In terms of the articles from the Online Student Engagement Tools and Strategies Special Report, the piece most intriguing is Errol Sull’s article, Teaching Online with Errol: A Tried and True Mini-Guide to Engaging Online Students. Sull emphasizes six strategies to effectively engage students online. These include: Posting a “Welcome” message, participating in one’s own discussion forums in a timely manner (even being the first to post), providing overviews of the each module before it begins, showing you are an “engaged” instructor, responding within 24 hours, and providing positive feedback, as well as what student’s need to do to improve (Sull, 2012). Although I have implemented some of these strategies to engage my students online, a few pose quite a challenge. For example, responding to discussion posts in a timely manner. Last year, I set-up a discussion forum that required students to read a primary source, listen to a pod case, and respond to a focus question. My intention was to have an “engaging” discussion. However, I found it difficult to reply enthusiastically to all 70 of them. This was particularly the case when students waited until 11:50 p.m. to post their response and seemed disappointed the next day in class that I had not responded. Integration of audiovisual components online, are also a challenge for me, which I hope to overcome with this course. Given I work at a performing arts school, this is not the case for most of my students. Sull discusses the use of audiovisual in his article on personality and why it matters online (2012). This is something I had not thought much about until recently, but it makes a lot of sense. What did not occur to me is that my personality and its presentation would be constantly revisited online.
Sull, E. C. (2012, February). Teaching Online with Errol: A Tried and True Mini-Guide to Engaging Online Students. Reprinted from Online Classroom, Nov. 2010 in Online Student Engagement Tools and Strategies Special Report . A Magna Publication. Retreived August 27, 2014, from http://www.facultyfocus.com/wp-content/uploads/images/FF-Online-Student-Engagement-Report.pdf.
Sull, E. C. (2012, February). Teaching Online with Errol: Personalty DOES Matter in Teaching Online! Reprinted from Online Classroom, Dec.2010 in Online Student Engagement Tools and Strategies Special Report . A Magna Publication. Retreived August 27, 2014, from http://www.facultyfocus.com/wp-content/uploads/images/FF-Online-Student-Engagement-Report.pdf.