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Ideas to engage students in online and hybrid courses.


Hybrid Course Design Resources and Ideas

On November 17, 2020, the Hybrid Course Design Faculty Learning Community invited the UofL Community to a resource and idea sharing session. Each member gave a short presentation on a teaching tool or idea relevant to teaching courses in hybrid or online formats. Check out the presentations for ideas to incorporate in your course.

Teams + OneNote for Hy-Flex/Synchronous Teaching

For those instructors teaching some students in person while others attend online, Jerry Willing from the Speed School of Engineering explains how the combined use of Microsoft Teams and OneNote class notebook allows real time interactions between the two groups of learners. All students are able to take the course with the same content and context, regardless of their chosen method of course delivery.

Effective Group Work

Lauren Fletcher, doctoral candidate, CEHD, provides an overview of two ideas for guiding students to work together toward a common goal. In book clubs, students prepare both a contribution and a question before coming together to discuss a shared text.

In thought collectives, students expand their understanding of a course concept through creation of a product (a rubric, jamboard, poem, etc.). Instructor-created work rooms in Blackboard Collaborate and folders with Google documents help guide students’ efforts.

Face-to-Face Classroom Activities during COVID-19

Lorna Segall from the School of Music discusses how to facilitate face-to-face activities with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Giving students the option to distance themselves at a location of their own choosing can help them feel safe and comfortable. The physical movement also helps with their creativity and completing the assignments. Reporting back can be in-person (with the entire class or just the instructor) or virtual through Collaborate or MS Teams.

Checking In on Students’ Perceptions during Online Instruction

Through the use of quick technology tools like Slido and Microsoft Forms, Carla Vidoni from Health and Sports Sciences talks about ways to engage students to evaluate their current levels of learning. Asking students questions about the course, including what they are doing to advance their learning, allows instructors to better support student success. It also provides real-time information about student progress that empowers instructors to be agile and make swift decisions relating to their courses.

Facilitating Effective Breakout Group Discussions

Jennifer Bobo from the Kent School of Social Work conveys tips for making the most of breakout group discussions. Ideas like cutting and pasting questions in the chat box and assigning deliverables for student groups may help keep students engaged in their small groups. Assigning students to roles within groups (time keeper, facilitator, scribe, etc.) also increases equity in participation, particularly when roles rotate among group members throughout the semester.

Infusing Opportunities for Frequent Participation in Synchronous Online Courses

Jen Anderson, part-time lecturer in political science, summarizes the benefits of incorporating frequent opportunities for student interactions in synchronous courses. Doing so lessens the chance that students remain distracted by factors in their home environment and diversifies students’ options for active learning. Blackboard Collaborate offers a number of tools for student participating, including feedback buttons, emoticons, and polling.