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Connecting in the Online Classroom

Building Rapport between Teachers and Students

Rebecca A. Glazier

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Building rapport with students can revive the promise of online education, leading to greater success for students, more fulfilling teaching experiences for faculty, and improved enrollment for universities.

More students than ever before are taking online classes, yet higher education is facing an online retention crisis; students are failing and dropping out of online classes at dramatically higher rates than face-to-face classes. Grounded in academic research, original surveys, and experimental studies, Connecting in the Online Classroom demonstrates how connecting with students in online…

Building rapport with students can revive the promise of online education, leading to greater success for students, more fulfilling teaching experiences for faculty, and improved enrollment for universities.

More students than ever before are taking online classes, yet higher education is facing an online retention crisis; students are failing and dropping out of online classes at dramatically higher rates than face-to-face classes. Grounded in academic research, original surveys, and experimental studies, Connecting in the Online Classroom demonstrates how connecting with students in online classes through even simple rapport-building efforts can significantly improve retention rates and help students succeed.

Drawing on more than a dozen years of experience teaching and researching online, Rebecca Glazier provides practical, easy-to-use techniques that online instructors can implement right away to begin building rapport with their students, including

• proactively reaching out through personalized check-in emails;
• creating opportunities for human connection before courses even begin through a short welcome survey;
• communicating faculty investment in students' success by providing individualized and meaningful assignment feedback;
• hosting non-content-based discussion threads where students and faculty can get to know one other; and
• responding to students' questions with positivity and encouragement (and occasionally also cute animal pictures).

She also presents case studies of universities that are already using these strategies, along with specific, data-driven recommendations for administrators, making the book valuable for faculty, instructional designers, support staff, and administrators alike.

The science-backed strategies that Glazier provides will enable instructors to connect with their students and help those students thrive. Speaking to the paradox of online learning, the book also explains that, although the great promise of online education is expanded access and greater equity—especially for traditionally underserved and hard-to-reach populations, like lower-income students, working parents, first-generation students, and students of color—the current gap between online and face-to-face retention means universities are falling far short of this promise.

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Connecting in the Online Classroom

Rebecca A. Glazier

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Reviews

Making the case that all instructors who are teaching online should consider the quality of their rapport with students, Glazier addresses the barriers that so many students have faced in the past and continue to face in the COVID-19 pandemic. Deftly articulating how relationships reduce or ameliorate those barriers, this clear, accessible, and inspiring book values and affirms instructors for the work they are doing and could do to support students.

Glazier's book is an excellent resource for professors teaching online. It provides an overview of the challenges as well as the ways to overcome them effectively while offering applicable advice on how to build rapport, close the online retention gap in online classes, and constuct a support network.

This book makes a series of compelling arguments about who online college students are and what they need to be successful. It's crucial that we continue centering students in our discussions about the future of education. Glazier draws together a wide range of sources aimed at just that and offers a novel perspective.

A sharp analysis of the retention crisis in online learning, an eloquent call to action in support of our most vulnerable students, and a practical guidebook for online instructors, Rebecca Glazier's important book provides a clear road map for creating online courses and programs that help students succeed.

Students are humans first. Recognizing that and embracing it in online teaching is critical but challenging. Fortunately, Dr. Glazier offers concrete, useful tactics for bringing our humanity to bear as teachers. This is a must-read!

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
264
ISBN
9781421442655
Illustration Description
6 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. The Problem
Chapter 1. The Promise and the Peril of Online Higher Education
Chapter 2. The Digital Divide
Part II. The Solution
Chapter 3. Relationships Matter
Chapter

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. The Problem
Chapter 1. The Promise and the Peril of Online Higher Education
Chapter 2. The Digital Divide
Part II. The Solution
Chapter 3. Relationships Matter
Chapter 4. Strategies for Building Rapport
Chapter 5. Students on the Margins
Part III: What It Will Take
Chapter 6. The Tradeoffs
Chapter 7. Building a Support Network
Appendix A. Example of Pre-Semester Survey
Appendix B. Examples of Rapport Emails
References
Index

Author Bio
Rebecca A. Glazier
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Rebecca A. Glazier

Rebecca A. Glazier is an associate professor of political science in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has been teaching online and researching in the scholarship of teaching and learning since 2009.