The Most Overlooked Items That Can Help Keep Online Students Engaged

Student engagement is a popular topic and the overwhelming majority of the information on this topic is concentrated on the big issues of keeping students engaged, such as the importance of faculty presence in the classroom, adhering to deadlines and responding to students in a timely manner, and giving thorough feedback on assignments.

Yet there are other equally important facets of student engagement that are often overlooked or forgotten, such as the following:

Don’t be pedantic and ostentatious in your writings to students. Academic writing can be boring, over the heads of many students, and better suited to a scholarly journal than to most online courses. But what students don’t want or need is an online instructor who appears to write down to them and does not take into account their level of vocabulary and sentence structure understanding. Sure, it’s OK to push them a bit so they can become better—in fact, this is crucial—but overall, always adjust your writing so students can easily understand all you are offering. A bonus: the more they understand, the less they need ask you for clarification.


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