engaging online students

Connecting with Online Students: What Works Best?

Decades of research show the value of instructor presence and student engagement for online learners. Yet many instructors wonder how well their efforts to foster engagement really work, leading some to question the value of discussion and other types of interactions.

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How to Welcome Students to an Online Class

It is best practice to open online courses with a welcome to students. The online format will be new for many students—in particular, adult students who are returning to school after a long absence—and they may be uncertain of their ability to perform in the

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Simple Tips for Engaging Students in Zoom

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, relatively few instructors had used web-based conferencing for teaching and learning. With the shift in the spring of 2020, many instructors suddenly found themselves teaching online courses, and many others found themselves teaching onsite with some students using videoconferencing to

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Three Effective Ways to Start a Class

All communication begins with grabbing your listener’s attention, something that everyone instinctively understands. A marriage proposal does not begin with the speaker opening a PowerPoint presentation, providing an outline of topics to be covered, and a schedule with time for each topic—including time at the

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Identifying Goals Helps Online Learners Sustain Self-Motivation

One of the challenges online learners face is sustaining motivation over the duration of the course. In face-to-face classrooms, teachers can personalize motivational strategies to meet the needs of individual students, and the social presence of teachers and fellow learners provides its own motivational incentives.

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online learning - formative assessment

Formative Assessment Techniques for Online Learning

While most faculty think of assessments as used to measure learning after the fact, formative assessment classroom techniques (FACTs) give an instructor a snapshot of where students are in their learning so as to address any gaps in their understanding. Online instructors have a variety

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using storytelling to engage

The NPR Model of Teaching through Storytelling

Nearly all dedicated NPR listeners have had the experience of sitting in their car with the radio on after arriving at their destination simply because they could not tear themselves away from a fascinating segment. By contrast, most online students have had the experience of

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How Superheroes Can Bring Your Discussion Board to Life

Late last summer we set the goal to liven up our discussion boards. We wanted a forum that encouraged diverse points of view, student questioning, and respectful debate. We did so by creating the gamified discussion board called Discussion Hero. Discussion Hero has students adopt

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new twists for online discussions

Five New Twists for Online Discussions

Most online courses have what we call “traditional discussions,” which follow the read-write-post (and perhaps reply to a peer or two) pattern. Even if the discussion questions are interesting, both instructors and students can get tired of the same old routine. We recommend trying any

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online learning tools - Softchalk

How to Add Interactivity to Your Online Courses

Faculty across disciplines have been increasingly embracing online learning, with the goal of enhancing student learning. The intention is good, but it doesn’t always produce the desired outcomes. Much of the traditional online content lacks interactivity and fails to engage students.

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