The academic world has been able to leverage online learning throughout the pandemic; however, questions of how to succeed in delivering quality education in this format are of utmost importance.
A webinar titled “How to Make Your Course Interactive and Engaging” conducted by psychologist and educationist, Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd, addresses the issue of how to effectively maintain the interest and appeal of teaching in a virtual set up. “The best predictor of student success is the extent of student engagement”, says Murgatroyd. Building on essential factors, he explains a variety of tools that are beneficial in designing engaging coursework.
Below are some key highlights from his presentation:
Allocate parts of reading to different students, asking them to put the story together. Make use of various resources (videos, blogs, articles, etc.) by assigning each student a different one and asking them to connect them together.
Set a life-based challenge for students related to the topic being studied. Mentor, coach and guide them at each step and ask them to reflect on and share their research at each stage. Encourage the concept of learning from failures and make them feel at ease about making mistakes.
To boost interest, create a blog page to reflect on learning. This can then be shared by students, publicly or within a class. Software like Animoto can be used to design videoblogs and make things more fun!
Virtual learning can lead to students feeling isolated and disengaged from the real world. Setting up online interviews and interactive guest lectures can be a good way to bring back engagement and enthusiasm. Have your students connect directly to industry professionals (if possible) and ask them to document their work.
Ask each student to record a short video on a key topic of relevance from the course and post it to the online group. Not only will visual stimulation help other students in learning about the concept, but it can also allow the teachers to assess the student’s communication and comprehension.