Enhancing Student Engagement Online: Creative Pedagogy in the Digital World

Enhancing Student Engagement Online: Creative Pedagogy in the Digital World

Paula Reiter (Mount Mary University, USA) and Julie C. Tatlock (Mount Mary University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2132-8.ch010

Abstract

Online instruction must go beyond what has become traditional to create meaningful ways for students to actively engage with one another in online environments. This chapter will explore creative assignments that build upon old technologies like discussion forums but transform them with innovative pedagogy. The authors will give several assignment examples that model new ways to help students learn to learn online, for example, using RTTP character role playing in online discussions and creating interactive projects that are done asynchronously. The examples will display key aspects of curriculum design from learning objects through final student assessment.
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Student Learning Outcomes

Most faculty start a class by considering student learning outcomes. While the content taught should not be significantly different from face-to-face classes, there should be additional outcomes that apply specifically to the online world. Not only that, but the humanities need to be clearer about how humanities courses are meeting the needs of the modern workforce. If professors can form student learning outcomes that easily translate into marketable skills, everyone benefits.

Here are some examples of ways to craft such learning outcomes:

Traditional Student Learning Outcomes

  • 1.

    This course will develop the students' critical thinking skills.

  • 2.

    Students will hone their writing skills through exams and papers.

  • 3.

    Students will analyze complex research.

Online Student Learning Outcome

  • 1.

    Students will develop critical thinking skills and apply them to digital content.

  • 2.

    Students will learn to effectively communicate online, via discussion forums, professional email, and conferencing programs.

  • 3.

    Students will learn to navigate online sources and evaluate their veracity and authenticity.

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The Importance Of Good Orientation

Some institutions provide a general online orientation for students, while others leave it to faculty to embed such material within the course. Ideally, in a unified online curriculum, such an orientation would be universal to the campus. The literature often talks about modern students as being “digital natives,” but their skills are often overstated and apply more to phone apps, games, and social media, than to the skills they need in school and for future employment. Many students also buy in to the idea that “online” means “easier,” or “faster.” In the experience of the authors, this is a key reason the drop rate in online courses at out institution is higher than in face-to-face classes.

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