Reply To: Designing for engagement – what works well for you and your students?

Kim GravesKim Graves

So far, I have been using the discussion board in our learning management system and the chat feature in Zoom for cross modal engagement.

I teach computer science so it is very problem-solution based. Each week’s in-class exercise is posted in the discussion board for that week. For students who are in the classroom and synchronous, they do the example during class: either in groups, pairs, or individually and post their solutions in the discussion board. Then we can talk about the different approaches to the problem and features of a good solution as a group with everyone having access to each attempted solution. I can pull up individual solutions on the display at the front of the class (and shared via zoom) as we discuss them. Students then take a few minutes to reflect on improvements that could/should be made to their first attempts and post those reflections and revised solutions in the discussion board.

Asynchronous students also post their first solutions to the problem in the same discussion board either before or after class (no one can see anyone else’s solution until they’ve made their first attempt). They then review the other solutions after class and make a helpful suggestion to at least one other student and finally make a revision to their original solution improving on it based on the feedback in the discussion. This way, all students are participating in the same activity and have the opportunity to interact with each other no matter which mode they attend that week.

Aside from questions for me, Zoom chat is mostly capturing small banter (a connection you might whisper to a friend if you were in the classroom). I just encourage the students in the classroom to also log in to Zoom if they would like to see what is going on in the chat.

All in classroom students have access to a computer during class which is what makes the above possible.

Looking forward to hearing how others engage students across all modes!