Enhancing Student Success Through Student Engagement in the Digital Environment This presentation connects student success with the digital voice of a tertiary provider. The term voice refers to the presence, perceived by a viewer, that exists behind what is presented: the implied author. In an educational web environment this presence can play an important strategic role in student engagement.
‘Catching’ and then keeping students engaged is a key determiner of institution’s and student’s success. This is why we are having this conversation. One powerful engagement tool educationinstitutions have is their LMS. When considered as part of a student engagement strategy the LMSplays a pivotal role in engaging students while they are enrolled.
Web users expect feeds,friends, events and news fromtheir favourite sites.Compared with news andsocial media sites, manyLMSs have little life-contextfor the student. However, a LMS shouldnot try to be like these places,a LMS needs to have its ownidentity as a place of learning,it must have its own voice.
A LMS may have a particularstyle to it that offers an engaging,interesting, learning space to aparticular audience. It can have thevoice of a friend or mentor. It can befun-loving, simple, edgy oracademic. So, what currently defines thevoice of this institution?
What would be some of the definingcharacteristics you would like yourinstitution’s voice to have? Can these characteristics becaptured in a set of principles, such as:relates to the cohort, not overlydemanding of resources and lecturertime, makes connections to a widerlearning context?
Different elements will play differing roles in engaging students.Elements such as feeds and discussions may interact, someelements may require observation by the lecturer or class reps.Expected student behaviour must be made clear. Each site will have its specific requirements that balance workloadwith the strategic goal of greater engagement. The matrix iscomplex. Clearly the process of making a LMS ‘engaging’ to a particularaudience needs to be resourced: it is an activity that requirestechnical skill, an understanding institution’s strategy, and feedbackfrom the users. It is also a process of evolution.
Only when the direction isunderstood can a plan of action canbe considered. The process of presenting a strategic voice can then begin A voice that will engage students; make the learning environment a place students choose to go; cause students to connect and share; develop student interest beyond their coursework; and keep more students engaged and involved until they complete.