Consider these complementary strategies to the ones listed in my post on Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design:
Student choice – student choice gives students the chance to access prior knowledge and strengths, if applicable, and makes them feel like they are a more active part of the learning process. This could be done for a major project or something smaller, like a discussion post.
Utilize the assistive technologies that are available to you – according to the research from Assistive Technology Tools: Supporting Literacy Learning for All Learners in the Inclusive Classroom in this module’s readings, if “efforts are made to implement assistive technologies effectively for student use, they can enhance: literacy acquisition, flexible and differentiated learning experiences, student engagement and independence.” Especially in an eLearning environment, anything that can enhance a student’s independence is a good thing. Programs such as Spicy Nodes and Live Binders can be used as organizational tools
Consistent conferencing – every student is different, but most students are used to working in a regular classroom environment, which means they’re used to interacting with their teachers almost at any point during a 75 minute period. And usually, teachers are available before school, at lunch and after school for conferencing as well. As such, eLearning teachers should make themselves available to students at scheduled times – whether that means scheduling weekly or b-weekly “visits” with students, or offering “office hours” during which time the teacher can offer immediate feedback.
Encourage student interaction – introductions at the beginning of a course allow students to get to know each other a little bit. From there, with encouragement from the teacher, students can work together on collaborative assignments, perhaps based on the similar sensibilities that they see through the introductions and regular discussions.
Provide encouraging, positive feedback – especially in a new learning environment, students benefit from positive reinforcement. In addition to letting students know what they need to improve on, make sure to be a constant source of encouragement.