Strategies to Increase Student’s Engagement and Tips to Develop Online Courses

A TILT Podcast Overview

Our first podcast in the Innovation in Instructional Design Special Series was an episode done by our very own Seung Gutsch. She interviews Dr. Ed Vengrouski, an associate professor in the department of Management. He shares he experiences and design for his course MBA 821, Organizational Behavior in a Global Context, beside Dr. LeAnn Brown.

To begin the episode, Seung asks Dr. Vengrouski to give background on himself and his experience. He tells her about his 9 year career with FHSU, working first in China and now with online courses. He is currently teaching full time in the MBA department, more specifically, MBA 821. Opening the course was a surprise to him and he decided to team together with Dr. LeAnn Brown, based on her own experiences and expertise in the area.

Team development something we at TILT are beginning to see often, and beneficial in many ways. Dr. Vengrouski states:

Our department chair was really impressed by the opportunity to learn and share with one another, and what we learned from the Instructional Designers to give us tools that we had not been using. It was a great opportunity for the both of us to not only bring our experience together, but also to sit down every week with the course designers and be coached on things we could consider to make the course a lot better.

Working together allowed Dr. Vengnrouski and Dr. Brown to complement each other in areas of International Business and Organizational Behavior. They divided the course from day one, trying to find a textbook that fit just right with their narrative and became the foundation of the course.

The goal was to bring this course to life. Sticking to the following steps was important to this redesign:

  1. Structure the course smoothly week to week by building concepts.
  2. Include instructor-guided discussions and integrating tools (like Yellowdig).
  3. Supplement with journal articles to fit the needs of the content.
  4. Make sure the students were staying active within the modules, teaching one another and sharing.

Dr. Vengrouski discusses the importance of keeping the course interesting and making it relevant for students.

Modules were kept in mind to make sure that the content was a part of the student journey, allowing the topics and conversations to flow that were applicable to what was going on in the student’s lives at the time of this, so they knew how to apply it. He states “if the faculty are not engaging, the students are not coming to class” which was a basis to how the information was provided to students.

The Instructional Designers at TILT added value to the course development process.

As Seung and Dr. Vengrouski continue their conversation, it is discussed that he and Dr. Brown really enjoyed learning from this course development experience and knew that they themselves were also learning from the process. They both walked away with being able to connect the dots between learning outcomes, learning objectives, program outcomes and seeing it all come full circle became a great experience. After going through this, they are able to take what they learned back to the MBA department and will continue to encourage work with TILT to many others.

Everyone should have an opportunity to redesign course and have that experience that we did of dusting off the cobwebs and learning new styles and techniques and learning why…. we’ll be back.

To listen to this episode click play below or go to our FHSU TILT Talk page.

TILT Talk E10: Strategies to Increase Students' Engagement and Tips to Develop Online Courses

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