Personalizing the Online Classroom

Session Description
Student engagement and motivation are important factors in ensuring student success, especially in the online classroom where students have more accountability and less traditional relationships with faculty and peers. Research shows that a “one size fits all” approach is ineffective for e-learning; however, many online professors do not create individualized materials because of concerns about accessibility guidelines, compliance with institutional protocol, time constraints, and lack of confidence in their own technological ability.

In this presentation, the authors will explore effective personalization modifications within the online classroom to include an interactive discussion on classroom design, engagement, and feedback practices for all learning styles. Online classroom personalization can range from individualized feedback to creation of videos, original clip art, interactive quizzes, and more. In alignment with current research, providing a personalized classroom experience is time intensive in the beginning of a course, but it is worth the time invested to see the improvements students make by the end of the course. In addition, by branching out and utilizing various interactive components within feedback and discussions, online classroom facilitation is not so monotonous.

As distance learning continues to evolve, increased personalization of classroom content should be encouraged, and the authors assert that effective faculty training/mentoring programs should be implemented to include a focus on individualizing the classroom experience. As faculty at one of the largest distance education universities in the United States, the authors will share their experiences with and ideas for personalizing the online classroom environment.

  • Tracy Crawford, University of Phoenix, Tempe, AZ, USA
  • Laura Policar, University of Phoenix, Tempe, AZ, USA
  • Melissa Stock, University of Phoenix, Tempe, AZ, USA
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