The question about what constitutes online attendance provoked some great answers, but also moved into the question that has been bugging me for a long time....if we establish standards (policy) for student attendance, shouldn't we also have "set" standards for faculty participation?
Regarding the question of what types of activities constitute attendance in online courses:
“Each class I have taken has also required at least weekly postings and/or dropbox assignments. I agree with XXXX, though, that participation in online discussions heavily depends on instructor interaction. Most of my instructors are wonderful about responding and keeping discussion going. However, I have a couple of classes where the instructor seems to be "absent" most days. It becomes apparent within the course itself that students are frustrated and confused, and that could certainly lead to non-attendance problems.”
“I think online attendance policy should at the very least be based on exchange between student and instructor - but perhaps you might want to add "on a regular or timely basis." Additionally, students should be able to expect regular communication from instructors as well. I have one instructor from whom we did not hear for the first four weeks of this semester. The whole class was confused - we were turning in assignments with no feedback. It is a very uncomfortable situation, but the student is at the mercy of the instructor. Now, as we reach mid-term, the whole class has no idea if we are meeting instructor requirements or not.”
“You make some great points here about professor involvement. I am taking an on-line class through (other MN school) right now too and the professor has not participated. There is no communication at all, and like your situation, he has not given any feedback on assignments. He does not use D2L at all, except to post the syllabus. As a student, it is very frustrating."
“I too am experiencing a class this semester with insufficient involvement by the instructor. It is very frustrating. I can see by the postings of several other students in the class that they too feel abandoned. With an assignment due tomorrow, and no responses to our questions on the discussion board for the past 1 1/2 weeks, I am left to hope that I understood enough to manage a decent grade on the assignment. This seems to be the equivalent of an instructor in an on-campus class not showing up for more than a week's worth of classes with no notice."