Six Tips for Engaging Large Classrooms

Teaching in a large classrooms can feel like talking to to a room full of zombies. With large online courses, that feeling of going through the motions can be intensified if the student doesn’t feel connected with the instructor, course, or material. Jacob Bane, ODEE instructional designer, presented a webinar on how to revive student engagement and bring a course back to life. Bane shared six techniques for increasing student connection.

6 Tips to Increase Engagement in Large Courses:

1. Utilize Carmen News to welcome students, recap lecture material, highlight assignments and share resources.
2. Open a Discussion Board that allows students to continue the conversation of course material and feel personally aligned with their take on the topic.
3. Leave feedback and comments on assignments, along with grade within Dropbox. You can also create sections for students to peer review which helps break larger classes into smaller groups.
4. Track Student Usage by seeing which lectures or materials the students are using or what they are skipping over. This is especially helpful for students having difficulties with the course to recommend they revisit missed sections.
5. Hold Virtual Office Hours through the Discussion Board feature or live-chat functions through Carmen Connect. Students can sign up for times that work best and can have one-on-one time with instructors.
6. Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to share common questions amongst students. Continually update this section so students feel more comfortable asking questions and building this resource as the course goes on.

“Online students really crave interaction as well as direction,” Bane said. “Instructors should design courses to feel less like a presentation and more like an enriching and interactive experience.”