Mike Romalis

Keeping Students Motivated and Engaged

Image of Mike RomalisIn teaching a lab class, I set up small demonstrations that I can do in front of the webcam involving optics and electronics during the lecture. For example, one can setup an oscilloscope to display on webcam or directly on the computer with shared screen. I would use maybe 10 min of each lecture for a demonstration like that. It's not a great substitute for actual hands-on experiments, but at least students get exposed to some aspects of the physical world.

– Mike Romalis, Physics, Faculty

Other Ideas For Keeping Students Motivated And Engaged

  • Meet with students individually if you have the time. Personal connection is important when everything is remote. 
  • Switch back and forth between listening and active learning, or among presentational options: “teacher-fronted,” “share screen,” note-taking in chat, Breakout Rooms. This helps maintain engagement.
  • Engage a variety of activities, so that students are doing new tasks each week. 
  • Give students an activity that allows them to turn off the camera for a short bit of time (i.e. pose a question and give students a few minutes to find relevant quotations). 
  • Engage with virtual space: consider projects in which students follow performances, plays, or operas, many of which have moved online during the pandemic.