Follow Up Friday: Creating Community for Engagement and ICYMI

April 8, 2022

Online Teaching Highlight

Establishing a presence in an online course is a key component to teaching online well. This week, Sharyn Emery, Ph.D. shared her teaching and tech tips for handling engagement with students when they point out mistakes in the course. It is an opportunity for crucial engagement and is a teaching moment that can impact how a student continues to engage with the course. You can read about it here.

Creating Community for Engagement

Today we want to follow suit with Sharyn’s topic and get into why it matters to design opportunities for learners to connect with each other in an online course.

  1. Social learning theory suggests that we learn from others, especially peers, in different ways than learning from an instructor. When students engage with peers in a course there is a connection that assists in students feeling like they belong and this, in turn, can positively impact motivation in the course.
  2. Establishing warm rapport with your students through your tone in course announcements and emails as well as through audio/video feedback can go a long way to helping students feel comfortable within the course. That comfort can open up the virtual learning space to be a place where ideas and interaction spread.
  3. Be sure to create opportunities for this community of learners to engage with each other with the following tips.
    • Try randomly splitting the class into groups for discussion board posts and replies. Having fewer peer posts to read through helps ensure that more students have someone replying to their posts.
    • Create a discussion board for FAQs of the course where students can read some FAQs and post related questions.
    • Share information about communication options that do not require the exchanging of personal contact information. For example, Discord, GroupChat, Telegram, etc.
    • Consider creating discussion board forums geared towards student meet-up sessions for studying and other collaboration.

For additional suggestions on how to create a community in an online course and to engage your students, check out this February 2022 blog post on student in-course surveys, Zoom features, and more.

In Case You Missed It

LockDown Browser Icon

Quick Hits: Lockdown Browser

  • A how-to demonstration in setting up LockDown Browser.


Teaching Tip: Using Breakout Rooms in Zoom for group work

  • A less than a 30-second explanation of how Breakout Rooms in Zoom can help you.

Upcoming Live Training

Workshop Wednesday: Using Canvas Tools to Deliver Quality Pedagogy

  • Join this 45-minute workshop to explore some of the Canvas tools that aid us in delivering quality pedagogy. Topics will include the theory and data on why using simple Canvas tools such as announcements, assignment uploads, rubrics, etc. are helpful for learners. Whether your course is fully F2F, fully online, or somewhere in between, utilizing Canvas tools can aid retention and engagement.
  • Facilitated by James Butler, Digital Learning Strategist with Clemson Online
  • Wednesday, April 13th, from 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm
  • Register here to join us

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  • Stay in the know about upcoming training, teaching tips, and tech tips by following our social media accounts!

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