Online Design Principles

Maintaining engagement and supporting motivation are important considerations in all teaching activities, but especially where a significant part of the content is delivered online.

In this video, Professor James Pickering, Faculty of Medicine and Health, explains the Online Engagement Principles as part of the Content Delivery strand of SCALA.

These suggestions will help to keep students engaged with the material and support their learning and acquisition of new knowledge in a collaborative setting.

The 12 principles are as follows:

1. Create space for a practice session and define the minimum requirements necessary

2. Establish behaviour norms from the beginning so students and staff know what the expectations of engagement are. Set high standards and get them involved as active partners in the learning

3. Use share screen functionality and use cues to guide students through the task in hand

4. Interact with students in real-time using audio and the available chat function, ask for cameras to be on at certain times

5. Use the whiteboard functionality and hand it over to your students with specific tasks

6. Use a chat window to allow students to ask questions and ask a colleague or other student to help moderate these

7. Refer to comments in the chat so students know their views and questions are being seen

8. Use breakout groups where possible with set tasks

9. Keep in mind students will have varying internet connections so build in a time lag between asking questions and receiving answers

10. Call on students though warm calls (ie, letting students know ahead of time that you will be coming to them – either email or 5-10 minutes before the question is set in class)

11. Use polling tools

12. Increase the use of summaries in class. For a long live session, chunk it into 4 blocks of 10, with a few minutes of summary after each chunk.