Welcome to a Community of Support
The Gateway for Online and Adult Learners is here to help you with the online learning environment. Our mission is to support online students to enhance their learning experience, develop strategies for academic success, and assist with course navigation.
Appointment times are available for individual assistance with online course needs or to meet individually with a mentor or staff member. Generally, walk-in assistance is available Monday-Thursday 9 am-5 pm. Please contact us to confirm availability during walk-in hours or to schedule an appointment outside of the posted hours.
Online Mentor Program
Online education requires different teaching, learning, and technology skills than those found in traditional classes. Many times this creates uncertainty for students and can overwhelm the instructor. The Online Mentor Program (OMP) is designed to assist both faculty and students in this unique learning environment. The goal of this program is to provide support in the online class to help enrich the learning experience at UMSL.
The most important resource of the OMP is our Online Class Mentors (OCM). Mentors are graduate students who serve both faculty and students to foster an authentic learning environment in the online class. The OCM may be a mentor, liaison, facilitator, participant, confidante, and coach; the OCM is not a teaching assistant. The OCM will assist students with the course tools, including MyGateway applications, VoiceThread, Panopto, Kaltura, and Bonfyre. Faculty interested in participating in the OMP may request an online class mentor.
Online Class Mentors:
- Noelle Chandler, graduate student, clinical mental health counseling
- Shannan Franklin, graduate student, communications
- Lukas Presley doctoral student, counseling
- Taquera Walker, graduate student, school counseling
Online Class Netiquette or Behavior
Participation in an on-line community brings with it some responsibilities:
Be self-reflective before you post an emotional response and reread what you have written to be sure it is positive. Think of your comments as printed in the newspaper. Your online comments will be seen, heard and remembered by others in the class.
- Use effective communication.
- Avoid the use of all caps or multiple punctuation elements (!!!, ??? etc.).
- Be polite, understate rather than overstate your point, and use positive language.
- If you are using acronyms, jargon or uncommon terms, be sure to explain them so everyone can understand and participate in the discussion.
Ask for clarification to a point if you feel emotional from a classmate's post. It is likely that you misunderstood his/her point. This strategy will also help you step away from the intensity of the moment to allow for more reflection.
Sign your name. It is easier to build a classroom community when you know to whom you are responding.
Foster community. Share your great ideas and contribute to ongoing discussions. Consider each comment you make as one that is adding to, or detracting from, a positive learning environment for you and your classmates.
Be constructive. You can challenge ideas and the course content, but avoid becoming negative online. When you disagree politely you stimulate and encourage great discussion. You also maintain positive relationships with others with whom you may disagree on a certain point.
Keep the conversation on topic by responding to questions, adding thoughtful comments about the topics at hand. Online dialogue is like conversation. If there is a particular dialogue going on, please add to it, but if you have something new to say, please post it in another thread.
Define your terms. When using acronyms or terms that are particular to your field (or new to our course), please define them for others.