How do I engage students online?


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  • Contact students before the first day of class. Send an email to welcome students to the course, introduce yourself, provide some general expectations and instructions on how to get started. Post a more detailed and creative introduction in the course (e.g., video, postcard) and share the link through the email.


  • Ask students to introduce themselves. Start creating a community of learners and help students connect to their peers, for example by asking them to post introductions and share learning goals.  Use ice-breakers.


  • Create opportunities for interaction. Use tools (e.g. forums, chats) in Brightspace as well as additional tools and platforms (e.g. Blackboard, Zoom) to help students connect to one another and promote student interaction.


  • Encourage sharing. Invite students to bring additional resources related to course topics and share them with peers to co-create a common and shared body of knowledge.


  • Engage the community. Provide opportunities, if there is a community engaged component in the course, for students to interact virtually with community partners (e.g. ask community members to introduce themselves with a short video, or host a virtual Q&A).

About this post

This post was last updated:

September 25, 2020

We acknowledge and respect the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees and Esquimalt) Peoples on whose territory the university stands, and the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

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