On 9/24/18 at 12:45pm, I attended the Excellence In Higher Education Virtual Conference Session: Classroom Engagement Techniques within the Online Environment presented by Dr. Freda Braddock of Columbia Southern University.
Dr. Barnett-Braddock began by noting that students were from all over the country, and we teachers were also. Sometimes we feel that our program directors don’t know we’re alive, that students don’t read our feedback. Our students feel the same way
We are all leaders. To lead well, we have to learn how to follow. How can we follow, but follow each other. we all lead one another.
some students will be leaders, others will be followers. Some will need prompting, and we’ll need to prod them. Who was the greatest motivator from the past? Close relatives are most common, but some had to lead themselves. Some times you have to step up and be a leader out of necessity.
Sometimes learning that info can help students to be motivated properly.
Engagement comes from looking within the students to see the bosses within them. They are leaders who have not had the chance to lead. By relating the past WE have to the past OUR STUDENTS have.
WE may have some PTSD that changes us- either to avoid or for the worse forever. Our Post traumatic growth can be helpful to bring to the students.
We need to understand ourselves. Still more, we need to engage the students. How can we find something personal about them that they wish to share? How can we find something that relates to the bigger picture of their life. These students may have overcome struggles that we cannot even imagine. And sometimes, we may be the only encouragement these students are going to receive.
Sometimes, taking the smallest amount of time can be immensely helpful. They are experiencing life issues just like us.
Sometimes yo need to embrace proximity. You have to step outside the norm and speak about student issues. If they divulge something to you, we owe it to them in multiple facets to be supportive. A minute to text, call, email, and you can give the best support to them.
Anything we can do will be helpful to help them succeed.
Intro Phone Calls
Some professors find that the intro phone calls are very helpful. I am your professor, I’m here for you, I want to see you succeed, and you can contact me if you have questions, comments, or concerns in the upcoming semester.
Where are you now? Where do you want to be? What is it going to take to get you there? What is the goal, and how can we help you get there?
- leadership 101
- never meet a stranger
- see potential in others
If you haven’t read this book, it might be worth your time. She never meets a stranger, you are the most important person in the room at that time. Embrace some of these principals and apply them to the students and colleagues in your life. Bring all stakeholders together as much as possible.
- Customize your interactions
- be open to change
- give space to grow
While this is pushed toward students, it ok to see these items as connecting to your co-workers as well. Everything changes. Give your students room to grow.
Our students get bored. The same old materials do not help them to demonstrate their knowledge or push themselves.
- Video Messages
- Social media
- Promote Learner Interactions
- Establish Hours for availability
Lots of students will want to reach out through social media. However, many of you should connect through linkedin only, as it is professional, while the others may ask for or provide too many personal items. Reminders are a great way to help students stay on target. Reminders might be fine ways to send encouragment to your coworkers, students, or those you identify might need help or like encouragement.
You’re already doing well, why not share those skills with others. Your career is what you’re paid for, your calling is what you’re made for. You’re paid to help students, but encouraging and engaging with others is a great way to keep communication open and help our students.
Why do I feel so frustrated? How can I get students to read and embrace my feedback? What more can I do to encourage engagement with others? Have you found yourself pondering these common questions? If so, you’re not alone. Student engagement is a hot topic across academia, from brick and mortar to online environments. However, recent spotlights on some institutions who have seemingly dropped the ball in the area of student engagement have turned up the heat on this issue. Yes, student engagement is a growing area of concern for many, but we can choose to view it differently. The featured presentation will give best practice advice on how professors can remain proactive within the online environment to promote engagement. Furthermore, tips on collaborative efforts with faculty members within one’s discipline and across the curriculum will be explored as well. Yes, enhancing student engagement is not only possible, but numerous benefits can be realized if certain measures are embraced. Get ready to increase your engagement arsenal!