25 Student Readiness for Online Learning

Your course design should account for a variety of comfort levels in technology spaces and for a variety of previous experiences with online learning.

Note that online learning requires additional high-level executive function skills, including the ability to:

  • Manage time well
  • Self-motivate
  • Self-regulate learning
  • Seek help

You can ensure your online course supports the development of these skills by:

  • Providing due dates for every assignment and activity. Enter the due dates into Canvas in the due date field rather than the assignment description, so the assignment appears in the Calendar, Module, and Syllabus view.
  • Providing clear, scaffolded instructions for every assignment, especially major projects.
  • Prompting reflection on assignments, readings and activities. You can help students develop a metacognitive habit of regulating their own learning by building reflection into your assignment instructions.

Students can also take the Learning Online 101 course to become more prepared and understand the expectations for online learning.


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Guidelines for Online Teaching and Design Copyright © by TeachingSupport@UMN.edu and Faculty Development for Online Teaching task group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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