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Teaching to Engage Asynchronous Online Learners

Abstract

Consistently, teachers and researchers have questioned how to engage students who are working in asynchronous online environments. Within our context, we noticed a similar trend: student disengagement in asynchronous online learning activities. The purpose of this project is to identify factors that influence learner engagement in online learning environments, and to identify strategies that engage students in asynchronous online learning. The literature review presents our theoretical framework, which is based on social constructivist perspectives. This is followed by a discussion of blended learning as a modality. Subsequently, we focus on learning design, specifically exploring learning strategies that promote active learning. The final section of our literature review examines teacher presence within collaborative learning environments. Designing engaging online environments is not a simple matter of digitizing existing content and placing it online. Deliberate planning and implementation of curriculum requires professional development around appropriate pedagogy for online environments. The purpose of our project is to provide support to teachers in evolving online/blended learning environments. We have created a resource package which includes documents and videos to outline strategies to engage students in asynchronous online learning environments. Our hope is that educators new to teaching online will be able to implement a variety of activities that lead to increased student engagement.

Description

Keywords

engagement, asynchronous online learning, blended learning, hybrid learning, social constructivism, community of inquiry, universal design for learning (UDL), learning design, active learning, teacher presence

Citation