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.
via Are Your Virtual Students Engaged? – Chief Learning Officer, Solutions for Enterprise Productivity.
Keeping students attentive in the 21st century classroom is no easy feat. Sure, there’s the buzzword–“engagement”–that pervades education technology rhetoric, but what does engagement really look like, and how do teachers achieve it? For veteran educators Dotty Corbiere, a math specialist at Meadowbrook School in Weston, Massachusetts, and Rushton Hurley, founder of the non-profit organization Next Vista for Learning and a former high school Japanese language teacher and principal, the answer is video.
“[Video] captures attention and learning. You can’t learn anything unless you’re paying attention,” Hurley said.
Hurley’s organization, Next Vista for Learning, is an online resource for digital media that curates videos from “ordinary” students and teachers (providing they meet a specific set of guidelines), organizes them, and makes them available for free. Hurley believes that through watching videos created by their peers, students will be challenged to think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of each video and apply this knowledge to developing their own content, in addition to learning valuable subject matter.
Corbiere, whose students create Stop-Action Movies (SAM) Animation to depict everything from life cycles to math poetry videos, gives her classroom “total license” when it com
comes to putting together projects; as long as students map out their idea first, they can use any materials they like to make the content come to life.
“The kids love it … when they get going, they want to do their best. If that figure doesn’t come out right or that scene wasn’t quite perfect, they want to do it again,” she said.
Starting a video project can be overwhelming, so THE Journal asked Corbiere and Hurley to share their favourite video ideas that capture students’ attention–and keep it.
Read more: 7 Amazingly Easy Video Ideas for Capturing and Keeping Students’ Attention — THE Journal.
Pretend you’re a high school student getting your nightly Facebook fix. As you scroll through your news feed, what do you see? Photos, gossip, YouTube videos, and calculus homework.
Wait, what? Homework on Facebook?
For students in Donna Noll’s calculus and algebra classes, that’s exactly what they see—and hear. A veteran math teacher at Seminole High School in Sanford, Fla., Noll posts overviews and sample questions recorded on her so-called “magic pen” to her fan page, SemiNoll Math. She uses Livescribe’s smartpen, which records her voice, as well as what she writes, and combines the two into a PDF, creating a pencast.
Full Text: ‘Magic Pen’ Helps High School Teachers Dig Deeper Into Math Lessons – High School Notes (usnews.com).
I have been thinking a lot lately about where flipped learning fits into the whole educational reform movement. What place does flipped learning have in this movement? We have learned a great deal about learning in the recent past, but sadly much of that research doesn’t get into actual classrooms. Why is that?
First, a little background on educational research: Research suggests that mastery learning, problem based learning (PBL), inquiry learning, hands-on learning, and many other learning practices increase student engagement and performance. But in many classes, teachers are not using these learning strategies.
Full Text: The Flipped Class as a Transition to Deep 21st Century Learning | Flipped Learning.
Dan Comins, instructional designer at ATS, attended an Educause webinar on “Managing the Online Learning Environment” two weeks ago. Part II and III, which talk about fostering student engagement and motivation in online classes as well as dealing with different online student personality types are well worth watching or passing on to faculty who are interested in online education.
Our comment: Links to the recording are included on link below
via “Managing the Online Learning Environment” webinar recordings — The Wheel.
Claudia Dornbusch shares some best practices on how to use the most common functionalities of synchronous software platforms for the benefit of creating engaging interactions that will enhance participant learning and retention, that doesn’t put the participants to sleep! (video 10:00)
Continue reading How to deliver an engaging Virtual Classroom presentation [Video]