xeturahwoodley Xeturah Woodley is the Executive Director of Academic Affairs, Central New Mexico Community College where she has been teaching for 14 years. She teaches online classes, has develops a program to train faculty to teach online, and boasts a retention rate of 85% or higher for online education. Here are some of her strategies for teaches distance students:

1. Connect with Student before the class begins. Woodley calls her students on the phone to make sure they are ready for class.

2. Give clear directions on what they need to do to prepare for the first day of class. Make sure they are engaged from day one.

3. Respond to student inquiries within 24 hours. (Tell them you will always get back to them within 48 hours for some cushion room and tell them the times when you are not available, i.e. weekends).

4. Put all expectations in a syllabus and go over it in detail. Teach students to have back up plans and get them from them in writing – so you can ask them why they didn’t use their back up plan if they try to make excuses. Have resources immediately available to students if they do need help.

5. Admit your mistakes – Woodley gives extra credit to students if she messes up. This keeps her students logging in to check up on her and gets them more engaged in the class.

6. Put words of wisdom from former students on the front page.

7. Give students assignments that require them to login. The more they login, the more engaged, the better they do in the class.

8. Provide consistent feedback.

9. Create opportunities for building community.