Promoting Student Interaction
Actively engaging your students in the learning experience is critical to their success in an online course. These resources offer ideas on how to incorporate meaningful interaction in a welcoming online learning environment.
Interaction creates a sense of belonging, helps students set an intention for learning, promotes active learning and higher levels of thinking and understanding, and promotes constructivist learning. Interaction, when done correctly, creates a real learning community. Students need to feel there is a living, breathing human on the other end of the course who knows them, cares about them, and is participating in the learning journey (“instructor presence”).
Interaction can flow from instructor-to-student, student-to-student, or student-to-content.
Interaction can be synchronous (live, real-time; you and your student(s) need to be at the computer at the same time, such as a Skype call) or asynchronous (you do not need to be at the computer at the same time, such as e-mail).
Interaction should not be an afterthought! Plan for interaction as you design your online course and follow up with regular efforts to stay in touch, using some of the ideas below. You can begin with just a couple of the ideas, but be consistent in their use.
Using Collaborate to incorporate synchronous interaction in your online course can help to create a sense of human connection while fostering a positive online learning community for students.
The Instructional Design team offers consultations on how to incorporate virtual meetings
into your online
course. We also demonstrate Blackboard Collaborate.
Virtual Meetings Best Practices
Wikis & Blogs
Wikis and blogs help to facilitate a learner-centered environment while encouraging
collaboration between students.
Using Wikis and Blogs
Threaded discussions in online and blended courses can deepen learning and create
meaningful dialogue and a real
Guidelines for Threaded Discussions
eLearning & Academic Partnerships
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