Engaging Students Series virtual workshops on tap to help Penn State faculty

July 13, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology’s Engaging Students Series (ESS) focuses on course revisions to synchronous and asynchronous online learning environments intended to help keep students focused and participating. ESS was launched to support Penn State instructors as they prepared to teach their summer 2020 courses online and to provide them with best practices for online instruction.

The first four weeks of ESS offerings attracted over 300 attendees who took in presentations and participated in work sessions hosted by faculty, instructional designers, and other University experts. Those sessions provided critical guidelines for creating meaningful experiences for all aspects of virtual courses. 

Due to ESS’s initial popularity and the continuing need for the delivery of engaging online content, the series is being extended through the summer. These sessions will continue to introduce synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning considerations, promote the alignment of technology tools with learning outcomes, and allow for revisions with support from consultants and colleagues. Bring your syllabus, exams, assignment sheets, and lesson plans for these sessions. 

Additionally, the free and open access ESS Pressbook is available online. It is the home for resources and content from past ESS sessions. Upcoming ESS presentations include:

Looking Through the Faculty Lens

  • Thursday, July 16, 10 a.m.-noon

How do you engage students in the classroom when some students are physically present and some are online? In this panel discussion, Shared Programs and Blend LT faculty will share how they created a successful classroom environment conducive to active learning, student engagement and collaboration, and peer support.

Join with this Zoom link. Register using this form and receive timely updates and follow-up materials. 

Planning for Student Engagement

  • Wednesday, July 22, 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 23, 10 a.m.-noon

Do you need to revise a fall 2020 course to a blended or online format but aren’t sure where to start? This session covers how to plan your course content to maximize student engagement. Topics include adapting course objectives to include the online environment, choosing which aspects of the course to offer synchronously vs. asynchronously, and creating or adjusting your communication plan to help students be successful in your online or blended course.

Join with this Zoom link. Register using this form and receive timely updates and follow-up materials.

Engaging Students Synchronously

  • Wednesday, July 29, 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 30, 10 a.m.-noon

This session covers best practices when engaging students in synchronous online settings. Topics include how to help students engage with the content, you, and their fellow students, as well as how to best adapt in-class activities to the synchronous online environment. This content applies to both blended and online courses.

Join with this Zoom link. Register using this form and receive timely updates and follow-up materials. 

Who Are You Not Reaching? Designing Your Course to Gain Maximum Engagement from All Students

  • Monday, Aug. 3, 1-3 p.m.

Reaching students can be a significant challenge for any course. Research suggests that we gain a broader response when attending to principles of inclusive teaching and best practices in inclusive course design. In this interactive session, attendees will review a series of best practices for inclusive teaching and course design which are designed to be implemented in a variety of courses.

Join with this Zoom link. Register using this form and receive timely updates and follow-up materials. 

Engaging Students Asynchronously

  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 10 a.m.-noon

Are you interested in improving student engagement with your asynchronous online content? This session covers best practices when engaging students in asynchronous online settings. Topics include how to help students engage with the content, you, and their fellow students, as well as how to structure asynchronous discussions, group work, lecture content, and more to benefit student learning in the asynchronous online environment.

Join with this Zoom link. Register using this form and receive timely updates and follow-up materials.

Creating Community Online

  • Monday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m.-noon

How can you replicate the engagement level of in-person courses in an online space? This session covers how to take your online students and turn them into a community of engaged learners. Topics include planning for community, building community into assignments, humanizing both instructors and student in online environments, building humor into your courses, and specific technologies that can facilitate community in your class.

Join with this Zoom link. Register using this form and receive timely updates and follow-up materials.

Engaging Students through Assessment

  • Wednesday, Aug. 12, 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-noon

Are you looking for ways to revise and improve your online assessments? This session covers using online assessments (both formative and summative) to engage students. Topics include making changes to assessments to take advantage of the online environment, making sure online assessments are equitable, and helping manage student stress levels during these unprecedented times. This session is a collaboration with the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. Our guest facilitator is Mary Ann Tobin, assistant research professor and SITE consultant.

Join with this Zoom link. Register using this form and receive timely updates and follow-up materials. 

Last Updated July 27, 2020