Engaged Students are Learning Students

Engaging students in online courses can be challenging.

These are my notes and links from my appearance at the May 16, 2024 SUNY Online Teaching Webinar Series – Engaging students in Online Math-Related Courses.

Engaged Students:  A collage of four students working at their computers.
Engaged Students: Images via Pexels.com by Ivan Samkov, Olia Danilevich, and Andrea Piaquadio.

Engagement using Discussion Forums

Getting students to interact with each other is a key form of engagement. I include several types of forums in Brightspace.

  • Introduce Yourself
  • Chapter Forums
  • Lab Forums
    • “Best Shot” Projectile
  • General Forum
  • Suggestion Box

Physics and Math Resources

Here are some links to resources for physics and math info and demonstrations.

DIY Interactivity

There are many options for building your own interactive materials. Here are two of the ones that I use.

Growth Activities

No one gets it on the first try. I allow students to correct their mistakes and/or try again on many of my assessments.

  • Homework – 5 Attempts
  • Quizzes – 2 Attempts
  • Exam Corrections


Communication is key, especially in online asynchronous courses.

  • Weekly Announcements
  • Module Introductions
  • Daily Email Check(s)
  • Daily Discussion Check(s)

Future Plans and Improvements

  • Create more h5p follow-up activities for formative assessment.
  • Make more open-ended discussion forum questions (AI ideated)
    • Metacognition
    • “What I Learned”
  • Start using Intelligent Agents in Brightspace to remind and poke students.
  • Explore Social Annotation


Engaging students in online courses can be challenging. I hope the discussion in the webinar was helpful and inspiring. Go out and engage your students.