Every teacher has struggled with student engagement. Disengaged students are easy to spot. Students may have their head down, not taking notes, or look bored and indifferent to the learning process. Of course, in online learning, you can’t see the students, so how do you know when they are disengaged?
How to spot a disengaged online student
- Students rarely enters the course room.
- Very little time is spent in course activities
- Interaction with other students is sparse
- Assignments are missing or delayed
- Discussion posts are short.
Recently, I was reading an article on e-learning industry.com on the use of color. The author gave many good suggestions of how to use color, when to use it, and the meanings of an assortment of colors. It was an informative article.
It made me think about how little choice instructional designers have when creating e-learning for colleges and universities. Many times, the college or university supplies a branding guideline and that is that. No choice for colors, logos, and graphics.Continue reading How Much Do You Know about Colors In E-Learning?
A little over twenty years ago, schools, colleges and university embraced technology in the classroom. If we roll back to 1995, you would find schools full of educators who had never integrated technology into the classroom. Both young and old, many of them started their careers before technology was a “thing”. Technology was not even on the horizon, in schools or for consumers. In many cases, the most “technological item” in the classroom was an electric pencil sharpener.Continue reading The Secrets About The Forgotten History Of Technology Integration Only A Handful Of People Know
For the past two decades, instructional designers have had access to new theories that have been developed to describe the acceptance of technology into learning. One such theory is connectivism. This theory has been praised as an” effort in the digital era to produce a relevant learning theory” (Kaufman & Mann, 2007).
Siemens (2011) contended that “information technology created a new paradigm in the traditional learning environment that necessitated a new learning theory” (Siemens, 2011). One rationale for the creation of connectivism in the digital age is most learning environments are “intertwined, technological, and social in nature” (Kaufman & Mann, 2007). Instructional designers have facilitated learners to access a wealth of information resources; for instance, “online libraries, peer-reviewed journals, and book reference services along with social media, sharing, and Web 2.0 tools” (Lemke, Coughlin, Garcia, Reifsneider, & Baas, 2009).
In the absence of meeting your students in a face to face course, how can instructors make individualized connections with their students in the online course
Introduce yourself and demonstrate to the students that you have a passion for the subject of the course. Provide a video introduction. Provide your professional biography and a picture. Encourage students to do the same in the first discussion forum.
Give students a choice. If you are an educator who truly differentiates, you will give students choices on assignments, projects, etc. Instead of authoring a paper every week, give students the choice of creating a short video, podcast, or presentation. In addition, provide choices in disseminating information. Read this article or watch this video. Providing students with choices gives them an investment in the course.
Review the instructions for assignments/discussion/assessments. Go over them and go over them, again. Ensure that all instructions are clear and with step-by-step details, if necessary. Students can get easily frustrated when instructions are not clear.
All students learn differently, and students in an online classroom are no exception. Provide students with multiple opportunities and formats for learning, including videos, audio lectures, and project choices that help engage and encourage learning for all students and preferences. Differentiated instruction promotes learning for all students, as well as encourages engagement in the online classroom.Continue reading What I Wish Everyone Knew About Making Individual Connections With Online Students
Today’s digital students are demanding a higher quality of education and customized learning experiences. Accessibility and success depends on personal factors that extend beyond the campus. Students are looking for learning that relates directly to them. Online learning has allowed students with busy work schedules, hectic personal lives, and a lengthy list of responsibilities to continue their education. However, traditional online programs may fail to meet student needs, because they are mainly a one-size-fits-all solution. As adult learners are looking to explore career opportunities, new skills, or personal interests, their learning experience is significant. Universities that offer a student-centered design approach will engage and elevate their learners, and above all, retain those learners for the duration of the program.
As a college or university curriculum leader, you can propose tailoring the design thinking process or human-centered design process to student-centered design.