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:
- Email -- Individual, Groups, or All Students
- Email Archive
- Messages - Individual, Groups, or All Student
- Feedback Surveys
- Forums - Virtual Classroom Discussion
- Commons - Social Media Tool