Let’s face it. Engaging students during online learning can be really frustrating.
Over the years, I’ve developed many ways to involve students in virtual class discussions, but something always gets in the way, whether it’s email, a television show or family responsibilities. “Hold on professor, I have to go check the chicken in the oven for dinner. I’ll be right back!” was one instant message I received from a student in a virtual synchronous class.
As a result, in my eight years of teaching a virtual synchronous course at Villanova University, I’ve identified three main challenges to learner engagement during online instruction: accessibility to technology, distractions in the learner’s environment and fear of the online learning environment.