A number of tools can help boost collaboration as students and teachers strive for maximum engagement during online learning

Creative engagement: Instructor and student tools for collaboration


A number of tools can help boost collaboration as students and teachers strive for maximum engagement during online learning

As college students embark on a fall semester like none other, so do instructors. The pandemic challenged both to succeed in an online setting, but now that the initial stress is over, it is time to do more than sink or swim. It is time to build a steam-liner.

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Student engagement in an online or blended setting can be challenging, but as a freshman writing faculty member at Berkeley College, while studying computer-based formative assessment for my dissertation, I have discovered several tools to help first-year and transfer students engage in the learning material both synchronously and asynchronously. These tools help students display their learning easily and creatively.

● Zoom Class Sessions
● Google Forms
● Screencast-o-matic
● Google Drive

First, I have learned that holding weekly or biweekly Zoom sessions gives students consistency, collaboration, and connection.

Dylan Wiliam, known for his work in formative assessment, stated in Embedded Formative Assessment (2017), “…the thing that really matters in feedback is the relationship between the student and the teacher. . . Ultimately, when you know your students and your students trust you, you can ignore all the ‘rules’ of feedback. Without that relationship, all the research in the world won’t matter.”

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