The aim was to describe how instructors respond to students’ demonstrating a need for caring in online classrooms.
Previous studies have documented student perceptions of caring in online classrooms. Knowledge development of instructor perceptions was needed.
Fifty-six online nurse educators from 10 states and 20 institutions completed an online survey requesting information about student cues that prompt caring interventions, what instructors do in response to those cues, and how students respond to the interventions.
Identified student cues fell into six categories: Academic Struggle, Appeals for Help, Concerning Behaviors, Withdrawal, Personal Problems, and Positive Events. Instructor responses fell into three categories: Reaching Out, Concrete Academic Support, and Intentional Caring Comportment. Student responses to caring interventions fell into three categories: Gratitude, Finding Their Voice, and Academic Improvement.
Results clarify the dynamics of unstructured caring interactions between teachers and students in the online setting.