Digital #Powerups: Hashtags to Empower Higher-Order Student Engagement in Online Discussions

Description The digital powerups strategy provides an innovative way for instructors to engage students in higher-order online discussion by humanizing and personalizing the discussion. This strategy should be used to allow students to engage in online discussions in relevant and authentic ways. Online discussions can “allow students to participate actively and interact with students and …

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Use Discussion Boards, Google Docs, and Pages Tool for Online, Case-based, Collaborative learning

Description Case-based learning is often used in social science classes, as well as in other disciplines. This can be challenging to implement online. By dividing a class into smaller groups, and assigning a separate discussion board to each group, the groups can do their planning asynchronously and completely online, while the instructor has a complete …

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Post an Introduction Video to Welcome Students to Your Course

Description If one of the central goals of higher education is “deep and meaningful learning” as Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer suggest (1999), it is important to consider how to best capitalize on the ease and abundance of interaction in online courses to facilitate this type of learning (p. 3).  In their Community of Inquiry …

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Create Intentional Communities through Meaningful Student Introductions

Description Student introductions are a high-impact practice: they build community within the course, set the stage for more substantive forms of student-student and student-instructor engagement, and can reveal unknown issues or strengths on the part of students (Dolan, Kain, Reilly, & Bansal, 2017). Building community in online classes (Nelson & Goodson, 2018) through introductions helps …

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Implement Student Video Introductions to Foster Social Presence

Description Online learning can cause students to miss the peer-to-peer connectiveness of the face-to-face classroom and feel isolated in their studies, which can lead to lower motivation, achievement, and retention in online classes (Angelino, Williams, & Natvig, 2007; Kanuka & Jugdev, 2006). To remedy students’ feelings of isolation, discussion forums are commonly utilized by instructors …

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Ask Students to Lead the Online Discussion

Description Although not experts in the discipline, there have been benefits in having students lead online discussions. Students may be more comfortable to participate in the discussion when it is led by an equal member of the class, rather than the instructor who is perceived as the authority (Lim, Cheung, & Hew, 2011). Questioning from …

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Create Structured Discussion Prompt to Reduce Ambiguity, Reinforce Purpose, and Promote Discourse

Description Asynchronous online teaching is fundamentally a communications challenge. What is gained in online learning by extending access through a Web-based LMS is offset by the loss of the immediacy and semantic richness of in-person instructional communication (Daft, R. L., & Lengel, R. H., 1986; Moore, M., 1993). In online discussion forums, students, in isolation, …

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Scaffold Online Discussion through ‘Steering’

Description Steering is a strategy used in interactional scaffolding of asynchronous discussion. Interactional scaffolding assumes the important role of the instructor as mediating discussion and maintaining a communicative ‘presence’ to support students to participate effectively in this mode of interaction. Interactional scaffolding involves modelling discourse and ways of communicating, and ensuring that the discussion keeps …

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Using “Start, Stop, and Continue” to Gather Student Feedback to Improve Instruction

Description Providing feedback to students in courses is important so they understand how they are performing. However, it is equally important to gather feedback from students. Seldin (1997) stated there are two reasons to gather feedback: “first, to improve teaching performance, and second, to provide a rational and equitable basis for personnel decisions” (p. 335). …

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Strengthen Peer Review by Promoting the Lens of Design

Description Peer review has the potential to be an effective activity for students to engage in, for several reasons. Students do not rely on the sole voice of the instructor, who is an expert in the matter. Peers may be able to communicate with other peers in a way that is difficult for the instructor. …

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