Collaboration & Engagement

Engaging students in the learning process increases their attention, motivates higher-level critical thinking skills, and promotes meaningful learning experiences. By adopting a student-centered approach to instruction through increased student engagement, students participate more fully in the class through active learning, rather than playing a passive role in learning. Although technology is not necessary for engagement, UConn provides a variety of technology tools that can be utilized to increase collaboration and engagement.

The tools and techniques an instructor might pick can vary based on the course modality and the desired engagement:

    Asynchronous engagement and collaboration

    Although the asynchronous environment limits the ability for live engagement and collaboration, it does open up the use of a wide variety of technology to create other opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

    Along with the use of HuskyCT tools, such as discussion boards, asynchronous experiences can be enhanced with FlipGrid**, a tool that allows students to provide video responses to prompts. FlipGrid** is available as a free online or app-based tool.

    Student collaboration is also possible through the use of HuskyCT groups, Google docs/drive*, file sharing and editing in Microsoft Teams or Microsoft OneDrive.*

    Instructors may also add quizzing to Kaltura videos to engage students with the content. Questions can be multiple-choice, short answer  (not graded), and reflection points.

    In-person engagement and collaboration

    For the in-person setting, any of the options mentioned for asynchronous engagement and collaboration are also useful additions to an in-person course. In addition to those, polling (also referred to as a student response system) offers an opportunity for instructors to engage students using technology during class sessions and to gather information on student understanding of content. Tools such as iClicker, Poll Everywhere**, and Slido** offer faculty easy ways to poll students.

    Virtual synchronous engagement and collaboration

    For a virtual setting with synchronous experiences, any of the options mentioned for asynchronous engagement and collaboration are also useful additions to a virtual synchronous course. Similar to the in-person setting, polling is a helpful option for virtual synchronous sessions. Instructors can use iClicker, Poll Everywhere**, and Slido** for easy virtual polling. To use iClicker for virtual sessions, instructors and students will need to use the iClicker Cloud (or REEF) version, rather than the physical iClicker device. Beyond these options, video conferencing systems, such as WebEx and Collaborate, also have polling features built-in.

    Another option is to use the chat feature built into the video conferencing system (WebEx, Collaborate, or Microsoft Teams), particularly if the class is small enough to allow for all students to participate. The Reactions feature (such as thumbs up and thumbs down) in the video conferencing platforms also provides a way to engage students or get feedback from students.

    Instructors can also use breakout rooms in the video conferencing systems (WebEx, Collaborate, and Microsoft Teams) to create opportunities for students to collaborate and be engaged. While in breakout rooms, instructors may consider having students utilize Google* docs or other tools to work on a collaborative document together.

    *denotes tools supported by ITS, rather than EdTech

    **denotes tools not supported by UConn

    Active Learning while Physical Distancing

    This chart contains some common in-person active learning approaches that you can adapt to specific class sessions and parts of your course. The suggestions provide guidance for adjusting the in-person activities to other settings and delivery modes.

    Goal In-Person Learning Activity Synchronous Online Classes Asynchronous Online Classes Synchronous Classes with In-Person and Remote Students Technology Options
    Encourage active engagement Think-pair share Use breakout rooms in online video conferencing platforms to conduct pair discussions remotely. Pose a discussion question to asynchronous students (video or text) and ask students to respond with a pair in a discussion forum. The pair-share reports can be shared to the larger class discussion forum. Student pairs can also discuss and share via video discussion platforms, exchanging audio/video comments asynchronously. Set up student pairs. Pose a question. Use an online meeting room or collaborative document tools (e.g. Google Docs) to support communication. Pairs can discuss outside of class time, and report either during class or outside of class. When sharing with the class, project voices so all classmates hear.

     

    Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams)

    Asynchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board Tool, VoiceThread

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

     

    Encourage active engagement Small-group Discussions Use breakout rooms in online video conferencing platforms to conduct small group discussions. Students can use collaborative document tools (e.g., Google Docs) to record thoughts.

     

    Give group assignments and workshop formats for small teams to hold online brainstorm meetings and create things together using collaboration tools between live sessions.

    Pose an equivalent question to the asynchronous students, either in video or text, and ask the students

    to respond in a small group discussion forum. The group reports can be shared with the larger class discussion forum.

     

    Ask students to use digital pinboards or whiteboards (e.g. Microsoft Whiteboard) to share content and have discussions.

     

    Small groups can also discuss and share via video discussion platforms, exchanging audio/video comments asynchronously.

    Pose a discussion question to small groups of 3-5 students, using either hybrid groups (in-person and remote) or in-person only and remote only groups. Make breakouts a little longer and avoid having students share markers/materials.

    For both in-person or hybrid groups, students should sit 6 ft apart for social distancing and to avoid audio feedback issues.

    For remote or hybrid groups, use a VC meeting room and collaborative document tools (e.g. Google Docs) to help with communication.

    For all groups, assign a reporter who may write using a Google Doc/on handheld whiteboard, or just oral report.  During the full class report, have students project their voices so all classmates hear.

    Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard)

    Asynchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board Tool, Google Docs or Google Slides

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard)

    Encourage active engagement Turn & Talk Use the chat feature to ask a question and let the students reply in the chat with a brief response. Read responses out loud or call on students to read their responses to the whole class.

     

    Assign partners and pose a question, asking them to share their ideas, in a HuskyCT discussion forum for the pair, email, or other tools like VoiceThread.

    *This may not be as effective in an asynch environment*

    Assign partners in the classroom that can talk 6 ft apart. Alternatively, students can "talk" through texts on Microsoft Teams or through a shared Google Doc or Google Slides, when distance would make the volume in the room difficult for some students to learn. Or remote students are assigned to other remote students and in-person students are assigned to in-person students. Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams)

    Asynchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board Tool,

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams)

    Engage/ Check understanding Polling Use video conference polling tools or a student response system / polling tool to gather student input, to answer questions and show responses in real-time. Use online polling/survey application and share out the results in a class announcement, email, or within the module. Use a student response system / polling tool to gather student responses and share results with the class. Synchronous: VC Polling Tools (Webex – Slido, Collaborate – Polls, Teams - Slido), iClicker cloud, Slido can be used outside Webex

    Asynchronous: iClicker cloud, Slido

    Synchronous with Remote Students: iClicker cloud, Slido

    Engage students Partial Outlines/PPTs provided for lecture Create a file containing a set of class notes with blanks for important information and share it with students on the LMS. Encourage students to complete and annotate the notes during the live class session. Create a file containing a set of class notes with blanks for important information and share it with students on the LMS. Encourage students to complete and annotate the notes while viewing the course materials. Create a file containing a set of class notes with blanks for important information and share it with students on the LMS. Encourage students to complete and annotate the notes during the live class session. Synchronous: LMS

    Asynchronous: LMS

    Synchronous with Remote Students: LMS

    Engage Pausing in lecture Pause during your lecture to ask a question, complete a sentence, give a poll, respond to a question in chat, or ask students to identify the three things they have learned so far in the class. In your recorded videos, insert points for students to pause and reflect on what was just said, complete an activity such as answer some quick questions using a quiz function. Pause during your lecture to ask a question, complete a sentence, give a poll, respond to a question in chat, or ask students to identify the three things they have learned so far in the class. Synchronous: VC Polling Tools (Webex – Slido, Collaborate – Polls, Teams - Slido), iClicker cloud, Slido can be used outside Webex

    Asynchronous: Kaltura Quiz, iClicker cloud, Slido, LMS Quizzes

    Synchronous with Remote Students: VC Polling Tools (Webex – Slido, Collaborate – Polls, Teams - Slido), iClicker cloud, Slido can be used outside Webex

    Engage Posters & gallery walk Use shared spaces for small groups to record ideas using online collaborative tools and then view those as a class or have groups share screen with the whole class. Use shared spaces for small groups to record ideas using collaborative tools such as Google docs/slides/draw and ask students to review these ideas as part of the module’s activities. Put poster boards around the room. Assign one group of students to a poster board to create a response.

    Take and picture and post (digital image) Read/ review the posters with the class or save and use them to start the following class period.

     

    You may need to think about options for students that are not moving around the room or are remote. One option is to consider using virtual poster boards.

    Synchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard)

    Asynchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard)

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard)

     

     

    Engage Fishbowl Students can take turns role-playing/discussing a solution and others can watch and respond in chat or live discussion. Encourage students to turn off webcams so the focus can be on the students in the Fishbowl. Student pairs/groups can schedule a time to record themselves a role playing/discussing a solution, then sharing that with the class. The other class members can respond/react to the Fishbowl discussion.  Pairs/groups can also asynchronously respond to each other in a discussion forum that would be visible to other class members.

     

    Students can take turns role-playing/discussing a solution and others can watch and respond in chat or live discussion. Encourage students to turn off webcams so the focus can be on the students in the Fishbowl.

     

    Students in fishbowl can be remote (participating in a chat, Google doc, or in the chat as a small group), while in-person students are outside the fishbowl listening, and then the instructor leads a whole class discussion among listeners afterwards. If in-person students are in the fishbowl, the technology needs to be in place to support the remote students to hear what is being said.

    Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams)

    Asynchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams) to create recording, HuskyCT Discussion Board

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams)

     

     

    Monitor/ assess understanding Quick Write Pose a question or two in a discussion forum (or slide) and have students compose a written response in the discussion forum or on their own device.  Instructors can ask students to share a selection of responses or a summary of their responses with the whole class. Pose a question or two in a discussion forum and have students respond.

    Instructors may follow up by sharing a selection of responses or a summary of their responses with the whole class.

    Pose a question or two in a discussion forum (or slide) and have students compose a written response in the discussion forum or on their own device. Instructors can ask students to share a selection of responses or a summary of their responses with the whole class.

     

    Synchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board

    Asynchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board

    Synchronous with Remote Students: HuskyCT Discussion Board

     

    Monitor/assess understanding Muddiest point Encourage students to identify any unclear or “muddy points”.

    Muddiest points can be shared in the chat, using a shared web document, or by sharing screen. Instructors can use polling tools to scaffold anonymous student responses.

    Encourage students to identify any unclear or “muddy points”. Muddiest points can be shared in a discussion forum, class chat platform (Teams), or on a shared web document/collaboration space. Instructor can use asynchronous polling tools to elicit responses. Encourage students to identify any unclear or “muddy points”.

    (1)     Muddiest points can be shared in the chat, using a shared web document, or by sharing screen. Instructors can use polling tools to scaffold anonymous student responses.

    (2)     In-person students can use post-it notes to share their muddiest point and instructor can discuss with the class.

    Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard)

    Asynchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard), HuskyCT Discussion Board

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard)

    Reflect on learning Four corners Use online polling tools to elicit student opinions. Consider doing this online in a collaborative document. Alternatively, to generate physical engagement, students can have 4 colored cards (or raise hands or stand up/vertical movement to indicate agreement). These are held up to the webcam when asked a question to display their answer. Have students make a choice using a polling/survey application or online collaborative tool. Instructors can share the results with class. Use online polling tools to elicit student opinions. Consider doing this online in a collaborative document. Alternatively, to generate physical engagement, students can have 4 colored cards (or raise hands or stand up/vertical movement to indicate agreement). These are held up to the webcam when asked a question to display their answer. Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms with polling (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard), iClicker Cloud, Slido

    Asynchronous: iClicker cloud, Slido

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms with polling (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard), iClicker Cloud, Slido

     

     

    Reflect on learning What’s missing? In video conference meeting, use slides, present a list of ideas, terms, equations, or rationale. Students can respond with what is missing using chat, poll, or live discussion. Using slides, present a list of ideas, terms, equation, or rationale. Students must respond in the discussion forum with what is missing. Can also be done using a lesson or quiz. Using slides, present a list of ideas, terms, equation, or rationale.

    Students must respond with what is missing, using chat, poll, or live discussion.

    Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms with polling (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard), iClicker Cloud, Slido

    Asynchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board, iClicker Cloud, Slido

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms with polling (Webex, Collaborate, Teams), Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard), iClicker Cloud, Slido

     

    Reflect on learning Aha wall In real-time ask students to post an “aha” in the chat and use these to guide discussion or future instruction. Ask students to post an “aha” in the discussion forum and use these to guide discussion or future instruction. Consider placing poster boards on the wall and asking students to put their ideas up using post-it notes, using social distancing directions. Or each student has a handheld dry-erase board. Remote students can post in chat. Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams)

    Asynchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams)

    Strengthen understanding Pro/con list Together create a pro/con list using a collaborative online document in real-time or on a shared screen Together create a pro/con list using a collaborative online document Together create a pro/con list using a collaborative online document in real-time or on a shared screen Synchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

    Asynchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

    Strengthen understanding Concept map Use an online tool to have students work collaboratively in real-time to add to the concept map. Google Draw may be a tool that could be useful. Use an online tool to have students work collaboratively to add to the concept map over the course of a module. Google Draw may be a tool that could be useful. Use an online tool to have students work collaboratively in real-time to add to the concept map. Google Draw may be a tool that could be useful. Synchronous: Google Draw

    Asynchronous: Google Draw

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Google Draw

    Strengthen understanding Visual prompt Offer a visual prompt and ask students to respond using poll technology. Or it can be done using tools like Microsoft OneNote Offer a visual prompt and ask students to respond. This can be done using tools like Microsoft OneNote. Offer a visual prompt and ask students to respond using poll technology. Or it can be done using tools like Microsoft OneNote. Synchronous: VC Polling Tools or other Polling Tools, Microsoft OneNote

    Asynchronous: Microsoft OneNote, VoiceThread

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Microsoft OneNote

     

    Strengthen understanding Entry/Exit Tickets At the beginning or end of a class/ module, ask students to respond to a question in the chat or discussion forum or use a polling program to ask questions. At the beginning or end of a lecture recording, ask students to respond to a question in the video, poll/survey or discussion forum. At the beginning or end of a class/ module, ask students to respond to a question. These can be turned in to the instructor. Alternatively, you could use the chat or polling program to ask students questions. Synchronous: VC Chat, VC Polling Tools (Webex – Slido, Collaborate – Polls, Teams - Slido), iClicker cloud, Slido can be used outside Webex

    Asynchronous: Kaltura Quiz, iClicker cloud, Slido, HuskyCT Discussion Board

    Synchronous with Remote Students: VC Chat, VC Polling Tools (Webex – Slido, Collaborate – Polls, Teams - Slido), iClicker cloud, Slido can be used outside Webex

    Active engagement/ planning for future learning/ connections Brainstorming challenge Use the chat feature or collaborative writing spaces such as Google docs to brainstorm ideas and review in class Use collaborative writing spaces to brainstorm ideas and review in follow-up video/post or activity Use collaborative writing spaces to brainstorm and share in real-time with in-person/remote or hybrid groups while maintaining social distancing. Students can brainstorm using the chat feature or collaborative writing spaces such as Google docs to brainstorm ideas and review in class. Synchronous: VC Chat, Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

    Asynchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

    Synchronous with Remote Students: VC Chat, Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

    Active Engagement 1 Minute Quiz Students complete a 3-question quiz in the first 5 minutes of class.

    Questions for the quiz are given in the last 5 minutes of the previous class. Answers can be emailed or posted on an adaptive release discussion board post.

    Have students complete quiz questions during a recorded lecture using video quiz tool Students complete a 3-question quiz in the first 5 minutes of class. Questions for the quiz are given in the last 5 minutes of the previous class. Answers can be emailed or posted on an adaptive release discussion board post. Synchronous: iClicker Cloud, Slido

    Asynchronous: Kaltura Quiz

    Synchronous with Remote Students: iClicker Cloud, Slido

     

    Providing/getting feedback on work in progress Peer review Have students share drafts prior to class and then break into discussion groups to provide their prepared feedback.

     

    Have select students share with the class in real-time and provide a way for students to give feedback (e.g., answer three questions, etc.)

    Students post drafts in LMS, or read it aloud via pre-recorded video submission or video discussion board. Guided by course rubric/specific prompts for feedback, partner(s) read/view, and respond.

    Consider small-group peer review. (See “Small Group Discussions” above.) Peer reviewers also score writers draft preparedness, and writers score reviewers for the helpfulness of feedback.

    See “Think-Pair-Share” ideas above. Synchronous: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams) Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

    Asynchronous: HuskyCT Discussion Board, Kaltura Quiz, VoiceThread, Flipgrid

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Video Conferencing platforms (Webex, Collaborate, Teams) Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

     

    Providing/getting feedback on work in progress Progress Chart for Whole Class Asynchronous activity for the most part with some synchronous time with students as needed.  See: Progress Chart for Whole Class Chart steps in a larger projects (essay writing, research project, etc.) in Google doc, and each student fills out row as progress. Prof gives feedback via marginal comments. See: Progress Chart for Whole Class Asynchronous activity for the most part with some synchronous time with students as needed.  See: Progress Chart for Whole Class Synchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides) with VC Platforms as needed

    Asynchronous: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides)

    Synchronous with Remote Students: Collaborative Tools (Google Docs or Google Slides) with VC Platforms as needed

    Adapted from Active Learning While Physically Distancing by Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner at Louisiana State University with collaborative input from various groups, including members of the LSU LTC and the POD Network. Licensed under a Creative Commons