Creating Connections and Engagement
This page addresses three important types of engagement for online courses: learner to content, learner to faculty, and learner to other learners. For the sake of accessibility, the material is presented here as an accordion. Originally, it was designed as a "choice board." If you'd like to see it in that format--perhaps because you're considering ways to provide students some choice within a course--just follow this link (PDF).
Student to Faculty - Engaging Students Online
Looking for an alternative to the LMS discussion board? Office 365’s Flipgrid is a fun and interactive video-based platform which will bring new life to your online discussions.
This short video provides a quick overview of Flipgrid.
Log into your Office365 account through Cardinal Apps to access your Flipgrid account.
Using Flipgrid in the Higher Ed Classroom
Look no further than this blog post to learn how to use Flipgrid in the higher ed classroom.
Are you a podcast listener? This episode of Teaching in Higher Ed focuses on using Flipgrid in higher ed.
Pro Tip- You do not need to create your own Flipgrid account. Disregard any prompts to do so. UIW faculty, staff and students have a Flipgrid account as part of their Office 365 account. Log into Cardinal Apps and Office 365 to access your Flipgrid account.
Connecting with students can be difficult in an online environment. Here is one way to use videos to help your students get to know you.
The following templates allow students to share more about them.
Including ice breakers allows everyone to participate. Here are a couple of examples to try.
Establishing Your Classroom Environment
This information helps you develop norms, expectations and rules for online learning.
To help your students participate during your class sessions, Zoom offers participant tools.
Screencastomatic is a free video creation tool to make short screencasts (videos) that explain or demonstrate a concept by recording your screen while you talk. Find out more about this tool:
Polleverywhere is a robust tool, enabling many types of polls for large or small groups. Here’s a series of short tutorials on all aspects of it:
Want to create a quick poll to use during a Zoom session? Colleague Addie Coker explains how to do that:
Want to poll students working asynchronously? Addie Coker has a video for that, too.
Blackboard Assignment Tool
Find out how to have students turn in assignments on BB instead of clogging up your email.
This 2-minute video shows how to create tests in Bb, And if you choose question types carefully, Bb scores it and puts the grades in the gradebook.
Stay connected with students by hosting virtual office hours.You may host these meetings in Zoom or Teams.
Here are a few simple suggestions for encouraging students to use your office hours.
Student resource: a funny, 2-minute video from Arizona State on office hours
The Zoom link in your Blackboard course offers a quick and easy way to conduct office hours. You can publicize your office hours in the Announcements section of your course, enable the “waiting room” function in your Zoom meeting, click on the Zoom link and wait for the student to arrive.
Bookings, the Office 365 scheduling app, is the perfect platform for scheduling office hours.
More questions? Contact the UIW Help Desk
Student to Student - Collaborating Online
Tired of lackluster LMS discussion posts? Check out Padlet. Like Flipgrid, Padlet is a fun, interactive and collaborative discussion forum.
This Padlet provides you with everything you need to know about using Padlet in the higher ed classroom.
Creating a Padlet
This 11 minute video provides a comprehensive overview of Padlet’s offerings as well as a quick start guide for getting your first Padlet up and running.
Students looking to connect and collaborate with their peers can use their UIW Zoom license to host meetings for up to 100 people. The meetings are limited to 40 minutes in length.
Like faculty and staff, students log into Zoom through Cardinal Apps.
In order for students to maximize their Zoom meeting experience, they need to have a basic knowledge of the Zoom meeting controls.
Looking for more ways to promote student to student collaboration. Shannon Riggs, from Oregon State University, provides lots of ideas in the following blog post.
Choice boards give students the autonomy to their learning. These sites provide an overview of choice boards and how they can be used.
Creating a Choice Board
Learn more about creating your own choice board.
Here are three examples to meet your needs.
Give it a try!
Try creating your own choice board starting small. Here are a couple of templates to get you started.
O365 Teams is your one-stop shop for student to student collaboration.Perfect for group work or study groups, Teams offers file-sharing, texting, online meetings, and wifi-enabled calling.
Meet Online using Teams
While Zoom licensing for students limits meeting length to 40 minutes, Teams meetings offer a comparable feature set and do not have a limit on meeting length.
Teams offers a shared OneDrive for all Teams members making file sharing a snap.
Find out how easy it is to share files:
Student to Content - Connecting to Content
Access this popular app for creating flashcards here: Quizlet
In a 5-minute video, the Cult of Pedagogy presents ways to use this tool: Ideas for Quizlet
This flashcard app is integrated into Bb:This is the first of 7 Study Mate tutorials on Bb: Intro to Study Mate:
How to Study
Student resource: An infographic contrasting effective and ineffective study strategies: How to Study
Infographics are a good way to display information graphically.
Here is a link that demonstrates why our brain loves infographics.
There are many ways instructors and students can use infographics in the classroom. Find out more here:
There are a multitude of tools to create infographics. Here is a short list of some of the most common free tools.
Here are a few instructor examples as well as student products.
Podcasting is one way that students can demonstrate their understanding of a concept.
Educational Podcasts for Faculty
Students Creating Podcasts
Student created podcasts allows students to engage more critically with the content. Find out more about student created podcasts
Give it a Try!
There are a number of tools that record audio and/or mix audio. These are two that are incredibly easy for anyone to learn.
- Anchor - Anchor.fm Tutorial for Teaching Podcasting in the Classroom
- Synth - Explanation - Synth - Micro Podcasting GoSynth Tutorial
Student Created Podcast Examples
This quick and classic informal assessment helps students reflect on their learning and gives instructors a sense of how things are going. Muddiest Point » Center for Innovative Learning
Eric Mazur describes how he brought collaboration and active learning to large, lecture classes--don’t miss the flow chart:
3, 2, 1 Paper
This template for a short reflection helps students focus on crucial issues--in videos or informal writing