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This Week in the LEC...

Increasing Course Engagement and Promoting Active Learning and Upcoming Respondus Workshops

Issue Date: 04-05-2019

Collecting course materials for set learning objectives is rather straightforward: Chapter readings, Lectures, PowerPoint highlights or notes, Reference Videos and Reference Links. Passive content is necessary, but how are you engaging students? Have you developed points for students to apply what they’ve learned and grow before being assessed, or does your course consist of passive content followed by quizzes and exams?

Student engagement and active learning are important for several reasons; not just to keep students involved, but also to help assess where a student’s knowledge lies at a given point in your course, and whether they have met the objectives set for the content. Engagement and active learning are even more important in online environments where there is little to no direct classroom interaction with students.

Active learning facilitates:

  • Engaging students, creating excitement around learning content
  • Teacher to Student feedback, Student to Teacher communication and Student to Student interaction
  • Targeting a variety of learning styles
  • Improved assessment of student progress throughout the course

Consider using some of the following methods to build Student Engagement and promote Active Learning, particularly after introducing some passive content in your course:

  • Discussion Boards encourage student to student interactions, debate and critical thinking.
    • Instructor involvement is welcome for direct teacher-student feedback in conversation.

  • Use Groups and create Group Assignments with topic-related scenarios and decision making, allowing students to reinforce what they have learned in a collaborative environment.

  • Peer Reviews allow students to provide feedback and see perspectives of other students on a topic.
    • Peer Reviews can be assigned manually or automatically and can appear anonymously to students.
    • Set expectations or guidelines on the type of feedback you expect from students.

  • Use Conferences for more than lectures, get students involved - use Polling, Breakout rooms, Interactive whiteboards or invite others to present.
  • Promote Collaboration tools for presentations, group papers or note-taking.
    • Teachers or Students can setup group collaborations for Microsoft Office Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents.

  • Create an Interactive Video Quiz using SharkMedia.

  • Create a Page which allows students to edit, similar to a wiki page.

  • Provide feedback using SpeedGrader to open a dialogue with your students on a per activity basis
    • You can write comments, leave video or audio feedback, and communicate with them for further direction or suggestions.

  • Use Course Statistics and Course Analytics to determine what elements of your course are engaging, or which could use some work.

For further reading on Student engagement and Active learning:

Engaging students in Online Courses (Canvas Community)

Active Learning (Wikipedia)

Engaging students in Canvas (UNF)


For more on using Canvas features, see the Instructor User Guide.

Upcoming Workshops: Lockdown Browser + Respondus Monitor and Advanced Settings for Lockdown Browser

Take advantage of the following upcoming workshops hosted by Respondus. 

Instructor Training: Lockdown Browser + Respondus Monitor

Thursday, April 11th, 019
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Instructor Training: Advanced Settings for Lockdown Browser

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

To learn more and to register for one of these upcoming workshops, click the button below. 

Tags: Canvas, Assessments and Assignments

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