Welcome to the Engaging Students Series (ESS) Resource Book! Each chapter of this book will include recordings, slides, and relevant links mentioned in each ESS session. For more information on the series and to view upcoming topics and registration links, please visit the Engaging Students Series webpage.

Each ESS workshop aims to help faculty:

  1. understand pedagogical principles behind engaging students in online environments.
  2. identify technology resources available to help engage students online in their specific discipline and teaching context.
  3. collaborate, brainstorm, and share ideas related to workshop content with other faculty and support staff in breakout groups.

This open education resource is published under a Creative Commons license. Please feel free to use, adapt, modify, and share these resources unless otherwise noted.

To navigate through this book, use the “Previous” and “Next” links at the bottom left and right of the page, or switch between chapters by clicking the “Contents” link in the upper left.

Engaging Students Series Background and Details

Penn State announced on April 15, 2020, that its summer courses would be delivered in an online format instead of face-to-face. The timing provided roughly one month of preparation time for instructors to reformat their lessons and content for virtual delivery. To support that effort and equip faculty with best practices for online instruction, Penn State’s Teaching and Learning with Technology group developed the Engaging Student Series (ESS).

The ESS workshops were adapted from the BlendLT program and designed to help faculty explore opportunities to engage students in an online environment. The initial ESS consisted of four workshop sessions that focused on planning for student engagement and using synchronous content, asynchronous content, and assessment to engage students.

After one year and 38 sessions on 18 topics, ESS attendance has topped over 1,700 faculty, staff, and administrators, and recordings have been viewed more than 500 times. That popularity and the continuing need to deliver engaging online coursework means that ESS will continue to be offered and expand to include additional workshops that will dive deeper into specific ways to engage students in the online space.

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Engaging Students Series Resources by Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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