Beyond the Pivot

Welcome back to the new semester. Last semester we saw the urgent pivot to online learning and what a wonderful success story with all courses going online overnight. This semester we face the new challenge, that is, moving beyond the urgent pivot. Learning materials are all up online, it is time to dive into the question of how to maintain engagement with our remote learners.

Many of you will have noticed a certain amount of disengagement from students as they struggled with their new learning environment. We must now consider how we might contribute to our students’ ability to be intrinsically motivated by emerging them in a learning environment that satisfies three basic psychological needs; autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Deci and Ryan, 2000). Autonomy where students have some sense of free will, perhaps some choice in assessments or activities. Competence in a learning environment that provides a safe place to master skills and knowledge in a scaffolded way. Relatedness that provides an environment where students connect with each other and learn through collaboration and interaction.

Relatedness brings us to the question of action learning and activity based interactions in synchronous and asynchronous learning. At times it is difficult to think of new activities that might engage learners; Bloom’s Taxonomy can guide this thought process and there are a number of ways of applying Bloom’s as the impetus for ideas. Here are some ideas we have thought of, look through them and use the links below to inspire your own ideas. The main thing to keep in mind, is to get those students talking to each other, debating ideas, and analysing literature.

  1. Check through the list of verbs in these Bloom’s tables and consider a related activity.
  2. Kathy Schrok’s list of online tools for action based learning may be helpful. Note The Periodic Table of Educational Technology on the same page for other ideas.


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