Course Management Tips to Keep Online Learners Engaged
Use the features or options in yourcourse to make regular weekly announcements and post bulletin board items. These can be reminders, encouragements, recognitions, current events, observations. Such announcements help student feel your presence and feel connected.
Checkyour course frequently, especially in the beginning.Immediatelyrespond to questionsor indiscussions as appropriate.Your response/interactiongives your students a sense of security and lets them knoweverything is functioning correctly.
Have all students create or use the personal profile feature in your learning management system as an additional means of introducing themselves to you andthe class. Encourage them to share meaningful links and/orphotos to create deeper connections. Acknowledge that not all students will feel comfortable with self-disclosure, so give them options to participate as is comfortable for them. For example, rather than a photo, sharing an avatar or a personally meaningful image.
Early in the course check for and resolve technical,or user errors in anycourse posts, contributions, or documents.
Check to see that students are responding in the appropriate locations within the course.If you see aproblem, create an announcement to address the issue, or provide immediate corrective feedback tothe students.
Check for empty student documents created by accident. Your students may not be able to deletetheir own documents, so you shoulddelete empty, or duplicate documents.
In order to keep the class moving,make sure that there is something "new" for the students at leastevery 2-3 days. If students are not moving the discussion along, you might comment on existingresponses, and invitestudents to respond again. Or, put a note in the course announcements areaencouraging students to participate. If some students continue to remain silent, consider sendingthem a "encouraging" private message. (Perhaps ask if there is anything preventing themfromparticipating at the moment, e.g., a trip, illness, technical difficulties etc.)
Call on students by name.
Create as many possibilities for student interaction as you can. Encouragement is the mosteffectivestrategyto increase participation.