An important element of learning, is engaging your students, trying to be more student centred and encourage active learning. This increases the motivation and depth of learning of your students, whilst providing a supportive environment. Engaging your students also gives you the opportunity to get to know your students and monitor their involvement with the course.
Build in, in particular, synchronous and frequent opportunities for peer to peer engagement and engagement with academic staff within your course. Engaging your students in a variety of ways also gives you the opportunity to get to know them and to reflect on their involvement. It can also make it easier for you to reflect on whether it would be useful for you to get in touch directly to offer support informally from time to time, or to note and encourage sustained strong engagement. The activities explored below are suggestions as to how this could be done, and consider also the examples in the Social Presence pages. These activities could also be possible “designated learning activities” for the more formal student engagement and monitoring system (often termed C6/C7). Please do ensure that details of your choices as to these activities are included in the course guide, in announcements in the VLE and in your first teaching session.
- Develop Engaging Activities
When developing engaging activities for your students, think about:
- Providing clear instructions and signposting to activities
- Do the activities align with the learning outcomes?
- Do the students have enough knowledge, background information to complete the activities?
- Do the activities contribute to the overall assessment?
- Is there feedback?
- What are the deadlines to complete the activities?
- Blackboard best practice Engage with students
- Tools for Engaging Activities
Some online activities to engage your students:
- Icebreakers in discussions e.g. introduce yourself, post up a picture
- Activities in breakout rooms in Collaborate
- Tests/Quizzes in MyAberdeen
- Assignments in MyAberdeen
- Peer activities, such as discussions, presentations, group work
- Work together on shared documentation, using Office 365
- Presenting in Collaborate
- Students record a session using Panopto or upload to Panopto (to avoid large files on MyAberdeen)
- Reflective journals, postings or discussions
- Student co-creation of activities
- Align with graduate attributes
- Foster a Sense of Community
Foster a Sense of Community