15 Student-to-Course

Student-to-course engagement is all about incorporating best practices related to student learning. Students need to practice what they know. They cannot passively receive information; they need to practice categorizing it, analyzing it, and working with it. The more that students engage in higher-order thinking processes related to your course, the more deeply they will learn. 


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Read Dr. Maryellen Weimer’s short article in Faculty Focus on student engagement. She describes three distinct parts to student engagement with a course:

  • Behavioural Engagement means that the students are conforming to the classroom norms. They are participating in a way that is expected of them (e.g. taking notes, raising their hand, etc.)
  • Emotional Engagement means that the students have a positive attitude toward what they learn.
  • Cognitive Engagement means that they are actively practicing their skills, and potentially doing more than the bare minimum to try and understand the topic at hand.

Student-to-Course Strategies

Here are some suggestions for how to foster student-to-course engagement as you develop your course plan: 

  • Provide multiple ways to engage with the course materials and activities
  • Design practice activities for each instance the student is working on the course
  • Create a case study to help students apply knowledge
  • Add simple interactions (drag and drop, multiple choice) to passive learning material
  • Design a weekly quiz to help students practice retrieving central concepts from the course
  • Plan to use a student response system to poll the room and identify knowledge gaps


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