Creating real-time connections in online courses

Awardees: Adrienne Phelps-Coco and Karina Lin (DCE)

Summary: Awardees evaluated types of interactivity between faculty and students and generated a resource guide of best practices to assist instructors in interacting with online and residential students in Canvas.

Photo: Interface for Canvas Connections

Members of Harvard Division of Continuing Education’s course design team, Adrienne Phelps-Coco and Karina Lin, with the help of a research assistant, evaluated interactive tools and methods in Canvas and conducted in-depth interviews with instructional designers, faculty, and students across Harvard. Based on extensive feedback about the challenges and opportunities faced when faculty and students connect online, the team developed a web-based resource guide for enhancing student engagement through Canvas.

The website shares best practices for connecting with students, fostering peer connections, feedback and assessment, and managing expectations. Embedded within each category are helpful tips such as pointers for Canvas tools including: ice breakers, online surveys, grading tips, and communication plans.