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Rethinking Student Engagement in the Digital Classroom

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Presentation at the D2L Connection: South Carolina Edition on May 10, 2019 at Piedmont Technical College, Newberry Campus.
Presenters Lisa b Martin, Brad Griggs, and Rachel Hollaway, all of PTC.

Published in: Education
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Rethinking Student Engagement in the Digital Classroom

  1. 1. Rethinking Student Engagement in the Digital Classroom Dr. Brad Griggs Dr. Lisa Martin Ms. Rachael Holloway
  2. 2. 2 Why Focus on Engagement in Online Classes?
  3. 3. Evolution of the Digital Classroom ➝ Read the book, take the test ➝ Interactive journey through the content with the instructor as an active guide ➝ What has driven this? ⇾ New technologies have made it easier to provide a robust interactive digital classroom ⇾ Student engagement increases student success. ⇾ Mandated by the DOE 3
  4. 4. Why Focus on Engagement 4 “Engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences.” University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning
  5. 5. Why Focus on Engagement in Online Classes? ➝ American Association of Community Colleges, Trends in Community College Enrollment and Completion Data — March 2016 5 Increased student engagement leads to: • Increased course success • Increased retention • Increased completion
  6. 6. DOE Regular and Substantive Interaction ➝ Substantive interaction “may” include: ⇾ Participating in regularly scheduled learning sessions (where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the student and the instructor). ⇾ • Submitting an academic assignment. ⇾ • Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer- assisted instruction. ⇾ • Attending a study group that is assigned by the institution. ⇾ • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters. ⇾ • Consultation with a faculty mentor to discuss academic course content. ⇾ • Participation in an instructor-guided independent study. (Department of Education, 2014)
  7. 7. DOE Regular and Substantive Interaction ➝ Regular Interaction: ⇾ Predictable and regular interactions. ⇾ Monitoring the student’s progress and providing feedback when needed. ⇾ “We do not consider interaction that is wholly optional or initiated primarily by the student to be regular and substantive interaction between students and instructors. Interaction that occurs only upon the request of the student would not be considered regular and substantive interaction.” (Department of Education, 2014)
  8. 8. DOE Program Review – PTC’s Experience ➝ Questions were raised by the auditors about the substantive and regular feedback requirement with some PTC online courses. ➝ Additional information provided by the college ultimately answered all questions and our online courses were found in compliance. ⇾ Communication needs to be documented if it does not happen in the LMS. ⇾ Artifacts from 3rd party resources need to be maintained. ⇾ A robust peer review system and rubric outlining requirements for design and facilitation of courses are essential. 8
  9. 9. Regular and Substantive Interaction Leads to Increased Student Engagement ➝ The DOE requirements are aimed at improving engagement, student learning, course success, and completion. ➝ Research supports the importance of these practices ⇾ Regular and substantive student instructor interactivity is a key determinant of quality in online education; it leads to improved student satisfaction, learning, and outcomes. ⇾ Online students desire greater student instructor interaction and the online education community is also calling for a stronger focus on such interactivity… 9 Does online education live up to its promise? A look at the evidence and implications for federal policy. Spiros Protopsaltis and Sandy Baum -- January 2019
  10. 10. PTC: Ensuring Quality & Promoting Engagement in Online Courses ➝ Early Engagement and Integrated Support; High Impact Practices (Strategic Plan) ➝ Online Learning Steering Committee ➝ Online and Hybrid Peer Reviews ➝ Quality Standards Rubric ➝ Faculty Training ⇾ Quality Course Design ⇾ Quality Facilitation ⇾ (Merging into one course Fall 2019) ➝ Course Feedback Widget ➝ Semester Start-up Checklist 10
  11. 11. Quality Rubric ➝ Instructions for getting started and navigating course ➝ Course overview is provided ➝ Links to syllabus and course information documents ➝ Instructor introduction in Getting Started module ➝ Clearly stated unit/module competencies ➝ Content is grammatically correct, appropriate, and accessible ➝ Correct due dates ➝ Date-specific assignments ➝ One or more proctored assessments required ➝ Course assignments, activities, & assessments linked to unit/module competencies 11
  12. 12. Rubric Continued ➝ Consistency in design of content modules ➝ Logical and efficient course navigation ➝ How-to instructions provided for supplementary sites (ex: MyLabs) ➝ Variety of assessment measures used; clear assignment, course-participation expectations ➝ Regular, substantive, and timely feedback on assessments ➝ 24-hr response to student emails ➝ Updated gradebook and attendance register ➝ Required student introductions ➝ Opportunities for direct, real-time communication with the instructor 12
  13. 13. Course Feedback Widget 13 Course Feedback Widget: On course homepage, to the right of announcements. Students prompted to leave Course Feedback – in all D2L Course Shells Especially helpful in online classes. Provides immediate answers/assistance to students.
  14. 14. 14 Her “ability to initiate learning relationships increases success for students. Students can see those successes in their work.” CATEGORIES Instructor Praise Course Navigation Communication from Instructor Other
  15. 15. 15 “She’s a great leader and helps you answer your own questions by steering you in the right direction but never just doing it for you. I have one single issue. . . The grade system that posts and you start at 0% and work to current grade.”
  16. 16. 16 Online Engagement Strategies
  17. 17. Weekly Participation Survey ➝ Create under the “More” tab from navigation bar. ➝ Do not make anonymous. ➝ First question asks for current phone number. ➝ Other questions vary each week. 17
  18. 18. Sample Question What is the most important thing you have learned about online learning since the beginning of the semester? How will that change your game plan for this class as we move forward? 18
  19. 19. Responses “One of the most important things I have learned would be how to manage my time. I plan to stay ahead of schedule with my due dates in this class.” “I am beginning to learn that I have more focus and concentration while online because I have more time to read and reread to get a better understanding of the lesson in front of me. It will change me for better because I feel I will be able to put my all into this course all well as my others to come out on top.” “online learning is so difficult. i should have taken this course in class. there is so much you need to keep up with and so many deadline and different stuff. and this is really changing my game plan because online classes are actually hard and i want to pass with a good average.” 19
  20. 20. Sample Question Please give some feedback on the Peer Review assignment. Did you complete it? If not, why? What did you learn about your own writing based on the feedback you gave and received from classmates? Do you have any suggestions to improve the peer review assignment for the next module? 20
  21. 21. Responses “After completing my peer review I learned that I should review my papers more closely than I have done in the past. I can not think of any recommendation s to improve this assignment. I believe everything worked out well for all involved!” “Yes i have completed this assignment. I really liked doing this assignment. Being able to give feedback to my classmates essay helped me find things that i did wrong with my essay. I do not have any suggestions to improve the peer review.” “I enjoyed completing the peer review. I like getting feedback from my fellow peers help me to re think, and go through my essay; step by step to see what they seen that I haven't. I think the review assignment is an awesome thing, I love it.” 21
  22. 22. Sample Question Midterm grades will be posted this week. This is one way your instructor can let you know how he/she thinks you are progressing in a course. In preparation for that grade, how do you think you are doing in English so far? What are some things you need to start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing? What is your plan to be successful in the second part of the semester? 22
  23. 23. 23 Responses “I'm not looking forward to my midterm grade. This class is very difficult to me even though I'm thinking I can do this, I cannot understand the work and comprehend how it is suppose to be done. I need to start working harder on my concentration to better understand, and stop telling myself I'm going to fail. My plan for the second part of the semester is to work harder and come out on top.” “I feel as though I could be doing ALOT better in English 100, I'm afraid to look at my midterm grade. I'm having a hard time in this course because I have a fear of writing, I feel as though my writing could be so much better once I let this fear subside. To become successful I need to fall in love with my writing and have more confidence within myself once I pick up my pen.” “I cannot believe that the semester is almost half way through! It seems like only yesterday I was taking my first set of notes for my first essay. I believe since that time I have slowly improved on my writing. In my opinion, I believe I'm doing very well in this class so far. However, I could spend more brainstorming ideas and not just going with my first choice. I could weigh each topic and really pick one that I'm fully confident in. On the other hand, I will continue to manage my time according to my writing schedule. Hopefully by improving in choosing a topic more wisely and continuing to manage my time, I will be successful in the second half of this semester!”
  24. 24. 24 Weekly Announcement Reminds and links students to the survey.
  25. 25. 25 Conditionally Released Announcement Only appears for students who complete the survey
  26. 26. 26 Intelligent Agent Reminder
  27. 27. Detailed Feedback with Embedded Support ➝ Quickmark Set in TurnItIn ➝ Embedded links to OER textbook ➝ Embedded links to video lessons 27
  28. 28. Sample Comment 28
  29. 29. Want big impact? Use big image. 29
  30. 30. Want big impact? Use big image. 30
  31. 31. 31 Using the Grades Tool for Outreach/Engagement Another Way to Show Instructor Availability:
  32. 32. 32 Using the Grades Tool for Outreach/Engagement (Cont’d) Supplements IA Reminders (Missed Assignments)/Revisions Needed Address student by name Offer specific feedback Opportunity for revision Link to assignment directions
  33. 33. Announcements: An Engagement Tool ➝ Instructor Interaction Best Practice: Post at least weekly. ➝ SOME EXAMPLES: ➝ Provide a Review of a Difficult Subject. ➝ Link to Assignment Directions. ➝ Share a Grading Update. ➝ Encourage Students. ➝ Post Homework Reminders ➝ Reminder of Upcoming Due Dates. ➝ Campus News. ➝ Reminders about How to Reach Instructor. 33
  34. 34. ANNOUNCEMENT: Review of Difficult Subject 34
  35. 35. ANNOUNCEMENT: Link to Assignment Directions 35
  36. 36. ANNOUNCEMENTS: Sample List (ENG 100) 36 INSTRUCTOR INTERACTION ENGAGING WITH STUDENTS OUTREACH TO STUDENTS REGULAR POSTS SUBSTANTIVE FEEDBACK AND INFORMATION
  37. 37. ANNOUNCEMENT: Student Self Check/Instructor Outreach 37
  38. 38. ANNOUNCEMENT: Campus News 38
  39. 39. Team wrap up/Q & A 39 • Online education continues to be at the forefront of national policy discussions, particularly the importance of engaging online students. • Colleges have to make a concerted effort to provide support and guidance needed to ensure their online classes have regular, substantive, engaging activities. • Faculty are the key to the practical implementation of engagement strategies that lead to a robust online classroom community – where students can succeed and thrive. Any questions/ comments?

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