Here's How to Help Students Who Will Not Help Themselves

Do you wait for students to ask questions or seek assistance when you notice they have missed assignments or they are not performing well with discussions or written assignments? Or are you proactive in your approach to instruction and actively reaching out to those students who need your assistance?

It may seem students should want the help of their instructors, especially when they are struggling with course topics, assignments, and meeting deadlines. But the reality is that this is not usually the case and as most educators know, students may even resist the very idea of asking for help and prefer to give up when faced with a challenge. This can occur even when an instructor has done everything possible to encourage students to speak up. For example, I observed many online classes where instructors created optimal classroom conditions which were conducive for productive exchanges, similar to what I have done within my own online classes, and students still would not ask for help – even when their grades were declining.

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