telling the students about the novel.  Then, when the time came, I posted a link to read the novel, but also mentioned that it is equally valid to read their own copy in their preferred method.

After starting the novel study, I had two different students( 4 days after it was scheduled to start) ask me what book we were reading and how they were supposed to read it. This, after three weeks of alerts and a link RIGHT ON THE PAGE!  I need to think of a way to make my students read and listen to instructions a little better.  Here is a short list of things I think need to be inproved:

– (me) could have sent a mass email to students instead of relying on them read each days newsfeed

– (me) could start setting restrictions on content so that the assignment will not open until the content has been read

– (me) could be a little more creative in placement of assignment – to ensure students have read instructions, maybe embed instructions/ assignments within other important must reads

– (both) ensure students who enrol in elearning have to complete some type of web training – just knowing HOW to read a web page could be part of the problem

– (both) ensure students have a home school connection to help them with reading a page or helping with technical glitches – sometimes you just need another set of eyes to “see” what you are missing

– (me) maybe I need to change the nomenclature of what students are reading. instead of expectations and rationale, maybe I should make those words more student friendly like “why I’m teaching this” and “how it is important” in more concise terms, but you know what I mean

– (both) students and staff have an expectation and motivation to log in and dedicate the time to a course. I think some of my students feel “all alone” out there, no regular home school attendance, spotty log-in hours for me. In co-op do they not have supervisors that do onsite visits or “inschool” days? Maybe one-on-one consultations are necessary in elearning classes as well.

I need to start generating some ideas, because , honestly, I was very frustrated when two students didn’t even seem to know what novel we were reading OR where to find it, particularly when I had been talking about it for 3 weeks AND posted the link right on the page!!!  I don’t want to blame them, hey, at least they asked and didn’t sit there wondering for another week what to do, but something has to be done to bridge the gap  – whether its knowing how to read a webpage or having  a way to ensure they are reading the material I leave. I hope I can find a way to reach them!

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