In my work as a graduate Tech TA, I’ve been asked to help a group with enhancing their online courses hosted in Canvas LMS. I think the one great thing any instructor can do to improve the engagement of online learning for their students is to add interactivity. Video has become one of the more common tools to add a level of interactivity to courses and can even be created by the educator. Some examples of good uses of video are, visually explaining a process, or demonstrating conflict resolution through a scenario. And it’s best to link to an external site when possible so as not to overload the LMS.
But video is just the beginning when thinking in terms of interactivity. Learners who are digital natives expect more from their learning experience than just passively watching a video. They want to interact with media to stay engaged. But many college professors are products of a generation when reading a text was the way information was assimilated. So the onus is on the educator to spice up their online courses with opportunities for the student to interact.
A new tool, called Flipgrid combines video and discussion. The instructor generates the discussion with a video and students contribute by creating video responses. This is a great way to get students involved in a discussion and watches up the level of interactivity in a course. The interface is intuitive and very user friendly. Plus, there are several support videos available on the site. I really think this is a worthwhile tool and well worth checking out.