Strategies for engagement in online courses

August 3, 2013

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on student engagement (e.g., Pike & Kuh, 2009; Porter, 2009). Student engagement occurs when “students make a psychological investment in learning. They try hard to learn what school offers.
“They take pride not simply in earning the formal indicators of success (grades), but in understanding the material and incorporating or internalizing it in their lives” (Newmann, 1992, pp. 2-3). Research (e.g., Kinzie, 2010; Prince, 2004) strongly suggests that when students are engaged, they tend to perform better. When students are actively engaged in the material, they tend to process it more deeply, which leads to successful retention of the material (e.g., Craik & Lockhart, 1972). In this paper, we describe several ways in which online courses can be designed to promote student engagement. All of these techniques are consistent with Quality Matters Rubric Standards (Quality Matters, 2011) area number 5: Learning Interaction and Engagement.

Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology

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