Presentations (Communicative Events)

Strategies for successfully engaging all students in live synchronous online classes

Marquart, Matthea S.

A December 2016 study in Psychological Science found that residential students who bring laptops to class frequently use the Internet for nonacademic use, which results in lower class performance. Another study referenced in Fast Company in March 2016 noted that just knowing you have an unread email in your inbox can temporarily lower your IQ by 10 points. How, then, can we discourage students from browsing the Internet or looking at their email when they are attending class on their computer because the course is online? How can we keep their attention focused on the class?
At Columbia University’s School of Social Work, we are in our second year of our fully online MSW program. Our courses are taught via weekly live classes hosted in Adobe Connect for 90-120 minutes and led by a course instructor with an associate facilitator and a technical support specialist. In order to engage our students in these classes, instructors use online tools and teaching strategies to make the class sessions interactive.
This poster shares active learning tools and strategies for online classrooms. These include creative uses of typed chat, formal & informal polling, webcam, on-screen drawing, live note-taking pods, and breakout rooms.
This poster draws from the presenter’s personal experience teaching the fall 2016 online course Macro Community Practice, as well as the following peer-reviewed chapter: Marquart, M., Fleming, M., Rosenthal, S., & Hibbert, M. (2016, March). Instructional Strategies for Synchronous Components of Online Courses. In S. D’Agustino (Ed.), Creating Teacher Immediacy in Online Learning Environments. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Thank you to the following online instructors for contributing quotes: Mashura Akilova, Johanna Baez, Beth Counselman-Carpenter, Amelia Ortega, John Robertson, and Steven Schinke.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Published Here
March 13, 2017


Poster presented at the Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning's 2017 Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium. March 6, 2017.