Online Learning Activity Ideas

Collaborative Document Creation #

  • Ask students to work together in groups to create some sort of reference document relevant to the course
  • Use Google docs, Microsoft Teams, other collaborative software

Ways to deploy this idea:

    • Graded group project to be submitted
    • Breakout group activity in a live class
      • Groups work on their section of a common group document so that the end result is a collection of everyone’s thoughts that they can then have as a reference document after class
      • See Miro for a collaborative whiteboard

Poll-Debate-Poll #

  • Pioneered by Professor Dilip Soman, students are polled for their opinion on a controversial topic
  • They then watch a video of two experts debating the question
  • Poll students again after watching the video and check for changes in opinion

Minute Papers #

  • After learning a topic via video, reading, slides, ask students to take one minute to write their immediate thoughts
  • Ungraded
  • Helps students organize their thinking
  • Submit as an ungraded assignment, or allow them to keep for themselves

Portfolio Learning #

  • Ask students to do a number of activities throughout the term (e.g. minute papers, vlogs, blogs, etc.) and curate them into a learning portfolio
  • Students then have a concise package of their learning activities when the course ends
  • Students can then utilize it as a reference document

Breakouts #

  • Breakout sessions can be used in various ways including 1:1 negotiations and small group discussions
  • Give students a role and a scenario or fact pattern and ask them to break-out and do some role playing, then report back

Discussion Boards #

  • Pose a question or ask students to respond to something they’ve read
  • Example: ask them to make one post per week and comment on two of their peers’ posts
  • Could be a weekly assignment throughout the duration of the course worth x%
  • Instructor can grade each post/response to ensure comments are thoughtful. If ungraded students won’t invest effort
  • Instructor needs to engage daily to some extent, making corrective comments, encouraging students, etc.

Knowledge Check Quizzes #

  • Simple multiple choice comprehension quizzes following passive learning experiences e.g watching a video
  • No need for too many questions and they shouldn’t be particularly tricky
  • Want students to be able to test and demonstrate their understanding but also build their confidence in their comprehension