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Quick Ideas for Improving Student Interaction

Posted on by jcastle

Looking for ideas to help increase student interaction in your course? Here are a few ideas to help get your students engaged.

Use Open Discussion Forums

Create a discussion forum where students can interact with one another (outside a particular assignment) to ask questions, share ideas, and engage in open dialogue. Label it something like the “Student Lounge” or “Water Cooler Talk” and check in regularly. 

You can also create an additional discussion forum where students can post questions to you and to their classmates. Participate regularly and answer their questions. This allows everyone in the class to view answers to questions that may come up frequently. Label it something like “Ask the Class” or “Clarity Needed.”

Make Discussions a Primary Component

To further encourage regular, consistent social presence within an online course, it is important to provide students with ample opportunities to express themselves and engage in dialogue with one another. You can facilitate this by including discussion boards regularly throughout the class. Use prompts that inspire reflection and critical thinking about that module’s content by being focused, purposeful, and open-ended. Ask students to post their reactions to the prompts and engage with classmates by responding to the posts that challenge or intrigue them. Get involved with the discussions by commenting on posts and asking follow-up questions.

Use Groups

Creating small groups is an effective way to engage students in both large and small classes, and encourage autonomy. Use the Groups tool in eLC to create pairs or small groups for peer review activities, collaborative projects, or even discussions. The Groups tool allows you to manually create the groups, auto-generate them, or permit students to self-enroll based on their interest in available group topics. Visit the eLC help web page for more about Group tools. Encourage the groups to establish their own team contracts, preferred methods for collaborating (discussion board in eLC, Google doc, Zoom meeting, etc.), and their schedule or timeline for completing tasks.