Engaging

Photograph of two students looking at a computer monitor with code displayed

In this section, explore learning activities to engage your students and improve student comprehension.

Engaging Remote Learners

Review our new strategies for keeping your remote students engaged in both synchronous and asynchronous course deliveries.

Case studies provide real or simulated stories/situations for students to analyze and apply given frameworks and existing knowledge as they respond to specific questions or determine a response. Each student or group must explain how they applied course concepts and show evidence of how they arrived at their conclusion.

Benefits of Using Case Studies

  • Peer-to-peer learning: Students work together and learn from one another, enhancing building connections in the remote environment
  • Stretch your imagination: Stories can help spark students’ interest and challenge students to think creatively
  • Active participation: students are tasked to interact with the material and one another as they analyze and exercise deductive reasoning, rather than passively listening or watching a screen 
  • Identify gaps in learning: students (and instructors) can more readily see gaps in their knowledge and reasoning when they articulate their findings
  • Real world application: students practice applying principles and making decisions as they might in a professional context, while adapting to new remote work and learning environments and they get practice doing this remotely

Jigsaws are small group activities that divide course readings and topics among students to analyze concepts in-depth through a whole-class collaborative effort to teach each other.

Benefits of Using Jigsaws

  • Peer-to-peer learning: Students work and teach one another
  • Foster collaboration: Students work in small groups to assess their own understanding and prepare to teach the class what they discovered or learned
  • Active participation: Students are tasked with interacting with both the readings, and one another through participating in small group activities

Multimedia group projects engage students in the production of short media pieces - videos, podcasts, or websites, etc - whereby they can demonstrate their understanding of content and produce impressive media objects that are fun to make. Multimedia projects require clearly defined steps for students to follow as well as guidance to support their introduction and use of a media creation tool.

Benefits of Using Multimedia Group Projects

  • Peer-to-peer learning: students work together and learn from one another 
  • Media interest: media-making can be fun and engaging
  • Active participation: students are tasked to build a coherent and cohesive media piece as they interact with one another, rather than passively absorbing information from a lecture or reading
  • Positive learning experience: students can see their own and their peers’ impressive media pieces that affirm their abilities 
  • Real world application: students gain practice expressing their ideas with media, as they might in any future educational or professional context in our media-rich world

One-minute papers are brief, simple assessments that can help gauge student learning. Provide students with guiding questions and instruct them to spend one minute to complete the task. Prompts can include a check-in, reflections on what they learned, and inviting questions they may have or any additional comments or feedback.

Benefits of Using One-Minute Papers

  • Easily adjust your teaching: Students can share feedback and questions, allowing instructors to know they need to review, or if they can move on to new material
  • Keep students engaged: When students are heard and their questions are answered, they can feel more engaged and gain a sense of agency in the learning process
  • Efficient teaching method: Easy to plan, quick to complete and incorporate student learning with minimal preparation