Engaging students onlineNathaniel Louwrens@nlouwrensteachupsidedown.narelo.comFlickr: Eric CC-BY 2.0TextResearch questionsWhat types of activities do students prefer in online courses and what are the reasons behind their preferences? What do teachers perceive engages students in online courses and why? What encourages students to engage in online activities? Setting the sceneDistance studentsYear 7-10All fully onlineAround NZ and some international3 classes, 4 teachers, 10 students
MethodologyQualitative methodsInterviewsQuestionnairesDiscussion forums posts
Wikimedia: Andy F CC-BY-SA 2.0Teachers & student engagement a kid who is engaged, they complete the tasks for the week.Seeing them take part in discussions . Actually seeing some work in the dropbox.Regular contact and daily interaction
Student engagementMore than just doing stuffFlickr: john.schultz CC-BY-SA 2.0
Flickr: Tristran Schmurr CC-BY 2.0
Flickr: Allan Ajifo CC-BY 2.0
Flickr: Ally Aubry CC-BY 2.0Preferred activities
Preferred activities there is no particular activity that will automatically help students to be more engaged in online classes.Dixson (2010)Dixson, M. D. (2010). Creating effective student engagement in online courses: What do students find engaging? Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10, 13. Reasons for preferred activitiesAllows me to be creativeMakes me thinkQuick to do / work on my own / discuss with others
Flickr: Drachman CC-BY-SA 2.0I like group activities better than individual ones because, as I said before, if you get stuck you can just ask questions and get help. (S5IntQ1a) I really like, enjoy working with other people but it can sometimes, if the other person isnt good at communicating, it can be quite stressful. (S3IntQ1a) the main thing about learning online is the time difference. Especially when youre working in groups the time difference can be um, quite, um, annoying. (S3IntQ4) Teacher perceptionsOutside of the LMSOwnership / Control / ChoiceFeedbackTeacher engagementSome things you know I dont buy into Its something thats been developed [by someone else] and I put it out there (T1IntQ6a). what made it not work was, I guess, my enthusiasm. I didnt drive it with some reminders (T1IntQ6a). When Im having a slow time, they [the students] have a slow time (T4IntQ8).
CommunicationBuilding relationships and communitySupportEncouraging interactionChoiceFeedback etc
Flickr: Paraflyer CC-BY 2.0CommunicationBuilding relationships and communitySupportEncouraging interactionChoiceFeedback etc
What does engage students?Activities outside of the LMSSafe and supportive environmentWikimedia: CM Lynch CC-BY-SA 3.0Link activities outside of the LMS to EOTC ?? - Students like getting out of the confined spaces to learn.What does engage students?FeedbackQuick / task-focusedInterest, relevance and enjoyment
Flickr: Karl Horton CC-BY-SA 2.0What does engage students?Teacher presence and engagementActivity requirements
Wikimedia: Liz CC-BY 2.0Wikimedia: Liz CC-BY 2.0These sound like what engages students in a f2f situation!
They are! My thinking here - they are the same students! They will be engaged in these ways no matter the medium of delivery. They are interested in the same things and like doing the same things.Conclusions & implicationsStudent engagement needs to be planned Behavioural / Cognitive / EmotionalThe nature of an activity is importantNot too hard or too easyGive students opportunity to be creative!Conclusions & implicationsCarefully consider the use of LMS/PLEFeedback continues to be importantKeep building a learning communityKeep building relationshipsExploration of online activities that engage New Zealand middle school students bit.ly/nat-thesisNathaniel Louwrens@nlouwrensteachupsidedown.narelo.com