Engage Students

Summer Workshop: 
Fostering Communication Online, Engagement, and Collaboration

Strategies for engaging students:

  • Maintain communication through frequent emails, online forums and individual student messaging. 

  • Distribute a welcome letter describing course objectives and expectations.

  • Use a variety of assignments, including group work and student presentations.

  • Live classroom sessions for engaging students through discussions, calling on students, and using polling and chat features within the online platform.

  • Varying topics and activities. Develop online learning activities.

  • Project-based work and the use of break-out rooms.

  • Provide engaging topics and questions in the discussion forums and giving credit for participation.

  • Using a flipped classroom model

  • Using a whiteboard tool to draw and illustrate during synchronous sessions.

  • Persistent and reliable availability of the professor.

Faculty Recommendations for Building & Maintaining Community in the Online Environment:

  • Use the Forum platform to elicit discussion, engage student-to-student interactions, student-to-professor interactions, share knowledge, and get to know each other

  • Many faculty have found informal weekly check-ins to be useful in allowing students to ask questions, give feedback and share/reflect about their experiences.

  • Breakout rooms, in-class group activities, and group discussions during synchronous meeting time.

  • Scheduling small group meetings before and after class meetings.

  • Publicly recognizing students by name for their responses and inviting others to comment.

  • Constant contact and more open office hours. Instructor “showing up” every day.

  • Maintain energy and positivity recognizing that student participation may vary depending on individual situations.

Asynchronous & Synchronous Tools:

  • Announcements
  • Email -- Individual, Groups, or All Students
  • Email Archive 
  • Calendar 
  • Messages - Individual, Groups, or All Student
  • Polls
  • Feedback Surveys
  • Panopto
  • Forums - Virtual Classroom Discussion
  • Commons - Social Media Tool
  • Blogs/Wikis
  • Zoom

Other Resources

See Russ Beauchemin's Workshop: Teaching Synchronously with Zoom