Digital Projects from past students

I went through the entire list of past students digital projects on student engagement techniques and watched every one of them. I gained so much knowledge from them all. I have chosen to share 4 of the digital projects that I feel I could use while instructing my program.

One Minute Papers – Cynthia Grant

I really enjoyed this digital project on the One Minute Paper and plan on using this student engagement technique in the future. Here’s how it works.

At the end of the class students are given papers with 2 questions on it.

  1. What is the main point that you learned in class today?
  2. What is your biggest question leaving class today?

Students leave papers on the instructors desk at the end of class for participation marks. Papers are done anonymously. Information is then posted online within a few days for students to access. It gives students time to reflect and think about it a high level. It helps students to retain knowledge and enhances the learning process. Instructors can use the minute papers for feedback on their teaching and look at more effective teaching methods if needed.

I have heard of the One Minute Paper, but I’ve never used it. I think that this is a great student engagement technique. It’s a simple and easy technique to implement into any classroom. While showing a benefit to both student and instructor, it’s a winner!

Think-Pair-Share – Andrea McKenzie

I had never heard of this student engagement technique either. I think it would work well to encourage students to participate in discussions.

The instructor poses questions to the students to think on their own for about 2 mins. Students pair up for 2-5 mins to discuss their answer and together select the best answer to share with the class. Use open-ended questions so that students can recall the information and understand, analyze it and evaluate it. Maximum 4 students per group so that all answers are easily shared.

Pros – Not much prep work or time needed & engages the entire class in discussions. Increases student motivation through personal interaction learning from their peers. Engaging in collaborative learning which is proven to increase learning.

Cons  Students need to be motivated to take part in the learning and the sharing. Use ideas to motivate students-use interesting questions, news articles, cartoons or quotes. You could use student inspired questions or use exam questions.

Another great student engagement technique that I’ve never used. I like the simple, easy to use, no prep techniques. This would encourage quieter students to participate by starting with groups of up to four and then sharing with the entire class.

The Flipped Classroom – Shelly Cantelo

I had never heard of the Flipped Classroom until this PIDP 3250 course. It’s definitely a good student engagement technique to consider, now that I’m aware of all of the benefits. When I first began instructing, I was searching for other techniques to consider, but I had no idea that this even existed.

The Flipped Classroom is a student engagement technique where the lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Laptops and cell phones are used at home to view lectures and in class time is devoted to exercises, projects or discussions. The focus is on active learning, course podcasting, student engagement and hybrid course design. Instructors role in the class is a coach or an advisor encouraging students to work individually &/or collaboratively. More useful in universities with large class sizes.

Pros – students have more control over the lectures

Flexible Environment

Learning Culture

Intentional Content

Professional Educator

Cons – additional work for the instructor & needing new skills, loss of face to face time with the instructor. Students may not value hands-on-learning, limited access to technology needed for the lesson.

Role changes, instructor no longer at the front of the classroom.

Students take on more responsibility for their learning, greater opportunity

Not sure if I’m totally ready for the flipped classroom, but it’s emerging on us. I think maybe a hybrid course would be a great start. I do like the idea of students taking on more responsibility for their learning. My main concern would be whether or not students actually did their reading assignments or watched their lecture videos at home before attending class for the discussion. This could be setting some students up for failure while other more self-regulated students would definitely benefit from this technique.

Story Telling – Jacqueline Bishop

I had never considered Story Telling to be a student engagement technique until I viewed this digital project. Now I do see the value in this technique and hope to incorporate it into my lesson. Here’s a few things to consider.

Focus on the little things you could do to make a difference by telling a story about it. Students remember the stories that were told by their instructors. Using story telling as an instructional strategy is a powerful tool. Story telling can make life and learning more relevant & increase engagement. Students make connections with like-minded characters. It’s important to know your audience, tell a story so that they can make that personal connection to your story. Make sure not to embarrass people, make fun of a culture or a belief. Keep it short, to the point and relevant to the lesson. Use a story to teach and make sure to practice your delivery. Use hand gestures, change pitch, maintain eye contact, use silence and pauses to add dramatic effect.

Pros – gains the learners attention, develops a sense of community, invokes learners curiosity, concentration, imagination and critical thinking, develops rapport and increases learner engagement

Cons – it takes time, preparation and brushing up on your storytelling skills takes time as well

Using Story Telling as a student engagement technique will definitely take time and some practice to get efficient at. It’s probably not the best technique to use if it’s a real struggle to do as an instructor as the story needs to flow smoothly. Possibly with more practice, this technique has it’s value. Students seem to remember these stories whether it’s related to the course you’re instructing or relative to life experiences later on.




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