I'm working diligently to develop and constantly improve our online advertising communication degree at Appalachian State University.
Distance ed students aren't better or worse than seated students, but they are different. Many did not complete their 4-year degree at an earlier time and are now circling back for a second chance.
As educators, we have to do everything possible to create a success environment for these hard working individuals. It's important to build compassion into the process. Many of my online students are working night shifts, managing families, or recovering from issues or events that have residual consequences.
It's not an easy journey. I stay aware of that at all times. It's our job to present rigorous learning opportunity, but also to coach and encourage as needed.
To me, that's the essence of an online educator.