Professor Queenie Lai, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, delivered a seminar on ‘How to Encourage Student Participation in Online Learning’ on 17 February 2022.
COVID has hit Hong Kong again and learning is back online. Learning must continue even in the most challenging of times – and without any compromise on quality or student engagement.
This seminar is a timely initiative to discuss and reflect practical tips and strategies on how to motivate and engage learners in online learning. Professor Lai examined the keys to student engagement:
In the seminar, Professor Lai gave examples of how to ignite student’s intrinsic motivation and desire to learn. She also highlighted the importance of careful design and planning of active learning exercises for her students. Active learning, as opposed to passive learning, is learner-centered, not teacher-centered and requires more than just listening but active participation of each and every student. She shared her original ‘Client Pitch Project’ as an example of active and deep learning in an online environment.
It is also important to create a sense of community in online learning, given the lack of social interaction before and after class. Students must feel that they belong to a peer community – it will have a significant impact on their learning experiences. Engagement increases when students feel like they ‘belong’. She discussed the need to build opportunities for teamwork, peer interaction and social connection into online course design.
Another key to effective teaching and learning is setting high expectations for students: high expectations in terms of student preparation, fully engaged class participation and development of student responsibility and professionalism. She concluded the seminar sharing practical tips and strategies to promote interactivity in online tutorials and lectures.