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Engaging Students in Distance Learning

Engaging Students in Distance Learning

With the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic still rippling throughout the world, instructors are relying on distance learning more than ever to ensure their students can maintain their studies in increasingly uncertain times. While distance learning has always been valued for its flexibility and the self-paced learning it affords students, online classes are now allowing students to create a new normalcy as they pursue their academic careers in the midst of crisis. 

However, these changing times have made it challenging for some students to remain engaged in the virtual setting. With this in mind, we have compiled some suggestions below on boosting interaction and promoting student success! 

  • Add Recorded Video Lectures to Your Course. Several of our instructors are utilizing video lectures to help mimic the face-to-face learning that many students are used to. By incorporating video lectures throughout your lessons, you can bridge the gap between you and your students and personalize what can sometimes feel like an impersonal experience. Video lectures elaborating on the learning objectives and content can be tremendously helpful tools, and can be easily added to your course homepage! For instructions on uploading video lectures and other media to your course, please visit our FAQ here. 
  • Spark Conversation With Discussion Forums. Discussion forums are a surefire way to increase collaboration. Requiring students to participate in forums will regularly encourage them to interact with their classmates, participate in an open exchange of ideas and perspectives, and foster critical thinking about the course material. To learn more about discussion forums, please visit our FAQ here.
  • Supplement Learning With YouTube. Many instructors have incorporated YouTube videos in their course lessons, discussion forums, and even written assignments. Whether you’d like to expand on critical points made in the text or provide students with additional musical selections to correspond with specific lessons, YouTube’s exhaustive library gives you a wide selection of videos to further enhance students’ learning. 
  • Offer Greater Flexibility. While deadlines are an important part of keeping students on track with their coursework, many students are likely juggling multiple online courses and may be struggling to adapt to the online format. Offering greater flexibility may reduce stress and promote student success. Consider relaxing weekly deadlines, choosing instead to have coursework due monthly or completed by the Midterm/Final Exams. As many students are having to rely on spotty Wi-Fi connectivity, even allowing multiple attempts on quizzes/exams can help students struggling with technical issues. 
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