I teach primarily online courses in a university setting. Our students are predominately adult students seeking their undergraduate or graduate degree. Keeping adult students engaged in their course work can sometimes be challenging. So many students just want to get their “ticket punched” and get their degree. I believe if we give them some stake in the game, besides getting a passing grade, and have them complete their course work with something useful, they will be more engaged and their learning experience will go beyond just getting through the course and moving to the next course.
The article, “Six Things Faculty Can Do to Promote Student Engagement” provides some insightful suggestions to improving student engagement. The author suggests that to improve student engagement we refine what is considered participation, create positive instructor presence in the class, have time to discuss how learning happens and its importance, give students “stake” in the learning process, create applicable assignments, and learning assessments such as quizzes, finals, and exams as methods to both teach and assess learning. In most of my assessment assignments I allow students to retake the assessment several times so they can learn from their mistakes.