Students at Risk: ON-Line Digital Literacy in Art Appreciation Reading, Comprehension and Writing
Peggy Blood

On-line course offerings are steadily rising as universities compete for the virtual student. Students are available and willing to take whatever courses colleges and universities places before them. According to 2009 Sloan Survey of Online Learning enrollments were up 17 percent in 2008, a year earlier there were approximately 4.6 million students taking at least one class online. Many students taking on-line courser have no idea what to expect when enrolling, they know the name of the course but they do not take into consideration what is expected of them or required to successful complete the course. It is ironic in that many students anticipate on-line classes will entail less preparation and knowledge. This assumption seems to be most prevalent from students taking art appreciation classes for the first time and with minimum discipline in their self regulation of study. Entering a course with this pre-set cavalier attitude often leads to students missing the first assignments and finally realizes by the second or third assignment or discussion forum that assignments or discussions have closed. As time progresses it becomes clear to students that the ability to read comprehend and write is an important aspect of this type of art course. Theresa Cullen and Inger Cobb (2011), University of Oklahoma, researched the importance of the ability to read and write in a digital age. “Living in a digital age requires adults to be capable of tasks beyond simply reading, such as using a computer or other technology to complete day-to-day tasks.” It has been the experience of this writer that as students progress through an on-line course it become obvious that the demanding consistent process challenges and increases skill levels in all students and especially at risk students.

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