Student Engagement with Online Course Content

July 24, 2023

Humans learn better when they are actively engaged in the learning process. Helping learners connect to each other, to you as the instructor, and to the course content will increase their sense of engagement and success in the course. Beyond reading or watching instructional materials, ask learners to do something more with the content.

Here are some strategies for increasing student engagement in your course through encouraging learners to make deeper connections with the course content.

Offer Practice Opportunities

Learning new material can be daunting. If you build in open or low-stakes opportunities for students to practice their understanding, they can increase their confidence in the content and apply it more accurately in later assessments.

Some publisher material allows for practice questions, but you can also create practice quizzes or assignments in Canvas. All you have to do is select the option for “practice quiz” or set the score not to factor into the course grade. Then you can provide early feedback (either customized or automatic) so that learners know if they are on track and where they can make improvements.

Spark Individual Interests

Making connections between their own interests and the course content helps learners to integrate their learning in your class with their broader experiences. You might try allowing students to select their own topics for exploration or ask them to bring their own experience into the discussion.

In a science course, for example, you might ask learners to choose a real world application of the phenomenon of choice. They can do research and create a simple video presentation on the theory and how it applies to their area of choice. Learners are likely trying to make connections between what they are learning and the world around them, and this kind of assignment allows them to engage with it more deeply while getting credit and feedback on their ideas.

Build Something Together

Participating in an online course does not mean each learner has to learn on their own. Consider having students work in groups or alongside you to solve a problem, address a case study, or communicate an aspect of the course content to a wider audience. 

What if your current students created learning materials for future students? Whether you all work together on producing an Open Educational Resource (OER) or something less widely available, this process increases student ownership of their own learning by asking them to teach others. 

A Few More Ideas

If you have some ideas that you aren’t sure how to implement in your online course, schedule a consultation with one of us at Clemson Online!

Upcoming Events

Quick Hit – Canvas Quizzes and Academic Integrity

Thursday, July 27, 3:30 – 4:00PM

Are you interested in learning about how to secure your online tests and quizzes? Join Clemson Online for a quick look at these topics to help you ensure your classes’ academic integrity. In this course, we will explain the purpose of securing your online assessments and demonstrate how to use them in your course. All of this is in just a 20-minute Quick Hits session!

Facilitated by Gray Jackson, Learning Technology Specialist.

Register for Quick Hit: Canvas Quizzes and Academic Integrity on July 27th.

Camtasia Updates

Wednesday, August 2, 1:30 – 2:15PM

This presentation is focused on demonstrating the 2022 and 2023 updates to Camtasia. Participants will receive live training on some of the features and uses of Camtasia to use these as they record videos for their courses.

Facilitated by Chase Sanders, Digital Learning Designer.

Register here for Camtasia 22 & 23 on August 2nd .

Clemson Online Summer 2023 Events Calendar

Review our Summer 2023 Events Calendar to see what Online Instruction Development opportunities await!

We have a robust Summer lineup of topics and live training formats to support your use of Canvas and other e-learning tools. Topics cover demonstrations of using Kaltura, presentations on inclusive practices for online education, and workshops to get your Canvas site ready to teach!

All of our live training is recorded. Registrants will automatically receive a link to that day’s video after it has been processed.

Contact James Butler with any questions regarding these sessions. 

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