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Engaging students online


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A short presentation highlighting the focus and findings of my Master of Education thesis focused on engaging students online.

Published in: Education
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Engaging students online

  1. 1. Text Flickr: Eric CC-BY 2.0 Engaging students online Nathaniel Louwrens @nlouwrens
  2. 2. Research questions 1. What types of activities do students prefer in online courses and what are the reasons behind their preferences? 2. What do teachers perceive engages students in online courses and why? 3. What encourages students to engage in online activities?
  3. 3. Setting the scene Distance students Year 7-10 All fully online Around NZ and some international 3 classes, 4 teachers, 10 students
  4. 4. Methodology Qualitative methods Interviews Questionnaires Discussion forums posts Wikimedia: Andy F CC-BY-SA 2.0
  5. 5. Teachers & student engagement “… a kid who is engaged, they complete the tasks for the week.” “Seeing them take part in discussions …. Actually seeing some work in the dropbox”. “Regular contact and daily interaction”
  6. 6. Student engagement More than just doing “stuff” Flickr: john.schultz CC-BY-SA 2.0
  7. 7. Flickr: Tristran Schmurr CC-BY 2.0 Flickr: Allan Ajifo CC-BY 2.0 Flickr: Ally Aubry CC-BY 2.0
  8. 8. Preferred activities
  9. 9. Preferred activities “… there is no particular activity that will automatically help students to be more engaged in online classes.” Dixson (2010) Dixson, M. D. (2010). Creating effective student engagement in online courses: What do students find engaging? Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10, 13.
  10. 10. Reasons for preferred activities 1. Allows me to be creative 2. Makes me think 3. Quick to do / work on my own / discuss with others Flickr: Drachman CC-BY-SA 2.0
  11. 11. Teacher perceptions Outside of the LMS Ownership / Control / Choice Feedback Teacher engagement
  12. 12. Flickr: Paraflyer CC-BY 2.0
  13. 13. What does engage students? Activities outside of the LMS Safe and supportive environment Wikimedia: CM Lynch CC-BY-SA 3.0
  14. 14. What does engage students? Feedback Quick / task-focused Interest, relevance and enjoyment Flickr: Karl Horton CC-BY-SA 2.0
  15. 15. What does engage students? Teacher presence and engagement Activity requirements
  16. 16. Wikimedia: Liz CC-BY 2.0 Wikimedia: Liz CC-BY 2.0
  17. 17. Conclusions & implications Student engagement needs to be planned Behavioural / Cognitive / Emotional The nature of an activity is important Not too hard or too easy Give students opportunity to be creative!
  18. 18. Conclusions & implications Carefully consider the use of LMS/PLE Feedback continues to be important Keep building a learning community Keep building relationships
  19. 19. Exploration of online activities that engage New Zealand middle school students Nathaniel Louwrens @nlouwrens