Guest post by Christina Sewell, English Instructor at Allen Community College in Iola, Kansas

Christina Sewell, Allen Community College

I am an instructor at Allen Community College in Iola, Kansas, and have taught literature, composition, and creative writing for the last 11 years.  During that time I have created Basic Course Shells for all online instructors to utilize as starting points in their Composition I, Composition II, Creative Writing, and Introduction to Literature courses.  While at Allen, I have been part of the Online Learning Task Force, and wrote the online and onsite student and administrative evaluations of instruction. I won the 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course for COL130 Introduction to Literature.

Today I’m going to share with you some tips I’ve learned for engaging your students in my classes.

Five Ways to Engage Students Online

  1. What They Know: Entry-level students need to realize they have a wealth of personal experience to draw from and advanced-level students need to be reminded they must prove and support their knowledge.
  2. Re-Engage: Often times we have students introduce themselves to each other at the beginning of the semester.  Instead of letting them fade away after that, we can require them to re-engage with each other.
  3. The Dreaded Group Work: Requiring students to be accountable to each other is an important skill and also a powerful motivator.
  4. The Importance of Input: Students need to know it is their course and they have a say. They also need to know someone is listening.
  5. Reciprocity: We expect students to work hard to interact with us and each other as well as complete intense course work.  We must do the same in return.

Have some best practices of student engagement to share? Submit to Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program to see how your course stacks up!

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  • Latashia Blackburn

    Christina, those types are really helpful. I’ll definitely try them out, Thanks for giving time for this great post.