Using Technology to Engage Students in an Online Course

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Brief Abstract

Today's higher educational institutions are offering more online courses, but professors see a noticeable decline in engagement in online courses. How can professors engage students in the learning activities and course content? Professors can use technology when teaching online to engage their students and help them learn!

Extended Abstract

Today's higher education students are looking for more online course offerings. To meet this demand, higher educational institutions are adding more online courses. Still, there has been a noticeable decline in engagement in online courses. Online learning presents new challenges compared with traditional face-to-face learning because students are separated from their professors by a computer screen. How can professors engage students in the learning activities and course content when teaching online?

Increasing student engagement while teaching online has its hurdles. For example, students can turn off their cameras or do other things instead of participating in their learning activities. This presentation will introduce helpful suggestions to increase engagement, such as tips to engage students before, during, and after an online live lesson. In addition, professors can recommend other ways to increase engagement by setting clear course expectations and ensuring the technology will be user-friendly and not cause a challenge with using digital formats.

Using technology can help students learn and engage them simultaneously. The technologies we'll be demonstrating are PlayPosit and Cengage MindTap. PlayPosit is an interactive video where students watch it and engage by answering the interactive questions. Cengage MindTap has integrative features such as a dashboard so students can monitor their progress. The MindTap Reader is an excellent way for students to highlight key text and add notes, along with Cengage's Readspeaker feature that reads text aloud to students on the go. The MindTap learning path is a way to make learning informative and fun.

Level of Participation:

This session introduces the different types of teaching modalities at DeVry University and how technology can be used with each one; onsite, online, and the combination of onsite with online coined by DeVry as OnLive. Tips to engage students before, during, and after the live lessons are presented. Demonstrations with PlayPosit and MindTap will be shown. All participants can engage in the PlayPosit activity. The MindTap demonstration will showcase a level 100 course engaging students with technology through automatically graded assignments and thought-provoking activities. The demonstration will also show how easy it is for the professor to manage multiple students by extending dates, providing feedback, and how the course works with the current Learning Management System (LMS). The session will end with a technological activity that all can participate in using their phones as a review of the presentation using Kahoot, just like in the online classroom.

Session Goals:

Attendees will learn tips on engaging students before, during, and after an online lesson. Attendees will gain information on how to take a traditional onsite class to an interactive online experience. Several technologies will be discussed. Finally, attendees will participate in a demonstration of PlayPosit, MindTap, and Kahoot.