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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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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Encourage Metacognitive Learning by Visualizing Objectives

Description Students want to know what will be on the test. But faculty want students to focus on authentic learning rather than simply scoring well. Our strategy addresses both desires. Good course design involves alignment of course and lesson objectives with relevant activities and assessments. It is imperative that students be provided with this “roadmap” …

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Digitalizing Gallery Walks: A Method for Student-Centered Feedback and Engagement

Description Traditional gallery walks let students stroll through the classroom viewing their peers’ work, which is often set up on the top of their desks. At its heart, a gallery walk is an interactive, discussion technique where students move around the room, actively analyze information, and provide peers with feedback about their work (Fasse & …

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Present Homework through Videos

Description It can be difficult to build a sense of community in an online course (Moskal et al., 2010), especially in mathematics where written work is usually somewhat limited. I find that regular class discussions provide a considerable benefit in this process. But the practice that has most effectively improved connections between students and between …

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Use Digital Posters for Online Community Introductions

Description A sense of community within a course can increase student engagement, persistence, and performance (Rovai, 2002; Vesely, Bloom, & Sherlock, 2007). In asynchronous teaching, creating community can be challenging. Instructors can facilitate a sense of community by providing ways for students to introduce themselves to each other. Glogs (graphic blogs) are interactive electronic posters …

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Use Digital Communication Tools to Enhance Online Communities of Inquiry

Description Learning online may be an isolating experience which may lead to student attrition. Digital communication tools may help to enhance online communities of inquiry and address students’ feelings of social connectedness, perceived instructor presence, cognitive engagement, and persistence. Research shows that faculty use of various new media and communication tools (including social media) may …

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Use Mobile Communication Technologies to Increase Students’ Feelings of Connectedness and Instructor Support

Description Use of mobile communication technology in the higher education setting is still a relatively new area of study. On brick and mortar campuses, students who have face-to-face interaction with their professors and peers can often be seen texting or “tweeting” between classes or in class. Such mobile messaging usage in class can be very …

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Send a Welcome Message

Description A welcome message to students before the course begins is an important step in establishing your online persona (Bellafiore, 2007; Gibson & Blackwell, 2005; Mensch & Ali, 2007; Phillips, 2011). The message should include vital information for the course and not be your entire syllabus. The purpose of this communication is to welcome the …

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