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Finding Ways to Engage

February 15, 2021

How can instructors & faculty engage effectively with students in a pandemic?

This month, the Clemson Online blog has been discussing student perceptions of learning during this most unusual time. From Zoom lectures to hybrid course models, today’s Clemson learners have seen a variety of learning and engagement models. What can instructors do to continue to help learners get the most out of their classes?Photo of bronze tiger statue at Memorial Stadium

  • Streamline where you can. In a recent issue of The Tiger*, students discussed how easy it was to get lost among the various tools and platforms their professors were using. Student Manav Bava said this confusion means “[y]ou can get lost and miss due dates.” To avoid this type of confusion, consider what tools will serve your course learning objectives, rather than simply adding tools because they are available. Students will get more out of a well designed online course using one or two key tools than a course packed with all the bells and whistles that doesn’t cohere. See our tools page to see what CO supports and what makes the most sense for your course needs.
  • Find flexibility for your students – and yourself. In the same newspaper article, students who had to quarantine off campus talked about the difficulty of keeping up with their classes while not being allowed to leave their hotel room. Caroline Furman said, “I don’t think I really opened my computer because I was just so stressed and overwhelmed.” While not all students will have this particular experience, many are finding learning challenging during a time when they may not be able to study with others or even go to a professor’s office hours. So find ways to be flexible while still maintaining course rigor. Maybe that means extending deadlines or offering an extra Zoom study session before finals. Students on our recent panel mentioned that flexibility and empathy from their instructors were crucial elements in keeping them motivated. And maybe you even need a break – find ways to give yourself enough bandwidth so you are still engaging your students effectively.

Clemson Online is here to help you with any teaching questions or technical issues related to engaging students this semester. Let us know how we can help!

*November 30, 2020 issue

What’s Coming Up:

  • Tigers Teach: A talk with Corey Kalbaugh, Asst. Professor of Epidemiology (Tuesday, Feb 16 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm)
  • Workshop: Crafting Exams and Assignments in Canvas that Encourage Academic Integrity (Thursday, Feb 18 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am)

Clemson Online Home – Where Tech and Teaching Meet



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