9 Keep it Engaging

Moving your teaching to the internet necessitates more intentionality behind your student engagement.

You need to be interesting. Be realistic about what you’re expecting students to do. “But I have a lot of content to cover” is not an excuse for not putting the effort in. If you’ve recorded a super long video to send to students, force yourself to watch it first. When you get bored and want to turn it off… cut your video and send that. ANY content/concept ‘can’ be engaging.

One of the biggest concerns from instructors moving online is that they struggle to get students to do the work in the regular face-to-face context, how are they going to get students to do the work online? Part of helping students be engaged is to create the scaffolding they need, to understand HOW to be ready to do the work. HOW can they be successful online learners?

If you’re assigning readings before class, give them a 200-word reflection to hand in the day before. Scaffolding doesn’t mean you oversimplify the material, it means you structure the workload to make it more manageable.


Watch one of your recordings or read one of your readings, imagining you’re a  student. Put on your critical eye. Think about how you could make it more compelling for students.

Optional Resources


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12 Key Ideas: An Introduction to Teaching Online Copyright © 2020 by Dave Cormier and Ashlyne O'Neil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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