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Three Keys To Engaging Students In Online Courses

Many students gravitate towards online instruction because it enables them to digest information and complete coursework on their own time, but there is one significant drawback to these distance learning environments — engagement. Due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, a disconnect between instructors, students, and their peers often exists. This is a common issue, but as many higher ed institutions continue to expand their online course offerings, there are some key strategies instructors can implement to promote more student engagement.


Having students work collaboratively is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to get them more engaged. When instructors assign a group assignment, it forces students to communicate with their peers and get to know them on a more personal level. These type of interactions expose them to different perspectives, help students develop valuable soft skills, and typically push them towards the desired learning outcome. Many of the skills students gain from these group activities, such as teamwork, leadership, and problem solving, pay dividends far beyond the classroom.

Peer Review

While distance learning environments make it very difficult for students to meet face-to-face, peer review still helps students engage with the content and their peers. Instructors typically divide their class into small groups for this kind of activity, so students get the opportunity to learn from each other. During the review process, students often deliver constructive criticism, critically evaluate their peers’ assignments, and reflect on their own work. Employers usually look for all of these skills in future employees.

Timely Feedback

Providing timely feedback is one of the best ways instructors can help boost student engagement. When students receive constructive criticism on their work prior to the actual assessment, or before the educator moves onto another subject, it helps them engage more with the material. They have the opportunity to self-assess their assignment and improve before the next evaluation. This time of reflection and critical analysis also helps students be more invested in the outcome.

YouSeeU helps improve student engagement in online courses by leveraging its video-based technology to facilitate group work, peer review, and feedback. Instructors have feedback and peer review capabilities on a number of Bongo’s Video Assignments, while Group Project gives students the opportunity to meet synchronously with their team and create video submissions on their own time. To learn more about how Bongo helps students engage with their peers and instructors in distance learning environments, visit the company’s website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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