Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Engage your students

Research shows that student interaction with the course materials, the instructor, and other students in the class significantly enhances their chance of successfully attaining the learning outcomes for the course.  Here are a few important ways to keep your students actively engaged in the learning experience:

  1. Show your instructional presence without “taking over”.  Add commentary, images, quotations or stories that show your own enthusiasm for the topics.  Maintain a positive learning environment through your style of interaction.
  2. Establish and communicate high expectations regarding student participation.  Specify expectations for how often students should be visiting the course to participate in the discussions and activities.  Set mid-week initial discussion post due dates so students get a timely start to posting discussion messages and responding to others.
  3. Design activities that allow students to attach personal meaning to the content.  When possible, provide real-life contexts and opportunities for hands-on practice and application of the concepts.
  4. Design activities that involve students in using college services and initiatives, such as the library, service learning, or sustainability.
  5. Use tools and media that involve students in rich interactive learning experiences, e.g. video resources, discussions, or group projects.
  6. Respond to questions in a timely manner, typically within 24 hours.
  7. Participate as needed to model and promote interaction, and to drive discussions to a deeper level.  Encourage students to ask questions, offer opinions, and consider multiple points of view.
  8. Provide detailed constructive feedback on assignments and assessments in a timely manner.