Digital Course Redesign to Increase Student Engagement and Success

Digital Course Redesign to Increase Student Engagement and Success

Errick D. Farmer (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, USA), Sundra D. Kincey (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, USA), Cheree Y. Wiltsher (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, USA) and Doreen C. Kobelo (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9331-7.ch005

Abstract

Quite often the question for many college professors is “How do you capture the attention of today's student and keep them engaged?” Traditional teaching methods remain important and should not be abandoned. However, with the ever-expanding use of technology in the classroom, faculty members must consider course redesign to increase students' investment in and connection with course material. This chapter will discuss the role of faculty in developing strategies and techniques used to redesign courses and how the use of digital technologies can positively influence student engagement and success.
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Changing The Landscape: Why Redesign?

In the old adage of teaching, printed textbooks and hard copies of materials were the central source of learning and teaching. However, with the invent of technology, a shift has occurred in society whereby this method of teaching and learning is becoming less of the norm. Technology has become a common tool used in higher education classrooms to enhance student learning and performance. As the use of technology has become more widespread in classrooms, students have come to expect and oftentimes rely on this mode of delivery for their educational content. However, to ensure that students are grasping the necessary content and achieve academic success, educators are increasingly looking for new ways to improve student performance outcomes and to help students master course materials using technology. One such means to help achieve this goal is digital course redesign. Keeping up with the changing landscape of higher education through digital delivery of course materials is a key element to increasing student engagement and success.

While printed textbooks offer a wealth of resources, digital or electronic content offers greater flexibility in the ability to update materials with the changing times and provide educators with the flexibility to integrate course content with other technologies, such as video, audio, and even the use of mobile technology. Digital content delivery also allows materials to be presented in sizeable pieces to help students grasp concepts more readily and to create an environment that encourages students to be more engaged (Pearson, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

eLearning: Learning conducted via electronic media, typically the internet.

Student Motivation: A student’s focus on a learning task ultimately leading to high academic achievement.

Course Redesign: Redesigning a course to be more reflective of 21 st century pedagogic practices.

Technology: The tools and machines that help humans accomplish tasks.

Student Engagement: The degree of attention, curiosity, and interest a student shows when learning or being taught.

Digital Storytelling: Refers to a variety of emerging digital narrative platforms including such venues as blogs, vlogs, and interactive stories.

Student Success: A course-defined metric by which students demonstrate their preparation for longer-term academic and professional goals.

Course Retooling: The process of replacing or rearranging the learning tools used in a course from traditional to digital.

Mind mapping: A method to brainstorm thoughts while showing relationships of the parts to the whole.

Discussion Boards: A virtual interactive platform associated with a student management system in which students and instructors can post such items as questions, scenarios, and the like for discussion and contribution.

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