Day 23. 1 Tip I Would Give Anyone Who Wanted To Ensure Students Engagement Online

By Yanina Bellini Saibene in Education Community 100DaysToOffload 30Ship30

May 28, 2024

Notebook with a pencil with the word Notes in the sheet

Foto de David Travis en Unsplash

Do you want to ensure your students engage in your online classes?

I have been teaching online for 5 years now. What I can tell you (from experience) is that to engage your students, you need to practice active teaching, foster active learning, and allow interaction with you and between classmates.

So, here’s the 1 tip I would give you if you wanted to pursue online engagement:

Use a class-shared document for note-taking and exercise problem-solving


  • Note-taking is a form of real-time elaboration: it forces you to organize and reflect on material as it’s coming in, increasing the likelihood that you will transfer it to long-term memory.

  • The notes the learners take are usually more helpful to them than those the teacher would prepare in advance since the learners are more likely to write down what they found new rather than what the teacher predicted would be new.

  • Glancing at recent notes while learners are working on an exercise helps the teacher discover what the class missed or misunderstood.

Exercises and Problem Solving:

  • Create a document with the exercises to solve during the class. You can create more if you have many students or make them work in teams. You split them into breakout rooms if they have to work in a team. 

  • Be clear about how they have to work and for how much time. For example: “We will work on exercise number two for 10 minutes. Read the questions before watching the videos. When you have two minutes left, I will let you know. If you need help, call me.

  • Students enter the document, look for the points they must solve, and work together. Include a list with their names to prevent everyone from trying to edit the same couple of lines simultaneously.

  • As the teacher, I have all the documents open, each in a different tab, and I watch how they answer the questions. Sometimes, I comment on the answers or ask other teams or students to comment on classmates' solutions. 

  • Then, I select a solution that I find interesting to share in discussion with the whole group. I write down on paper which room and question I will ask them to share to discuss with the class.

When I used these tools, 60% of my students rated the class as dynamic, highlighting the use of the document to work in teams or all together, solve exercises, and share notes.  

This is another case example where what makes the difference is not so much being online or face-to-face but adopting active teaching where our students are the protagonists of the class.

Posted on:
May 28, 2024
3 minute read, 441 words
Education Community 100DaysToOffload 30Ship30
Education Community 100DaysToOffload 30Ship30
See Also:
Proyecto 2 - Las Estrellas del Universo R
Project 2 - The Stars of R-Universe
Project 1 - rOpenSci's Code of Conduct and Code of Conduct Committee