Student Engagement in the HyFlex Environment
Most definitions of engagement reference the relationship between student activity (in the form of attention, interest, and curiosity) and motivation. Learning improves when students are inquisitive, interested, or inspired and that learning tends to suffer when students are bored, dispassionate, disaffected, or otherwise "disengaged."
How can we assess engagement in a HyFlex environment? We will have students in our face-to-face classrooms wearing masks, remote online and asynchronous. How can we tell they are following along, participating, actively listening, and understanding?
These are a few tips and tools that can be used to help navigate student engagement in your HyFlex courses.
Blackboard Reports & Activity Data
- Logins – to view login and activity go Control Panel > Performance Dashboard to view a listing of student course access, discussion board posts and grades
- Discussion Forum: Participation in discussions can be viewed in the discussion board and performance dashboard
- To view individual student posts to the Discussion Forum
- Select all threads and click on the Collect button above the threads
- Sort by Author’s (student’s last names)
- Posts will be sorted in the order you selected
- To view discussion activity in Performance Dashboard
- Go to Control Panel > Evaluation > Performance Dashboard
- Find the student and click on the number in the discussion board column
- The next page will list all discussion posts by that students
- Assignment submissions – can be viewed in the Grade Center by selects Assignments view instead of Full Grade Center.
- NOTE: It is always helpful to create all assignments using the Blackboard Assignment tool. Makes for easier grading, use of rubrics, annotations and feedback to the students.
- Set up with Multiple Attempts allowing for drafts, feedback and improved final submissions. This is a great method to increase student engagement with feedback
- Course Reports are very useful in helping to identify overall course and individual student activity
- Example: All User Activity Inside Content Area
- Click on the dropdown chevron in the title and select Run
- Select Format (PDF, HTML, Excel, Word) and Start/End Dates
- Select individual or all users
- Click Submit – you will receive a detailed report listing activity in Content areas as a whole and by individual students.
Written standard of excellence
We see this in organizations, universities, medical facilities, and more. Have you ever done this for your course?
- What are your expectations for the students and what can they expect from you? Do you have class attendance requirements posted in your Syllabus and Blackboard?
- Does your Syllabus clearly describe what, where, when and whys for your course?
- Do you ask your students if they have any questions about your expectations of them?
- Do you ask your students to share their expectations?
- Do you include Lesson Objectives as well as overall Course objectives?
- Do you include Rubrics for Assignment?
- Do you have participation expectations as a part of the course? If so, how is it documented, assessed, are their points … Adding specifics to the participation is helpful for students to understand what participation means and looks like.
Supported Students are Successful Students
The following are some suggestions to help support our students in this HyFlex environment, which is probably new to most.
- Office hours, flexible times and easy to schedule
- FAQs for those common questions that get asked, discussion forums work well for this
- Frequent Blackboard announcements
- Open discussions forums for in and outside of class participation
- Student feedback
- Blackboard or Qualtrics surveys
- Muddiest point - Bb Journal, Quiz
- One-minute paper) starting within the first 2-3 weeks and throughout semester – Bb Journal
- Instructor feedback on assignments, projects and tests
- Groupwork in Blackboard includes a variety of tools and is a great way to bring a team together to solve problems, discuss, and assess each other and themselves.