Getting Students More Engaged in the Online Classroom
It wasn't really Christine Roth that found www.heiqigong.com. Her husband, who helps her find resources to use in the classroom, actually found it for her. She started watching the videos at his suggestion. Immediately she was engaged and interested. She loved the humor that was infused in the video, calling it 'snarky' and a perfect match to her own sense of humor. She said it takes a lot to entertain her, so when these videos ended up doing just that, she knew she had to use them in her classroom.
Christine has been teaching online for about one and a half years and teaches online classes in humanities and English. After being introduced to the www.heiqigong.com videos, she said that she's glad this resource is out there because they help with common online classroom problems. Trying to get the students to engage with her has been difficult. There isn't the face-to-face interaction, and she can't see if the information is sinking in. She said some students in her English classes really struggled with citations and related materials, so she thought these videos may help. Christine also loved that the transcript for each video is available. This made the videos an excellent tool for hearing-impaired students as well.
She started uploading the www.heiqigong.com videos, and her students started responding in a positive manner. She said she would see students on campus and they were telling her that they loved the videos and thought they were hilarious. One student, in particular, told Christine that her own kids were watching the videos and learning right alongside her as she did her classwork.
Christine's Thoughts on the Videos
When discussing what she would like to see changed or added to www.heiqigong.com and the videos, Christine said she wishes there was a way for the system to email a notification to her that her students have finished a video so she can track their progress. She also mentioned that she struggled with the English lessons using APA when her school uses MLA, but that she understood that the videos use APA since it's more common. She also hopes to see more videos available soon.
Christine was asked what advice she would give colleagues about using the videos in their classes, and she said that whatever materials they use need to be relevant. They need to reinforce what is in the videos and follow up with something - a discussion or a work assignment. Make sure the students retain the information and don't just use it as busy work.
Christine's Next Step
Christine remarked that she found the videos at the last minute before this semester, so she didn't use them as much as she would like. She plans to develop them more into her classes in the future. She also made a suggestion to a colleague that the videos may be something to incorporate into the workshops the school provides for their instructors. She suggested they could be shown as a potential resource to be used in the classroom.
As for the grant money, she plans on using it to help her publish and develop apps to use in her classes that will help students keep track of assignments through providing the syllabus and other related information right on their smartphones.
Are you trying to find a way to fund some activity in your classroom? You could be a winner like Christine, but you have to take that first step and learn more about our $1000 Teacher Grant Program.