Sunday, April 13, 2014

Online and Mobile Student Engagement

In 2012 I was asked to delivery a Professional Development sessions for faculty that were delivering online General Education courses at the college. The purpose of the workshop was two-fold to help these faculty who may or may not have been the developer for the course to understand the role of General Education within the Curriculum Roadmap. Second, to explore the topic of Student Engagement in the Digital classroom.

The session was divided up into four parts:

  • What is student Engagement?
  • Defining Interactions
  • Enhancing Online Communication
  • Our Role in Online Facilitation

The session began with a brainstorm session using an online application called Padlet.com. To view the results from one of these sessions please follow this link to the Engagement PD Padlet Wall. Learners considered what Engagement meant to them. Wide open topic to get the group sharing and discussing the ideas that came to mind.

What followed was some group work around the idea of building in opportunities for learners to interact. Faculty considered the Student-Student, Student-Teacher and Student-Content interactions in small groups and posted their lists to the Padlet wall. These could be tools or activities, regardless the opportunity was to gather the collective wisdom of the room into one place.

The next activity included a new tool called text2mindmap.com, where learners where asked to build a model of communication.  This was once again a wide open concept which yielded a variety of models and ways of looking at communication in the face-to-face and eClassroom. The benefit was to see how groups not only can collaborate and articulate their ideas, but also to expand their though on how to reach their learners.



Armed with these newly developed communication frameworks in mind, participants were given a document to download and edit as a team.  The document were assignment instructions for creating a Wiki.  The instructions had been intentionally broken...  stripped of all images, steps were skipped and collapsed, language occasionally vague. 

The goal was to review the document and consider that if it was to be delivered online what could we do to make it clearer for our students. There is an example of one teams edits uploaded to the Padlet wall.

The last step was to discuss our role in facilitating all of the above. Topics included classroom management, planning, and blackboard development and delivery.

Overall the session has proven to be quite successful, and has been delivered not only face to face, but also Blended with students synchronously online and face to face. As well as fully online using Blackboard Collaborate.

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