Updated: Nov 12, 2020
When we are situating ourselves in the virtual world, we tend to try to create things that mirror the basic expectations that mirror what we’d expect in a regular, brick and mortar classroom, but, these don’t necessarily result in the kind of student engagement that online learning requires for true learning.
You may have students who are disruptive, avoidant, or withdrawn, which students use as active means of disengagement. As a passive participant in learning, students may be completing assignments and responding to questions but neither does this mean that they are truly engaged with the content (Amy Berry, 2020, Distance Learning Playbook). When we think of student engagement in a virtual classroom, the basics still matter. Compliance/participation does not equal engagement.
Instead of monitoring students for the basics or essential ways of participating, build your students up by focusing on significant signs of improvement! We don’t want students to just get a good grade or get their parents/teachers off their back. In order for them to be enthusiastic about learning and have a sense of intellectual curiosity, students must connect with the content, the teacher, and each other. Though we know that digital learning is more individually driven, the collaborative opportunities in distance learning reduces the possibility of positioning students as an island on their educational journeys. While there are lots of strategies for maintaining student engagement during remote learning, goals that focus on how they are taking advantage of the aspects of online learning will help students recognize and see their progress related to what is important - how they connect themselves with the instructional leaders, their peers, and the content.
Take a Look below for goals focused on...
Building Connection with the Teacher:
Contacted the teacher or an instructional support staff member for help.
Commented productively on a video posted for our class.
Used a posted tutorial to overcome a tech obstacle.
Used a posted tutorial to overcome an assignment obstacle.
Requested feedback before the due date.
Used appropriate words to express anger, frustration, anxiety rather than less appropriate refusal or other behaviors.
Building Connection with other Students:
Shared a relevant personal experience/strategy in class.
Asked a productive question of another student.
Asked a peer for help during class.
Asked a peer for help outside of class.
Provided helpful feedback to another student.
Worked live with another student to overcome an obstacle.
Building Connection with Content:
Used an alarm to make it to class on time.
Completed #/% more assignments on time.
Clarified the assignment requirements by …. .
Used course resources to answer a content question.
Choosing a pace that works for them
Redid an assignment to learn more.
Adjusted their thinking/strategy to solve the problem.
Let us know what worked for you and what other goals you have used!