online teaching tips
Best Practices

Online Teaching Tip – Assign Each Student an Accountability Partner

Students are struggling this year to stay on top of content and class work.  Some faculty are having success assigning students to an accountability partnership.  This partner is someone they can go to if they miss class, have questions, or just want to talk about the day’s lecture or assignment.  It’s a way to help students stay on top of what’s due and when as well.

keyThe Key Is Making Them Work

In order to make this work, you, as the instructor, need to want this to work.  That can be done via modeling in your interactions with the class.

  • Talk about the partners when it seems appropriate, to continue to bring the partnership to the forefront.
  • Encourage them to ask their partner before asking you.
  • When doing partner work in the classroom or online, keep your partners together to help them form trust.
  • Have students share their weekly academic goals with their partner to help with accountability and scheduling.

However you do it, encourage the students to use this partnership to their advantage.


 A few tips

  • Conduct FUN ice breaker activities to help the partners get to know one another.  An example may be to do a virtual escape room together.
  • Ask them to schedule regular video calls with each other to go over what’s coming up that week and planning for future assignments.
  • Ask them to set goals at the start of the week and then show how they accomplished them the following week.
This “Buddy” system, if implemented and encouraged, can be a great resource and support system for your students and will hopefully increase community in your classroom and give the students the relationships and connection they are craving.