Online Education

A Division of the Office for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning

How to Motivate Students Online


Paraphrased from Online Learning Insights: A Blog about Open and Online Education

  • Provide timely feedback on assignments. A few weeks into the semester, as students become familiar with the process of online learning and the course content becomes more involved, each student should receive feedback on one or more individual assignments. This allows the instructor to connect with the student, which in turn, should encourage and motivate the student as they move towards becoming an independent, self-directed learner.
  • Respond to student questions promptly. This lets the student know you care and encourages their commitment to the course.
  • Provide personalized feedback on assignments, even when giving a low grade. Constructive and supportive feedback shows students that their work matters.
  • Show your engagement in the course by creating a weekly message (text or video) to post to the course home page.
  • Acknowledge academic challenges – encourage students on tough weeks and provide additional helpful resources.
  • Engage in discussions by noting students’ insightful comments.

Additional Resources

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