Engaging Underprepared Students

2e: Engaging Underprepared Students

In this module, faculty learn how to assess students’ levels of readiness in order to inform instruction and encourage the use of campus or online resources for academic support. The module also teaches faculty how to clearly communicate their expectations and use grading practices that fully support student success.

To satisfy the module requirements, faculty must implement one or more techniques, such as using ungraded assignments early in the semester, creating an online Buddy System, using a performance prognosis inventory, or sharing academic support resources.



Advising Subject Matter Expert(s)




Featured Faculty


Module References

Bailey, T. L., & Brown, A. (2016). Online student services: Current practices and recommendations for implementation. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 44, 450–462.

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R.-M. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chase, B., Germundsen, R., Cady Brownstein, J., & Schaak Distad, L. (2001). Making the connection between increased student learning and reflective practice. Educational Horizons, 79, 143–147.

Cost, P. (2012). Building relationships in online classes by incorporating letter writing, buddy systems, and teaching and utilizing proper netiquette. National Social Science Journal, 38(2), 16–19.

Espitia Cruz, M. I., & Kwinta, A. (2013). “Buddy system”: A pedagogical innovation to promote online interaction. PROFILE: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 15, 207–221.

Gabriel, K. F. (2008). Teaching unprepared students: Strategies for promoting success and retention in higher education. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Jaggars, S. S. (2011). Online learning: Does it help low-income and underprepared students? (CCRC Working Paper No. 26). Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED515135 

McGuire, S. Y. (with McGuire, S.). (2015). Teach students how to learn: Strategies you can incorporate into any course to improve student metacognition, study skills, and motivation. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2008). Assessing the online learner: Resources and strategies for faculty. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Roper, A. R. (2007). How students develop online learning skills. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 30(1), 62–65.

Twigg, C. A. (2003). Improving learning and reducing costs: New models for online learning. EDUCAUSE Review, 38(5), 28–38.

Twigg, C. A. (2015, November–December). Improving learning and reducing costs: Fifteen years of course description. Change, 47(6). Retrieved from http://www.changemag.org/Archives/Back%20Issues/2015/November-December%202015/course-redesign_full.html 

Walpole, M. (2007). Economically and educationally challenged students in higher education: Access to outcomes (ASHE Higher Education Report, Vol. 33, No. 3). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Join Our Newsletter