Without having your students sat in front of you on campus, it can be hard to ensure that they are consistently engaged with the content that you are presenting to them. The following tips will help you to hold your student’s attention during online classes.

Rethink lecture formats

Split up your lessons into smaller segments in order to increase engagement with the content. A one hour long video lecture can be intimidating for students, but smaller 15 minute lectures seem a lot more manageable. This also encourages students to take breaks and not to overload themselves with information.

Ask quick questions to ensure that your students have understood the content. When teaching online, this could be carried out via a poll or a short quiz. Adding these questions to your lectures can also increase the retention of information for your students, as they are able to apply their knowledge and understand how it can be useful.

Maximise the access to the content that your students have by recording each live lecture so that students can go back to this and re-watch it if they feel that they need to. In addition, consider accessibility by ensuring that you describe any images or graphics that you are presenting. This makes it a lot easier for students who struggle with their vision.

Build a community

Encourage your students to communicate with each other in a safe setting by setting up discussion forums. Learning online can be isolating for some and having this community can really help with your student’s mental well-being. Information on setting up a discussion board in Blackboard can be found here: https://eatsupport.tees.ac.uk/staff/knowledgebase/discussion-boards/

You could also set up a weekly Teams meeting with your class for casual discussion, this can be a fun way to get your students to come together at least once a week, and this does not have to be related to the content if you don’t wish it to be. Information on setting up live events on Microsoft Teams can be found here: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/06/02/teams-live-events-did-you-know/

If you require any further assistance with your online teaching, please contact eLearning@tees.ac.uk

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