Given the increase in the number of students and administrators asking for online courses the author developed two partially online courses. One was a biology majors at genetics course while the other was a non-majors at biology course. The student body at Queensborough Community College is generally underprepared and has work and family obligations. As an educator, one has to be mindful about changing the pedagogical approach, therefore, special care was taken when designing the course material. Despite the initial concerns, both of these partially online courses were received really well by students. Lessons learnt were that student engagement is the key to success in an online course. Good practices to run a successful online course for underprepared students are discussed in this paper. Also discussed are the lessons learnt for making the eLearning environment better for all the students in the class, overachievers and underachievers alike.
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