Technological support includes all support strategies that relate to the use of digital tools. Even though students are becoming more and more accustomed to technology, we don’t want it to get in the way of learning.
Here are some proactive technology support strategies to implement:
- When you place links on your site, make sure they are not broken.
- From the very 1st class, help students as they explore their digital learning environment. For example, take time to introduce the different sections you have integrated into your Moodle site.
- When selecting a tool, make sure students have the knowledge and skills to use them. If they don’t, consider offering a tutorial if it is appropriate and doesn’t overburden the student.
- Select a variety of digital tools to reach the greatest number of learners. For example, if you want your students to create a concept map, offer them 2 or 3 choices of platforms and let them choose the one they feel most comfortable with.
Management support includes all support strategies that relate to relational management of students, for example with an intentional cognitive empathy approach (Parr, M. 2019, p. 85) [PDF, in French]. Its aim is for students to be satisfied with the course, feel confident, and not to feel isolated.
Here are some proactive management support strategies to continue to implement:
- Communicate regularly with your students via email or a class forum, for example.
- Write individual messages to students to have personalized connections. For example, write an email to students who are not very active or at risk of failing.
- Provide quick and clear feedback.
- Guide students with regard the rules of etiquette in the course. For example, tell them that discussions should be respectful and focused on the topic.
- Participate in the discussions to show your involvement and to make the discussions more dynamic when necessary.
- Use neutral vocabulary in the instructions you issue. For example:
- say “The work is due on…” rather than “You have to hand in the work on…”
- say “You can use this tool…” rather than “You must use this tool…”
- say “I’m counting on you to add…” rather than “It’s your responsibility to…”
What are your thoughts on these strategies? What other strategies do you use to support your students?