You may have experienced a drop in student participation and engagement in their learning with the advent of eLearning and blended courses. Different forms of interactivity should be considered when developing or teaching online or blended courses, such as learner engagement with content, instructors, and peers. The course design is a crucial element in deciding the interactivity efficiency, quantity, and form.
1. Interact in different formats
Online education provides multiple ways for lecturers to communicate with the students. Course email and discussion boards tend to be common networking devices, but don’t forget embedded audio and video, chat rooms or instant messaging, text message broadcasts, and home page advertising. Explanatory screencast videos appear to be well received by students, and are becoming ever easier and cheaper to make.
2. Providing resources for constructive learning
A common misconception about studying online is that only students sit in front of their computers. This may be valid if the course is structured in that way, but one way of engaging online learners is to get them out of their chairs (or beds) and engage them in active learning. Another concept of active learning is ‘hands-on learning,’ and this may include ‘hands-on the computer,’ which is not the suggestion here. Assign the online students to meet or otherwise carry their learning to the place where they work.
3. Create Social Learning
Many lecturers look at social media as a means of spicing up their courses and involving students in topical education. Consider adding a Twitter badge to your course homepage and then using a hashtag to push your students through posts with course-relevant content. If used effectively, social media can help create a sense of classroom community between students and among students and lecturers. The top schools in Faridabad have adopted this path of learning.
4. Gamify with badges and certificates
There are several ways you can incorporate gamification elements to online classes, without going the distance from start to finish (which was done by a few visionary educators) to create a complete game-based learning experience. Consider adding badges to your course to honor student accomplishments along the way, as a more intermediate move. Badges that are rewarded based on the achievement of specific skills can be offered as a way to reward student performance and encourage continued engagement.
5. Provide timely and supportive reviews
Feedback to the students about their success is extremely necessary in the effort to keep the learning process engaged. Fast responses to forum posts and email questions will help keep students on track for the next assignment or activity. Time spent on assessment grading can also have an impact on future student efforts. Students should never have to engage in the next evaluation without receiving feedback on the preceding evaluation. Detailed, constructive feedback in nature appears to be more powerful than weak encouragement or vague messages.
6. Add scope for self-assessment
Provide self-assessment tools, encouraging students to take greater responsibility for their learning. It can be a motivating and sometimes humbling experience to grade their discussion posts, or to provide input for their grade for course attendance. An ePortfolio or learning plan based on the course can be used to allow students to develop their learning plans while defining their expectations for various methods of evaluation. Even the CBSE schools in Faridabad are following the same.
7. Boost usability of all courses
This last category isn’t one that is generally regarded when considering the importance of student participation. However, student participation can be decreased for everyone when the content of the course is presented in such a way as to cause web usability problems. Whether or not a student depends on assistive technology, providing course materials that do not pose obstacles to learning is an ongoing requirement for online education students. Making small steps towards enhancing the accessibility of course materials is a good idea for educators to engage regularly, daily.