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Use Technology to Promote Online Engagement

  • Synchronous Engagement

  • Zoom is a great tool for synchronous engagement and provides many useful functions like:

    1. Chat Feature – students enter a one-liner upon entry and exit - instructor provides a prompt (e.g., what new concept do you understand clearly, and which is still unclear?; In your own words, enter a brief description of ….)

      • Using icons in the chat room – encourage students to use thumbs up or thumbs down in response to a check for understanding.

    2. Breakout Rooms – for group work/discussion

    3. Polling Feature – Works much like an embedded quiz; clicker questions, or other periodic engagement activities.

  • Asynchronous Engagement

    • CatCourses provides a good place to put asynchronous content that students can access at their convenience. Some ways of engaging students in CatCourses include:

      1. Keep an eye on Who’s Slipping Away

        • Within CatCourses, you can use course analytics to monitor student engagement in the course. Using Analytics in CatCourses. This is critical now that we are in a remote environment. Pay particular attention to students who have slipped away, are inactive, and/or have failed to turn in assignments.

        • Reach out with a personal phone call. This is better than an email because of potential internet/connectivity issues students may be experiencing.

        • Provide guidelines with due dates (or by end of the semester) for getting missed assignments turned in. The change to remote instruction takes everyone some time to acclimate. If your students are struggling to submit assignments on time, consider removing penalties for late work or extending due dates.

        • Make sure students understand that even if they have opted for a P/NP grade, they must complete all work AND do so at a C- level. Incomplete work or failure to complete assignments and exams will automatically result in a zero grade – this could significantly decrease overall points in class, and therefore, one’s ability to pass the course.

    • Discussion Board Feature – This actually provides students with more time for reflection and the development of their thoughts/responses.

    • Group assignments can be used for small group work like problem-solving. Capturing group work on a GoogleDoc can be useful

    • 10 Tips for Effective Online Discussions | Educause Review - Tips to help educators ensure that online discussions are engaging and beneficial for students. Explore the list here.

  • Case Studies and Examples from Disciplines

    • 51 Student Exercises from Sociology Through Active Learning

    • Sociology Activity Examples | Adaptable for Online

    • Digital Labs and Simulations for Science and Math

    • An online resource that generates interactive simulations. Access it here.

    • From physics to biology, and beyond, this website provides information regarding digital labs and simulations. Read it here.

    • UCLA has created a curated list of resources for migrating labs to an online format. Read it here.