Absenteeism is a problem that can arise in online courses. When taking an online course you have to be responsible and self-motivated to participate and be a part of the course community. If students are not participating in discussions or being present online to complete assignments this can be a big problem. They may fall behind in content, lose interest completely or not qualify to attain the course credit.
To prevent absenteeism teachers should create an environment where students are required to be active in discussions within different groups in the course. By creating an active learning environment in your online course gives students opportunities to help each other and it encourages interaction among classmates. By giving students chances to pose discussion questions and moderate discussions is another way for students to feel involved in their learning and requires them to be present online. Teachers need to make online courses engaging and set it up that all students are able to participate at times convenient for them. The expectations of how many times per week students are to be logging in and taking part in discussions needs to be put in place at the beginning of the course.
When addressing a student with an absenteeism problem in an online course the teacher needs to contact the student by email or phone, if email is not returned. They need to find out if the student is continuing with the course and if so, find out the reasons why the student isn’t present online. If accommodations need to be made to assist student learning then the teacher and student should come up with a solution that will work for both sides.