Engagement strategies

In promoting student engagement in WebCampus, our goal is to help our students to feel connected with their classmates, with their instructor, and with course content. Through engagement we help our students stay on track with course activities, and we improve student success and satisfaction. On this page we discuss ways to promote student engagement through interactions of various kinds and through various community-building strategies that can be supported by WebCampus tools.

Online interaction with Webcampus

Below are three general types of interaction with a few basic examples of how these can take place on WebCampus to help increase student engagement.

Student-student interaction in WebCampus:

  • Discussions are active places where students post and reply to each other regularly
  • Student presentations are recorded and shared as videos on a discussion board
  • Group project work is facilitated through Webcampus collaboration tools (Groups, Google Docs) and Zoom meetings and shared on a discussion board
  • Peers review each others assignments and provide feedback with a rubric
  • Zoom meetings facilitate students working together on activities in breakout rooms

Student-instructor interaction in WebCampus:

  • Instructors send out weekly announcements with timely updates about the course
  • Instructors and students maintain regular contact via messages, Chat, or Zoom conferences outside of class time
  • Instructor participate in student discussion board or in Zoom discussions
  • Instructors provide timely and constructive feedback to help students improve
  • Instructors send reminders and check-ins with students who have fallen behind or are struggling with a topic or assignment

Student-content interaction in WebCampus:

  • Engaging content is presented in a variety of formats: textbooks, articles, websites, slides, and videos
  • Quizzes provide instant feedback on student comprehension of content (see also Video Quizzes)
  • Assignments ask students to gather and annotate research on a topic of interest or real-world relevance
  • Assignments ask students to engage in analytic, creative, or reflective writing
  • Guest speakers convey expert knowledge or real-world application of content to students via Zoom

Building community online

In addition to interaction, classes that aim to build a “community of inquiry” can enrich feelings of connectedness among students which can lead to deeper engagement and learning, and more authentic exchange of diverse perspectives. Many tools that are available in WebCampus can be used to promote community including discussions, collaborative projects, wikis, blogs, and Zoom meetings.  Below are a few strategies for using WebCampus-based discussions and Zoom meetings to promote community and engagement.

Icebreaker discussion: Early in the semester, use an online discussion to host an icebreaker activity that will help students feel more comfortable with their classmates. There are many methods of translating these into the online environment but for a few ideas see Create an online icebreaker discussion.

Q&A discussion: The aim here is to create a discussion board where students ask and answer one another’s questions about the class or content. Students with the same question can “like” the original post, and students who agree with an answer can “like” the answer they believe is correct. As the instructor, you’ll want to monitor these discussions to make sure that the answers provided stay on track, but for the most part this should be student-to-student interaction. If you notice many students with the same questions, you may consider creating an announcement to provide more guidance.

Student lounge discussion: You may consider creating a discussion area that is for off-topic chats between students. This may be a fun way for students to decompress from the course content, but still stay in touch with their classmates.

Zoom for meeting outside class: Even if your class meets face-to-face you can set up Zoom meetings to connect outside of class time, such as for virtual office hours. An instructor can set up meetings with a single student, a group of students, or the whole class through Zoom in WebCampus (or from the Zoom portal).  Students at the university can also access a student Zoom account to host their own meetings for peer interaction outside of class, such as for a study session, collaboration on a group project, or to record a group presentation. See Zoom web conferencing for more information.