Building student engagement through active learning is a primary goal of a TEL environment.
The following is a set of guidelines to ensure that your students are managed and engaged during the unit. The practice guidelines have been adapted from Edith Cowan University Centre for Learning and Development. You can also refer to QM General Standards 1,2,3,4 and 6.
CLEAR COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Provide students with relevant information regarding contacts for technological problems (https://uws.service-now.com/Portal/), the details of the Unit Coordinator and the times that the Unit Coordinator is available to address questions or queries regarding the unit.
Introduce and reinforce netiquette
Introduce netiquette to students what is expected of them at an early stage during the unit. This will help to mitigate any inappropriate online behaviour during the course of the unit. A video on netiquette has been developed by Digital Futures and you may consider placing this video in your vUWS site.
Encourage use of the discussion board
For unit-related questions among your students. This will help to build up peer support networks that are important for the development of a learning community.
Operate on a no surprise policy
Ensure that key events are communicated to students via email or announcement.
Your presence is crucial to student success and satisfaction
Students need to know that their teacher is present during their learning journey. Visit discussion boards regularly to provide feedback build a learning community. Check discussion posts regularly and respond promptly to questions.
STUDENT MOTIVATION AND ONLINE ENGAGEMENT
To motivate and engage learners, you will need a series of practical strategies to apply in your TEL environment.
- Use a variety of means to create a learning community
Do this through discussion boards or other means such as a Twitter© hashtag. See Embedding content for practical steps on embedding a Twitter feed into your vUWS site. You can also use a tool like Padlet (padlet.com) which allows you to create a visually appealing environment for the presentation of content. Padlet can also be embedded into your vUWS site. Both of these tools are free to use.
- Be clear about what is expected in terms of online engagement
For example, how many posts are required in a discussion board? If a required number is necessary for an assessment task then this needs to be specified in the marking rubric.
- Student’s social presence
Encourage students to build up ‘social presence’ between themselves in the community. One way that this could be done is through a ‘spin and weave’ activity in a discussion board to read and engage in their peers’ posts.
- Provide regular and constructive feedback
This is perhaps the most important dimension of your teaching practice because it allows students to know that you are present and that you care about their learning.