In a landscape where online instruction has become more commonplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some faculty face challenges associated with operating in an online environment.

Even to those remote instruction veterans, there is certainly an element of frustration that can exist when it comes to finding unique ways to engage students as an online instructor.

The following 5 tips can help you to be an innovative online instructor who engages students:

1. Assess the level of student engagement

This can be done individually or collectively by observing the types of interactions you are having with your students. Consider if your current students tend to want to have discussions or are your discussions like pulling teeth? Are you struggling to get the students to interact with each other or with you?

Classes tend to have a mix of students who have clear preferences for interacting in different ways. Some students consistently turn their cameras on, while others prefer not to ever show their faces. There are students who participate, but you will never hear their voices. These are the students who interact by using the chat feature in the live classroom. Then there are students who prefer to communicate with you, but do not like to interact with their peers.

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

About the Author:

Dr. Katharine Bentham is a full-time remote Associate Professor at Rasmussen University, where she has a passion for the inclusion of innovation in the classroom and has a student-centric style where she strives to provide tools that will help students be successful in work situations. Her philosophy is to transition course topics from conceptual to actionable.