All my reading about online coursework leads to one important aspect: motivation. Without motivation, passing an online class is impossible. No matter how much support is provided, motivation to finish the class lies in the student. No amount of pushing and prodding is going to help the student who just doesn’t want to do the work.

Can we, as educators, do anything to help students develop motivation in themselves?

Maybe. If we create engaging classroom space we open the door for virtual discussion. Proper activities that lead students quickly to fresh ideas and skills can help. Reminding students regularly about the reasons they are taking the class. Providing space for reflection.

Also, do not stress when students are so unmotivated that they stop showing up to class. This is not about you. Students’ lives can be very complex and if they are not in the right place for learning, you cannot fix them. While it is essential to make sure your students are healthy, physically and mentally, we cannot take responsibility for their actions when they give it up.

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