Gracie Bickel: “I have created a lot of videos. I think it helps with building the students relationship with me, but it lacks in building my relationship with the students. They get to hear my voice, but I don't get to hear theirs. Since we only have one discussion, I feel that this affects the relationship. I have added my own [optional] discussion boards in the past and it went very well. I got a lot of responses and it was pretty cool…”
Don Brasier: “Every time I respond to an email, I include something positive and encouraging. I also try to mention something about their grade so that the student knows that I am aware of them on a personal level and that I know how they are performing.”
Timothy Crawford: “At one time or another most of the students in each class will email me a question or concern during the course… It's tempting to just simply answer the question briefly and move on, but if I can add a little to that, it makes a big difference. I try and do little things like trying to relate to their situation or express concern for them…”
Jared Grimmer: “Emailing the struggling students really does help make a connection. I know that I've had students in the past that were on the verge of dropping, but decided to stick with it. One of the things I try to remind all of my students is that they, for whatever reasons, felt inspired to take the pathway classes. The Lord is definitely aware of them and wants them to be successful.”
Kristi Grooms: “I just try to ask questions wherever I get the chance. It often is in the feedback, but sometimes in e-mail or text or the discussion board. For example, last semester I had a student miss a Gathering because her daughter was getting married and she had traveled to Salt Lake to help her dress shop. I kind of really love weddings, so I asked how things were going every now and then and she even sent me pictures of her daughter in her wedding dress. I just try to remember things about each person and follow up with them. It's not a perfect system, but it works well to make a strong connection with a few of the people.”
Tinia Hansen: “I give my students my cell phone number so they can text me a message or make a phone call. At first I hesitated giving out my number; a little worried about getting 90 students texting or calling me. But it didn't happen.”
Celeste Knight: “I try to let my students know that although I am their instructor I am a real person too. I try to have a sense of humor and be personal rather than cold and over-professional (if that is a real thing). Connecting with my students and taking an interest in their lives outside of math has helped me gain my students' trust and allows students to feel comfortable coming to me with a problem. I took the opportunity this week to email each struggling student or student who was missing at least 2 assignments. I had an overwhelmingly positive response from those I emailed.”
Scott Walker: “I have called a few of my struggling students this semester. I have found that as soon as I contact them and they hear my voice they are much more likely to contact me for assistance in the future.”
And their fearless TGL…
Trent Mikesell: “I try to share pictures of my family from time to time and just talk to them about the things that are going on in my real life. I always get a lot of positive feedback when I do that. I also think it's very important to respond to student emails and questions as quickly as possible. I think that's a very important way to demonstrate your reliability and goes a long way towards connecting with students and developing a relationship with them.”
“One thing that I started doing a few semesters ago that really helps is making a PowerPoint with student pictures and biographical information. Once a week, I go through the PowerPoint. It helps me learn names as well as remember some facts about students. I do it in PowerPoint because it's really easy to upload pictures into PowerPoint…I just download the pictures directly from I-Learn. I use PowerPoint because it has a "create photo album" function, so if I've saved the pictures with the filename of the student, then it puts them in and captions them automatically. It saves me time.”
Great stuff here, right?! You can find MORE of the ideas they shared by CLICKING HERE
OPTIONAL: Will YOU share with us some of your best practices for developing relationships with students?
I was moved by President Gilbert's message to online instructors today when he mentioned that when our online students feel OUR love for them, they feel the love of the LORD, which motivates them to improve themselves. Wow.
If you have a couple minutes, share with us your best tip so we can all work a little smarter (not necessarily harder) to develop meaningful relationships with our students.