BYU Online strives to help online students thrive

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More than 70% of BYU students are currently taking an online class, but who are the people behind the curtain orchestrating it all and ensuring it runs smoothly?

The Harman Continuing Education Building is located on the corner of University Parkway and 700 East and is host to the offices of those working for BYU Online. Their efforts enable students to thrive on and off campus.

“I supervise almost 500 TA’s that support students in online classes, and so I just feel very passionate about using those resources to find that one student that needs the support. Even at BYU where we have really good students, really high-achieving students, they come and they struggle for many reasons,” BYU online academics manager Erin Measom said.

“You get a wide variety of issues and problems that students have, ranging from physical issues, mental health issues, understanding material issues, not feeling supported issues,” lead teaching assistant Heather Crowley said.

So what is the key to helping the roughly 25,000 participants in BYU online classes?

“Help students feel like they belong and minister to them without students feeling like ‘you are being ministered to,'” Crowley.

But as altruistic as the mission sounds, it can be challenging to help students who are not always aware that help is available.

“I feel like online classes tend to have the stigma that you don’t have much support, you’re completely on your own, when in reality, we have so many TA’s and employees, and lead TA’s, student supervisors, that are all working together to make sure that the students get the support that they need and more,” Crowley said.

“I am very passionate about it, you know, almost to the point where I’m a little weird,” Measom said.

In a world where online learning is sometimes the only option, it’s good to have people working to give you the best options.

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