Things to Keep in Mind for Supporting our Students

Here are some things to keep in mind this term:

  1. Students are at-risk of dropping out of school or your course
    We know that balancing life, academic and financial commitments can be challenging for students at the best of times. Add a major disruption or crisis like we are currently experiencing, and more students may be at risk of dropping, especially those who were already teetering in their focus.
  2. Students always need support, but especially during times of crisis
    If a student is already questioning whether to continue in school, what happens when they try to get a basic question answered—whether it’s a technical question about remote learning, or question about the course content—and there is nobody available to answer their question or point them to the right resources? It can be difficult to be available as we know that virtual learners are engaging in their coursework at all hours of the day. Consider the next points to help this.
  3. Proactive outreach can help keep your students informed
    It’s important to know where to send students for support, but it can be equally beneficial to stay in touch with your students over the duration of your course regardless of asynchronous/synchronous learning approaches. Use of the announcements feature in Blackboard Learn or the use of a general Discussion forum can help create a constant dialogue between students, their instructor and their peers. You can also speak to your students by recording a live video if you wish to include a more personalized approach to communication.
  4. Consider using engagement data to inform your teaching
    Using statistics tracking on items in Blackboard course shells can help you keep track of who has viewed what and which areas of your course are garnering the most engagement from students. Learn more here:
  5. Ask students for feedback
    You can use the polls feature in Blackboard Collaborate/Zoom or create a survey in Blackboard Learn in order to gather feedback from your students. You don’t have to use this information immediately, but it can help to empower your teaching in the upcoming terms. Learn more about surveys: Learn more about polls:
  6. Remember, you don’t have to do all of this alone
    UFV has hired additional Learning Designers within the Teaching and Learning Community in order to assist with your teaching goals this term. Book a 1-1 session, attend a micro-course, webinar or email us with your questions. We are here to help you. Contact us at