Best practices: Five design strategies to engage your students

Engaging students in fresh and interesting ways can definitely be a challenge in the classroom even more so in the online arena. Here are some design strategies that you can use in Moodle™ and joule to engage your students.

1. Incorporate videos to foster forum discussions.

Videos can be a great way to engage many students with multiple learning styles and preferences. Try using videos as a way to generate online discussion. Post the video into the Forum Introduction area when creating the forum and instruct students to post their reactions. Make sure you are using relevant videos.

2. Give students’ permission to rate each other’s forum posts.

If you are not yet using forums try adding them into your courses. They spark discussion and interactivity within the classroom. If you’re already using forums consider adding an additional level of interactivity by allowing students to rate the quality of each other’s work. To do this first you’ll need to alter the activity’s permissions to allow students to rate each other’s responses. Then establish your own grading scale that awards students points for anytime they rate another student’s post.

3. Create an interactive scenario based on a case study.

Present students with a case study and pose questions to them in a Lesson activity. Create an interactive learning experience by branching to various learning paths based on the user’s selection. Alternatively you could use the Essay question type to allow the student to type a response and then present them with an ideal response after submission.

4. Add a workshop and require peer assessment.

The Workshop activity allows students to create their own projects and allows for peer assessment (when enabled). Peer assessment is a great way to involve students in the evaluative process. It engages them in critical thinking and collaboration while enabling them to send/ receive constructive feedback to/from their peers.

5. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate!

There are so many different options in Moodle™ for evaluation. The Quiz activity is an obvious choice but there are other activities available in Moodle™ that you should also consider. Try adding a Choice activity to poll students’ knowledge prior to a lesson or let students choose the focus of an upcoming class project. You can also use the Feedback block to create your own questions and gather input from your students to evaluate the success/engagement of course activities. To learn how to create these activities take the Advanced Course Building online course. The course is self-paced and is available in two formats.

Happy Moodling!




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