Teaching Online: ENGAGEExplore 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.
- Assignments & Assessments
- Course Tech: Zoom
- Field Work for an Online Course
- Labs Online
- Online Course Design
- Social Media
- Student Success & Engagement
- Teaching Online Courses
- Training Opportunities
- Video & Multimedia
Visit ASSESS for a comprehensive list of current resources, tools, and options for assessing your course.
- Assessment Strategies for Large Enrollment Courses Conducted Online – University of Delaware Resource
- Finding the Balance: Creating Meaningful Assignments Without Overwhelming Instructional Workload – Journal of Educators Online
- UD Online Testing Center
- Tips for Exams and Alternative Assessments – Rutgers University
- Fourteen Simple Strategies to Reduce Cheating on Online Examinations
- Alternatives to Traditional Exams and Papers – Indiana University
- Alternatives to Traditional Testing – UC Berkeley
- Assessment & Proctoring Options for Online Courses
- Immersive, Interactive Virtual Field Trips Promote Science Learning – Journal of Geoscience Education
- Games Methodologies and Immersive Environments for Virtual Fieldwork – IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
- The Virtual Field Station (VFS): using a virtual reality environment for ecological fieldwork in A‐Level biological studies – British Journal of Educational Technology
- Virtual Field Trips in Education of Earth and Environmental Sciences – Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Enhancing Pre-service Teachers’ Professional Practice Through Reflection on the Action of Others: The Development of the Heterospective Reflection Framework Informed by Virtual Field Experiences – The Teacher Educator
- Communicating with Your Students During a Continuity Situation
- Promoting Engagement in Online Learning Environments
- Recommendations from DSS for Accommodating Students in Canvas
- Optimal Teaching and Learning Practices in Online Multiparticipant Courses – Journal of Educators Online
- The Human Element in Online Learning – Inside Higher Ed
- Promoting a Sense of Belonging in Online Learning Communities of Inquiry – Journal of Online Learning
- Bring Meaning to Online Discussion with Intentional Design – Online Learning Consortium
- Integrating High Touch Strategies to Increase Student Engagement, Academic Performance, and Retention in Large Online Courses – Journal of Online Learning
- Using Structured Pair Activities in a Distributed Online Breakout Room – Journal of Online Learning
- Using Debate in an Online Asynchronous Social Policy Course – Journal of Online Learning
- Teaching to Connect: Community-Building Strategies for the Virtual Classroom – Journal of Online Learning
- Maximizing Interactivity in Online Learning: Moving Beyond Discussion Boards – Journal of Educators Online
- Podcast: ON Cultivating Student Engagement in Higher Ed
Visit Current Training Opportunities to learn more about additional programs and short courses that offer deep-dives into teaching and designing courses online.
- Designing and Developing Videos for Online Learning: A Seven-Principle Model – Journal of Online Learning
- How Multimedia Can Improve Learning and Instruction – American Psychological Association
- Drama Appreciation Learning Using Multimedia To Develop Student Literation – Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Languages and Arts (2018)
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