Engaging Students Online

September 11, 2020

Engagement, communication, and feedback are necessary for effective learning both online and on campus. They become more significant in online learning but are sometimes less intuitive to implement. Making a plan for these items is a great first step to crafting an effective learning environment.

Online learning presents challenges and opportunities for student engagement. On the one hand, it can open up the potential for shared learning via discussion boards or Slack channels, where some faculty report increased participation. On the other hand, it can increase barriers to creating a sense of class community.

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Nexus can provide support to create an engagement and communication plan. Email with questions or schedule a 1:1 meeting tailored to your needs. Our recommendations may include:

  1. Before the start of the term: Post a video introducing yourself and the course that is available to students when they first log in, and create a discussion forum inviting students to introduce themselves as well.
  2. In the beginning of the term: Email all students who have not logged into the course space after the first week to connect and check in on them.
  3. After the first assessment: Give students who are struggling an opportunity to check in with you. For example, schedule a supplemental debriefing session after the first assessment. Post an announcement in the course to everyone, allowing students to self-select if they would like to attend. You could say, “I see some people struggled on the exam. I will be here at this time to check in. I am going to address the gaps I am seeing, areas where things are going well, and some feedback I have gotten from students.”

Helpful resources:

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