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How to Effectively Facilitate Your Online Course to Drive Student Engagement | Jeff Fox

We interviewed Northern Kentucky University lecturer and course designer, Jeff Fox, about building student engagement in online communication courses.

How would you recommend a new faculty member get started?

“McGraw Hill Connect® offers a variety of reports that can be utilized by both instructors and students. In particular, the reports for SmartBook® 2.0 allow an instructor to look at the class as a whole or at an individual student’s progress. Information can be gathered related to where students struggle, and course adjustments can be made to account for where students need the most help. Faculty members can start by blending in assignment types that allow for use of reports. Learn the ins and outs of the reports and how to use them to the fullest.”

What are some of the standards you need to keep in mind?

“Communicate a clear plan to your students for how you plan to engage them in the class. Show them how you plan to use the reports to better pinpoint trouble areas and adjust weekly content accordingly. This sometimes takes extra work, but it is a great way to meet students where they are in the learning process. When students know the rhyme and reason behind an assignment type and your plans for using the results, they may be more likely to find value in the process.”

What specific Connect tools would you recommend using?

“All Connect tools have value, but a great way to engage students in the learning process is through SmartBook. These assignments allow students to become familiar with the content and engage in it through a series of prompts that determine mastery of content. Algorithms guide the prompts based on a student’s progress, and various resources are available to help students remediate and supplement problem areas. Students receive a progress report after each SmartBook assignment, which can be used to create a customized review guide.”

How can you use the reports to guide an asynchronous online class?

“Similar to a face-to-face class, have students complete the SmartBook assignment prior to the planned class meeting. Pull a SmartBook report on the class prior to the class meeting to determine which learning outcomes from the chapter need remediation. You can then choose specific activities or pinpointed lecture discussions geared toward specific areas where students struggled rather than completing a blanket lecture or set of activities that does not always address problem areas for a specific class."