4. Be engaging


Engagement refers to the degree of interest or curiosity students show when learning.


Generally, students who are active, curious and motivated will participate more fully and learn better.


Encourage active learning

  • Use interactivity: Multimedia, Moodle lessons and quizzes, H5P activities.
  • Provide opportunities for students to work together (see 3. Be Hive-minded.)
  • Offer lower anxiety ways for students to contribute and check their own understanding in and out of class, e.g. Zoom polls or Xorro Q quizzes can be anonymous, an anonymous forum for questions about the course.
  • Ask questions, and encourage students to ask you and each other questions too.
  • In synchronous sessions, encourage students to use the chat box and/or use anonymous real time Moodle quizzes, Zoom polls, or online personal response tools such as Menti or Kahoot

Focus on the why

  • “Sell” each topic to students by explaining what’s in it for them.
  • Highlight connections between the course and real life, e.g. students’ lives, future professional identity or current events.

Help students fit their learning into the bigger picture

  • Consider including recap of the important point from previous class and ending with a review of the most crucial point, which allow you to take advantage of the recency effect.
  • Use Moodle’s activity completion tracking feature to help students get a sense of completion as they progress through the tasks in the course.I

Up the interest factor

  • Offer students choice so they can feel some ownership and tailor the learning to their own interests.
  • Open each class with a hook, e.g. a question, a picture, a puzzle, a story, a controversial statement.
  • Make your course visually engaging, e.g. add a relevant course picture to display on the Moodle dashboard, and other images within Moodle activities.
  • Use demonstrations or videos and build in opportunities for student responses or predictions where relevant.
  • Chunking content: Shorter, more focused content tends to be more engaging, e.g. a 60-minute video broken into several shorter segments. (Shorter videos are also easier to record without error or to re-record if you make a blooper!
  • Use humour, e.g.  jokes, cartoons, anecdotes, a blooper roll of video outtakes at the end of the course.