Student Engagement Challenge

The FDEV team is excited to announce the launch of a 4-week student engagement challenge

Beginning this week, and continuing up to Spring Break, we will be issuing a small weekly challenge that you can do in your next class to help improve connection and engagement with your students. Each challenge will take just a few minutes to prepare for and about five minutes of class time to implement. Don’t feel locked into our instructions or time frames. Making each task your own will only improve your results. We will also give you a short explanation of why this strategy enhances engagement. 

In the next three weeks, keep an eye out for the Tuesday Tip to access the easy-to-implement task or activity for each week. FDEV Faculty Fellow Dustin Bakkie, from the Kinesiology Department, is going to be our guide and facilitator throughout this challenge. 
We will wrap this all up in Episode 4 of the Rise, Teach, Learn Podcast (released on March 25th) and in a Friday Forum on March 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. so, stay tuned!

We are going to ask you to step out of your comfort zone a little bit. There will need to be some vulnerability on your part. Engagement is a two-way street. You will have your colleagues and the FDEV team with you the whole way to support you.

So are you in? Are you ready? 

Let’s just dive into Week 1 – The 3 Pillars of Engagement.

This week, we’re going to have you try the subtle Power of Names challenge in your class. It’s SUPER SIMPLE and involves building the personal foundation needed for high-quality engagement.

Framework: In 2014 the Gallup-Purdue Index Report surveyed 32,000 college-level students determined 3 Pillars of Engagement were necessary to foster a sense of engagement and wellbeing. 

·         Pillar 1 – Instructors need to care about students as people first * Most Important

·         Pillar 2 – Instructors need to make students excited about learning

·         Pillar 3 – Instructors need to encourage students to pursue their goals.

Challenge 1: Pillar 1 – The Power of Name

Synchronous Class: Use student’s names as often and granularly as possible. “Great question Tom”, “Good morning Halima”. 

·         Being as intentional as possible about acknowledging students and USING THEIR NAMES. You might be like, “DUH”, but I mean REALLY GRANULAR. Every student who says “hi” in the chat gets named, and I say good morning. Research shows that better social presence from instructors improves student learning and satisfaction. We can do that by using names more often and expressing gratitude. (Ladyshewsky, Richard K. (2013) “Instructor Presence in Online Courses and Student Satisfaction,” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Vol. 7: No. 1, Article 13. Available at: https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2013.070113)

Asynchronous Class: You can use students’ names in feedback. If you are leaving video or audio feedback in the Blackboard or Turnitin Suite be sure to use their name. If you are responding to discussion posts or emails include their name. 

That’s it, you’ve now taken the first step to improve engagement in your course! Engagement comes with connections and using someone’s name is a powerful way to do that!

We look forward to hearing your experiences in the classroom, so let us know how it goes!

Dustin Bakkie
FDEV Faculty Fellow
Lecturer, Department of Kinesiology

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