Fostering Student Engagement Online: Approaches, Techniques, and Tools FLC

How do we engage the students in our classes when we’re not in the same physical space with them and our interactions are mediated by technology? What does it mean when they log into a synchronous class session, but don’t turn their video on, use their audio, or comment in chat? With the sudden shift to online instruction, many faculty felt somewhat adrift because some of the typical ways they monitor student engagement moment by moment in the face-to-face classroom were not available. Nevertheless, the research suggests that online learning environments can be equally as engaging as traditional face-to-face ones. Members of this pair of FLCs, which met during AY 2020-21, investigated the research literature to find answers to such questions as:

  • What does engagement mean? How has the relationship between engagement and learning been theorized and analyzed? How has engagement been measured in the research literature?
  • What role do pedagogical approaches such as active learning, collaborative learning, and authentic and experiential learning play in engaging students, and how do they translate to the online context?
  • What are some techniques and tools we can adopt for online teaching that will support pedagogies of engagement?

As they studied the literature, they also examined how these ideas played out in practice through exploration and application of various approaches, techniques and tools in their own classes. Thus, each participant came away from the experience having applied at least one new approach, technique, and/or tool for student engagement online.

Members (Group A):

Charles Eggleton (ENME)
Kathy Glyshaw (PSYC)
Tomoko Hoogenboom, Facilitator (MLLI)
Kathryn Kein (GWST)
Maggie Knisley (SAPH)
Elaine MacDougall (ENGL/ASC)
Estela Monge (BIOL)
Paige Rogers (BIOL)
Bill Ryan (IS)
Donald Snyder (MCS)
Susanne Sutton (MLLI)
Marie van Staveren (CHEM)

Members (Group B):

Anna Berry Royack (IS)
Mariajosé Castellanos, Facilitator (CBEE)
Nandita Dasgupta (ECON)
Erin Durham (LIB)
Ivan Erill (BIOL)
Elle Everhart (GWST)
Janet Gross (ENGL)
Jason Loviglio (MCS)
Fernando Vonhoff (BIOL)
Cynthia Wagner (BIOL)

Samples of Work:

Available in this Threadbox
Google Doc from Group B
Google Slides from Group B

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