Engagement in online environments: A balancing act for faculty, students, and support staff
Tuesday, June 26 6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Presider:Douglass Scott, Waseda University, Japan
The growth rate of students choosing online education is much greater than that of the overall student body enrolled in higher education institutions (Allen & Seaman, 2014). Along the same lines, the percentage of undergraduate students taking at least one online course in degree-granting programs increased from 8% in 2000 to 20% in 2008 (Radford, 2011). Causes attributes to this significant increase relate to having greater numbers of non-traditional students attending college, more emphasis by employers on marketable skills included in college curricula, increased competition in the higher education arena, and accessibility and affordability concerns affecting American families when it comes to sending their children to college. Under these circumstances, the purpose of this presentation is to highlight the various layers of engagement in online education that involve students and instructors in both a mediated, interpersonal as well as self-driven reflective manner. Additionally, the learning management system and the entire institutional support structures and processes should be taken into account when designing and implementing virtual learning environments rich in engagement opportunities. Various strategies and effective practices will be presented to converge toward the conclusion that flexible curricular design has to be coupled with student-centered pedagogy that captures the essence of online learning.