Why Do Students Fail Online Classes? How Can It Be Prevented?

Failing a class never feels good for a student. In a traditional classroom students have an opportunity to discuss their progress and obtain immediate feedback from their instructor. While they may or may not choose to try to work with their instructor, they know that on the scheduled class days an instructor is present and available. If a student isn't present in class an instructor will notice that absence immediately.

On the other hand, failing an online class is usually associated with feelings of discouragement, hopelessness, and a lack of care or concern from the instructor. Student disengagement from an online class usually occurs over time, as a culmination of failed attempts, an inability to make a meaningful connection to the class, and a lack of a productive working relationship with the instructor. If an instructor does not maintain an active presence and is not responsive to the needs of their students, those students who are gradually disengaging may not be noticed until it is too late.

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