Solutions Lab 15: Encouraging students to deeply engage & actively participate

For many of us looking ahead to Semester 2, one of the biggest challenges is how to encourage all students to engage deeply in the course material and participate actively in collaborative/discursive activities.

Zhen Zheng’s, SHBS, Theory of Chinese Medicine course has been running successfully as a remote learning course for some time. Her cohort consists of postgraduates located all across Australia; they are health practitioners and often juggling their studies with work and family commitments. Over several years, Zhen has developed a great strategy for catalysing and growing engagement in the course from start to finish, ensuring that the students are motivated, enthused and committed.

In this session, Zhen focuses on three different techniques that she finds particularly effective in actively engaging students online and which may be of use to colleagues planning their Semester 2 course design:

  1. Icebreakers and Connection Seeds: Before the course begins, an assessed ice-breaker activity draws out students’ aspirations and expectations; this helps students to connect and being to build friendship groups before the course starts.
  2. Applied Exemplars: The course community work together to create short exemplars, using the student’s professional specialisms and extracurricular interests to explore and apply key theoretical concepts in creative ways.
  3. Practice Dilemmas: Students bring their real-life practice dilemmas to the course community and Zhen reaches out to peers, alumni and external partners/practitioners to share their own authentic stories from the real world.

The video below is an edited version of the webinar Zhen conducted, technical issues & questions are removed.

You can find the resource Zhen creates for her students that summarises the challenges they are facing studying with suggested tips and hints to overcome them on Canvas Commons.  Note: you need to be logged into Canvas to access this link first.

The following Community of Inquiry Model below, adapted from designing a learning environment, Joyce Marie Kincannon  provides an overview of the interactions that can occur when you interweave the presences of social, cognitive and teaching in the design of a course’s online environment.

  • Created using H5P.

Additional Resources: