Teaching Online: ENGAGE

Explore practical pedagogical strategies and educational technologies for teaching online. Some may be tied to specific tools.

Engaging Your Students

(Read Time: ~4 Minutes) 

In any environment, but especially as most faculty continue to operate remotely, students need to feel confident that there’s an expert personally guiding their educational experience. As you get ready to welcome students to your online course, it is helpful to think through the practical teaching strategies and tools that exist to help you engage your students in online learning.  Although you likely already have designed your major assignments, you can often foster or leverage opportunities for students to engage with the material, and with each other as they discuss ideas, practice skills, or reflect on learning.

Shared & Individual Opportunities

Consider adding resources or activities to your course which will help orient your students to the modes of learning in an online environment.  Having students introduce themselves through a quick video or discussion post is a great way to start.  You can also leverage Zoom for synchronous meetings, or to record messages or course content.  

Creating space for conversation can reap benefits for you and your students. You’ll nurture a sense of community, give your class a chance to demonstrate what they’ve learned, and illuminate new perspectives. An effective online course will often use a variety of large group, small group, and individual work experiences and allow students to engage with one another through discussion posts that invite responses, questions, and reflection.  Canvas includes tools that can help you create discussions, assign, monitor and assess groups working together within your course. To set your students up for success, establish guidelines for discussion such as length of posting, number or quality of contributions.

Building in Feedback

Because you cannot always see your online students synchronously, it may feel challenging to monitor for participation and understanding, but many tools exist that can help you check in frequently. Actively solicit feedback on how students are doing through e-mail, discussion, and  surveys. Frequent small-stakes assessments such as polls or quizzes can also help you know how your students are doing.  Tools such as polls, surveys, video feedback and announcements can all be leveraged in Canvas to create a supportive environment while giving you an opportunity to provide feedback to your students that is meaningful and timely, yet not overly burdensome to you.

Engage Resources 

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