How to Optimize Student Engagement in a Virtual Learning Environment

7 May 2020

There are many benefits of a virtual learning environment: they provide flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility. However, the lack of face-to-face interaction between students and instructors is often an issue. Instructors are left wondering if their students feel supported or engaged within this virtual setting. Fortunately, there are ways to maintain a well-functioning remote learning experience. These include keeping lines of communication open between instructors and students, providing a platform for feedback, and keeping students consistently engaged.

Communicating regularly with students. 

Regular communication and collaboration can take place online through a digital messaging center, discussion group, or indirectly through the feedback provided by student experience surveys.

Set clear expectations. 

While flexibility is one of the greatest benefits that virtual learning programs can provide, setting clear expectations in regards to participation, pacing and progress is a key component to ensuring student success and engagement. 

Work with students to set goals. 

It’s important that instructors and students are on the same page regarding a reasonable schedule for pace and progress. This gives each student ownership of their individualized learning plan and accountability for sticking to the goals that they have set.

Encourage a collaborative learning environment.

Research indicates that collaborative learning environments, where instructors and students collectively contribute to the content and flow of instruction enhances learning. This two-way interaction supplements student-centered learning and motivates for higher academic achievement. 

By utilizing these methods, the result is a virtual learning environment that engages students, gives them ownership over their learning, and continues to motivate them to reach for academic success.

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