Tuesday, May 10, 2011

4 Keys to Student Success Online: Part 2

Note: While research regarding best practices for online learning is difficult to obtain due to the relatively infancy of the industry, four key areas of focus critical to program success have been identified. This week I will be posting four keys to student success in online courses. These "best practices" were gleaned through research that I conducted through a wide variety of sources. This is part 2 of 4
Read Part #1 Here

2. Teacher Quality:

While social interaction is important, several research studies point to teacher quality as the single most influential factor to student success (D. Hammond 2000 in Rice 2006).

Rice (2006) indicates that the importance of positive relationships between teachers and students is critical to student retention. The impact of quality teachers reaches beyond the quality or preparation of students in the online program. A good teacher can help a student, who is not particularly well suited for an online class, succeed.

Measuring teacher preparation is challenging however Huges et. al. (2005 in Rice 2006) indicate that a significant correlation between teacher effectiveness and the number of professional development hours they have logged.  

Because research clearly indicates that quality teachers are imperative to the success of an online program, considerable care and thought should be given to the hiring of teachers. Additionally, teachers should be highlighted as a unique and differentiating resources.


Rice, Kerry Lynn. "A Comprehensive Look at Distance Education in the K-12 context." Journal of Research on Technology in Education 38.4 (2006): 425-448. Web. 29 Apr 2011. .

Allen, I. Elaine, and Jeff Seaman. "Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009." Sloan Consortium. The Sloan Consortium, January 2010. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

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