Strategies for helping first-year online students with stress management

Session Description
Research shows that stress is an issue for many college students; with the addition of online or distance learning factors such as unfamiliar technology and isolation issues inherent to online courses, this stress can be magnified and can lead to poor academic performance and other negative effects (Cohen, 2019). One contributing factor is that most first-year online students are not provided with stress management techniques as part of their courses.
The goal of this presentation is to discuss and elicit participant interaction based on the following questions:

  1. What instructional practices can be used to help first-year online college students with stress management?
  2. How does the online course set-up contribute to first-year student stress and what can faculty members do to mitigate this given Learning Management System (LMS) constraints?
  3. What additional resources both inside and outside of the online classroom can help first-year students with stress management?

In discussing these questions, the authors will provide research and personal experience-based information in the areas of instructional practices, classroom set-up and resources for helping online college students with stress management and success in college overall. As full-time faculty teaching at one of the largest distance education universities in the United States, the authors have researched this topic as part of a project related to helping first-year online students overcome feelings of stress and isolation.

Tracy Crawford
Tracy Crawford, University of Phoenix, CA
Tracy Crawford, MAEd, is a full-time faculty member teaching entry point and foundational courses for the College of General Studies with University of Phoenix where she has been working as a staff member for the past 15 years. She earned a Master’s degree in Education – Curriculum & Instruction/Adult Education Distance Learning and completed a Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Education Program for her Elementary teaching certificate. Tracy has been involved in education not only as a teacher and administrator, but also as a volunteer with United Way as a volunteer Reading Buddy, Head Start, Art Masterpiece and she has served as a Faculty Supervisor for student teachers. Tracy is a Certified Advanced Facilitator, has served as a Faculty Trainer, and facilitated both faculty and student workshops at University of Phoenix. Tracy’s true passion is helping students learn and grow!
Jennifer Romano
Jennifer Romano, University of Phoenix, CA
Jennifer Romano is a graduate of Auburn University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Mass Communication. While attending graduate school at Auburn, Jennifer was an instructor of Public Speaking. Upon graduating she became an adjunct professor at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, followed by a full time instructor at Faulkner State Community College (now Coastal Community College) in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She taught communication and public speaking courses at both colleges. Then in 2007 Jennifer became a full time faculty member at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, followed by Herzing University in Birmingham, Alabama; she was an instructor of mass communication, public speaking and humanities course. In 2013 Jennifer became a full time faculty member at University of Phoenix, where she is currently working as a full time instructor of General Studies and Humanities courses. She has over 15 years of experience with online instruction and LOVES being an instructor at University of Phoenix!
Session Type
20-Minute Session
All Audiences

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One Comment

  1. I thought I would suggest doing an introduction video for students and not just a message. It is really hard to tell tone over text and for students who are already stressed, they may perceive the tone as harsh or pushy. A video will set your tone for the students and could help put them at ease especially if this is their first time doing online classes. It may also help to do a check-in type of video before midterms and finals.

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