Student/Teacher Interaction in Online Courses

-Samantha Fitch

This week I am excited to write about my newfound teaching help via technology. By “help”, I should clarify that I feel like it is helping me to improve my online course. With the assistance of TeLS (thanks Thatcher) I am using Panopto (the name reminds me of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, but that’s another blog post) to provide feedback on student essays. Since Essay 1 was just due, it was perfect timing for me to try it out. I edited their papers, then made a video with explanations for my edits. If there were questions about grammar, I made a separate video for them about that. I feel so good about being able to use this tool, because as we all know, online students often don’t get a lot of student/teacher interaction. I also feel like it’s easy for the students to just glance over my edits and comments (and we all know how many hours we put into grading, so I really want them to read them) without really absorbing the information. I don’t put the grade on the paper, just because I know that the students are just looking for that, but it’s still obvious that it’s too easy to ignore the comments. I’ll also use Panopto to make videos explaining assignments, and giving mini lectures. 

How else do you professors of online courses implement student/teacher interaction? I’m thinking of a few options, like setting up in-person meetings, maybe making them use video on discussion boards or for an assignment to introduce themselves… any ideas? I’d love to incorporate some ideas!

2 thoughts on “Student/Teacher Interaction in Online Courses

  1. To answer your question at the end, anything with your face and your voice will be worth WAY more that a bunch of text. I think that you already perceived that though. 🙂 Along those lines, would it be worth more if we posted a video of us talking rather than ‘posting’ our thoughts? -hmmm, Thatcher?! Keep up the good work!

  2. Great ideas, Samantha! I’ve just recently started using the ‘mark it up’ tool on papers in Canvas, but I have yet to provide audio or video feedback, I need to do that!!! I’ve offered Zoom office hours but have yet to have a student take advantage. I have a required Zoom meeting for students to present their final projects at the end of the semester – they have 3 different options for times – and I will see how that goes. I’ve had optional Zoom meetings in the past, but only had a few people attend. Thanks for sharing!

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