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Engaging Learners

Challenges to Learner Engagement | View a Video | Online Discussions

Challenges to Learner Engagement

Bored student laying head on deskThere are a number of challenges to student engagement in the online learning environment. Because students are working on their own schedules, they can feel isolated in their learning. Additionally, when the course experience is limited to submitting a few discussion posts, writing papers and taking tests, students aren’t engaged as fully with each other, their instructor, or the course content as they would be in a more traditional, face-to-face environment.

This reality means that online instructors must make a concerted effort to create activities and incorporate multimedia that promote active, social learning (see also Promote Student Collaboration) in the online environment. The following are some great resources to review on this important aspect of online learning.

View the video: Engaging and Motivating Students

Duration: (6:04)
Provided by: COFA online

The Perennial (but often “blah”) Discussion Forum

The use of discussion forums in online courses is a common way for students to interact with each other. However, if the discussion forums aren’t framed to effectively promote dialogue, they can quickly become tedious both for students and for the instructor. One common pitfall in discussion forum prompts is asking students to summarize materials from the week’s readings. Such activities become busywork, and leave no openings for meaningful dialogue. The following resources provide ways to truly promote collaborative, social learning and scholarly dialogue in forums.