The NSSE benchmarks five clusters of activities indicating student engagement, including level of academic challenge, a supportive campus environment, enriching educational experiences, student–faculty interaction, and active and collaborative learning (Robinson & Hullinger, 2008). During the past year and a half, our faculty development unit has been gathering data from students about how engaged they felt in their online courses. To that end, here are eight best practice strategies for engaging students in an online environment. Student comment: “Engagement occurs on multiple levels: personal, in class, out of class. 2015. The purpose of this was to identify pertinent studies on the important issue of student engagement strategies in online courses and student engagement strategies … Working in an online environment is often more difficult for students than the traditional in-person setting. 3. Humans like to be rewarded. Many students work via smart phones while on the move. Furthermore, you can use a rubric that spells out expectations about how to craft initial responses to discussion questions and responses to peers. Many rubrics for online discussions exist on the Internet and can be used as is or adapted. Students are human. In 2013, Chin-min Hsiung found strong evidence that students perform “substantially better” in classroom tests after cooperative learning. Part Two was on Five Ways to Boost Student Participation in Remote Learning. For more student engagement strategies, contact Covideo to talk to a video expert or see our software in action. As districts nationwide have no doubt learned, distance learning is different—in good ways and in challenging ways—from the traditional in-person educational experience. The following are some active learning strategies that you can incorporate into your online classes to increase online student engagement. Student comment: “Engaged means not only to interact with students but to have a clear understanding of the concepts and apply them to real-world situations.”. 1. / For a student, engaged = active and timely participation in an effort to understand the course material for more reasons than to pass an exam or get an A on a test, and to feel supported by the instructor to learn the material.”. Relationships are the most important element of any learning format, but they are especially critical when students are online, because students can feel disconnected from the course and isolated from each other if they are not tended to. Their day. Keeping online students engaged in an environment filled with distractions is one of the chief problems in distance learning today. Some students … Consider their lives. It’s also more engaging overall. For example, instead of requiring only text-based assignments, incorporate more audio or video such as VoiceThread, YouSeeU, lecture capture, and Jing. One definition of student engagement is “the amount, type, and intensity of investment students make in their educational experiences.” Here are a few ideas for increasing and ensuring higher levels of student engagement in online courses: 1. Having a rubric to guide students’ work helps them focus on clearly articulated expectations and helps faculty write comments directly related to the rubric. Relevance and real-world application Providing examples or models of well-written assignments is one way to ensure students focus on the assignment’s goals. They don’t know how much time they should be spending offline to prepare for their online experience. Strategies for engagement in online courses: Engaging with the content, instructor, and other students. Students who have never worked online don’t know how long it should take to craft a discussion response or how long it should be. Too little instructor participation causes and enables student apathy. The majority of teachers had little time to plan or prepare before their schools were closed and their students were sent home. Please read these first if you have not already done so. avatars and other customizable features: background colors, bios, message signatures, and more. 1. Paula M. Bigatel is an instructional designer and instructor at Penn State University’s World Campus. http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradelevel.pdf“>http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradelevel.pdf. Icebreaker/introduction discussions and working collaboratively using online communication tools were rated the most beneficial engagement strategies in the learner-to-learner category, whereas sending regular announcements or email reminders and providing grading rubrics for all assignments were … The purpose of this was to identify pertinent studies on the important issue of student engagement strategies in online courses and student engagement strategies … Comments from prior semester’s assignment feedback can be re-used as well. Online students attend class in their living rooms, in coffee shops and at the park. 25 Remote Teaching Tips To Engage Students In Distance Learning. Require all students to go through the introduction to online learning the first time they … If you schedule a couple of meeting times in a given week, you may get most students to attend. Online platforms lend themselves naturally to visual presentation, yet so many online course instructors think they have to stick with traditional direct instruction practices, like straight lecture or reading notes from an online presentation. Wyatt, L. G. 2011. In an in-person environment, I liked to turn the class loose on a “big picture” question and spend the entire first class talking about ideas before relating it back to what we planned on studying for the year. On the flip side, too much instructor participation can stifle discussion and other forms of student participation. One best practice to account for this is to set clear expectations for all course discussions, assignments, communication requirements, and honesty about the time commitment that is expected of the students. A new twist on show-and-tell: To get students comfortable with online participation, Brittany Collins, the teaching and learning coordinator at Write the World, a global online writing community for middle and high school students, converted … Want to learn how to put them into practice? The screen came alive as students typed, doodled, mind-mapped, highlighted, and circled their answers and then discussed them with the rest of the class. Out of class means I am so interested in the material or I need to answer a question so I seek outside resources to further explore and understand the material. The strategies revolved around two important domains: Instructor presence and teaching immediacy. Work backward from the context of remote teaching. 1. Take time to know who your students are through pre-course surveys asking them questions not only about their expectations for your course, where they come from, or what program they are enrolled in, and so forth, but also about the type of work they do and their job responsibilities. Last week, I ended up filling in for an online class due to an emergency staff absence. “Assessing Retention in Online Learning: An Administrative Perspective.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. By in class, I mean that I read and thoughtfully work through the materials and assignments. Start with students. “It depends on the developmental level of the students, but students of all ages benefit from interactions that can occur most naturally through synchronous class meetings. Even if students attended, they may want to review that synchronous session as well. Instead, you could meet with students live, but have prepared a video lecture ahead of time. Kristopher Wiemer, instructional technology specialist at Philadelphia University, encourages instructors to adopt active-learning strategies such as hands-on activities, interaction, and research “to make sure students are engaged and aren’t just sitting there like sponges.”. “Nontraditional Student Engagement: Increasing Adult Student Success and Retention.” The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 59(1), 10-20. Norman, M. (2017, June 16). Thank you for subscribing to Schoology Exchange! 20 million students, educators, parents, and admins have. learning disabilities who may struggle even more when learning in a remote environment. Icebreaker/introduction discussions and working collaboratively using online communication tools was rated the most beneficial engagement strategy in the learner-to-learner category, whereas sending regular announcements or e-mail reminders and providing grading rubrics for all assignments was rated the most beneficial in learner to instructor category. This is such a simple, but often overlooked, best practice. References: Another teacher and I share strategies to encourage student collaboration in a remote or hybrid learning environment, including through group presentations and class-created "norms." 7 Educators Share Ideas for Teaching Digital Citizenship, 3 Reasons Now is a Great Time for Competency-Based Education, post an appropriate picture of themselves as well as an introduction, too much instructor participation can stifle discussion and other forms of student participation. Personal is the deepest form of engagement. The learning objectives of the workshop were twofold: Identify strategies that help overcome obstacles to student engagement and develop a plan to improve student engagement in your online course. “Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States.” Babson Survey Research Group. Introducing content in the context of building relationships is always powerful, no matter the learning format. Learn ab out the tools and tasks that stretch their brains while nurturing their natural creativity and curiosity. Strategies for faculty: Making activities interesting and engaging for students usually involves providing opportunities for hands-on exploration. As much as students complain about the challenges of group work, we have to remind them about how important collaborative skills are in the workplace. One of the big knocks against the more bare bones learning management systems out there is that they don’t let students do enough customization of their own profile features. Other best practice strategies are really geared toward the online learner, because the requirements of online learning are so different. Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, 2 (1), pp. I understand it or I am trying to understand and apply it. Creating an Active Distance Learning Environment. No matter whether your school has full-time online options this year or has opted to develop a more extensive system of Hybrid Education, the online component of education is a very different world. You can provide tips, suggestions, resources, or FAQs that guide students to success (feedforward). Timely feedback on assignments allows students to incorporate feedback for improvement on subsequent assignments. Having students learn about new online tools, for example, gets them relating the tool(s) to practical applications in their own worlds. Therefore, various engagements should tap into our professional backgrounds, and this would make us better students.”, Student comment: “For an instructor, engaged = active participation and timely response/feedback with the end goal of helping a student succeed. It’s okay for students to build and curate fun online course personalities! Active learning: Create a teaching and learning environment primed for student participation, such as calling on students to answer a question, individual reflection, think pair share and group problem-solving. (More on our active learning page.)2. Intersperse synchronous meetings to mix things up. We gained valuable insights from students when we asked: “Define what it means to you to be engaged in a course.” Below are student quotes for each theme that emerged and some strategies for encouraging engagement. Research provides evidence for the connection between higher student engagement and persistence and retention in online programs (Boston, et al., 2010; Wyatt, 2011). Student Engagement: 5 Strategies to Motivate the Online Learner (Updated July 2020) #1: Reward Students’ Successes. Strategies for faculty: Many online students are working adults, so making course content applicable to their real-world experiences is very important to keeping them engaged. There is certainly value for students working at home to practice their basic skills — especially younger learners. You should consider doing the same! The following are seven effective ways to increase online student engagement in the learning process. This series of videos presents some strategies for boosting student engagement in the context of blended or online modules. Not everyone agrees on what is meant by student engagement or how to achieve it. Instead, I tried to teach an engaging content-related lesson on day one that would basically serve as a “hook” for the entire course. For those who miss the online meeting, record the session and send out the link afterwards. Because true PBL comes with a public presentation component, students learn how to achieve results in the real world via their online coursework. Yet, there are challenges associated with virtual learning, too, and one of the biggest challenges is related to student engagement. Therefore,... #2: Enable Students to Monitor Their Own Progress. You can set up online meetings using conferencing tools like Adobe Connect or Zoom.
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