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Principles of Online Design
Principles of Online Design



Instructional Design

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Course Management

Time Requirements | Tracking Progress | Feedback | Managing Communication | Online Learning Community

4.3 Providing Adequate Feedback

The key to a successful online course is immediate feedback. Distance learning students feel isolated from both the instructor and other students due to the lack of contact. When questions or problems arise, students want fast answers.

4.3.1 Respond to students' emails in a timely fashion and provide students with adequate feedback.

A. Notify students of a clear response time to assignments and other email messages.

B. Let students know when an assignment has been received.


Establish clear guidelines for answering student emails and acknowledging the receipt of assignments. This will help to reduce student anxiety and create realistic expectations as to when students can expect a response. The response time will depend on several factors, such as the nature of the course, the length of the course, and the instructor's time schedule.

Assignment Dropboxes may allow students to receive confirmation of the assignment upload.

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