SummaryThere is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to ensure students can and will complete their online courses. However there are several key characteristics that have been identified that are known to consistently aid learners in successfully reaching their goals in a digital learning environment. When a teacher is unfamiliar with the synchronous and asynchronous learning tools used by the school or available on the Internet, they must be able to access a knowledge community including colleagues and expert resources. Digital learning compels the creation of a new type of professional learning community among educators: one that includes knowledge not only of technology, but also of teaching styles that increase the likelihood of learner engagement and success.

While many schools and districts provide Learning Management Systems or have programs in place for digital learning, the need for the teacher to constantly monitor and provide feedback on student participation and progress is greater than in the traditional classroom. Parental engagement and involvement can go a long way to helping the teacher in these tasks. These activities have a direct impact on student motivation and successful course completion. Once a teacher has completed the delivery of their first online course, they should participate in the examination of the factors that contributed to or interfered with student success. Final student evaluations should be followed by course and program evaluations to provide direction for allocating resources and choosing future approaches to ensure each course and program evolves. As with most things, if you keep trying and your approach to teaching grows through what you have learned each time, the eventual result can be what you want it to be.