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ERIC Number: ED542153
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
Creating an Effective Online Environment
Jaggars, Shanna Smith; Edgecombe, Nikki; Stacey, Georgia West
Community College Research Center, Columbia University
Online courses present a number of challenges particular to their format. Besides basic technological proficiency, online courses require students to possess an array of well-developed non-academic skills; students must be able to manage time, stay organized, and recognize when and how to ask for help. Online courses also require instructors to be conversant with interactive technologies that enable them to create a strong instructor presence and engage students in the virtual space. Community College Research Center (CCRC) research indicates that students perform more poorly in online courses than they do in face-to-face courses. Evidence from recent qualitative analyses suggests that online courses may not be providing the range and intensity of supports that students need to perform well online. With the popularity of online courses rapidly increasing, what can administrators do to create an effective "online environment" so that growth in online learning does not go hand in hand with higher course failure and dropout rates? This guide describes findings from CCRC's qualitative research on online education in one community college system. Drawn from interviews with online students and faculty and observations of online courses, these findings shed light on areas of weakness in online learning. On the basis of these results, this guide presents recommendations to administrators looking to improve online learning at their college. (Contains 18 endnotes.)
Community College Research Center. Available from: CCRC Publications. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Community College Research Center