Learning Engagement

About Me

The first step I take in my online courses in order to connect with the class, is to introduce myself in a video in which I talk about myself, my family, and my interests. I then ask students to do the same. I show them the various ways they can stay in touch with me, the class, and outline clear expectations for response time.

New About Me Slide

Class Connection

Discussion boards are not only for course or content questions or assignments, but also as an avenue to discuss topics that are personally relevant. As various disorders are discussed, students often have a personal experience to share, and this is welcomed in an accepting, respectful online environment. Rich conversations often times develop from this, both student to instructor, and student to student, that the whole class benefits from as the example below demonstrates. I would also like to point out that responding to each other’s posts was not a requirement for this assignment, so I was very pleased to see this organic conversation take place!

Discussion board convo2

Group Interaction

[rev_slider groupme]A recent change in CSD 115 was to make lab assignments eligible for group work submission. This was a direct result from student feedback and one that fosters peer interaction. Of course, students may submit individually as well, leaving the choice completely up to the students. Each semester, several groups take advantage of this and have produced a strong finished product.

Another recent upgrade was the use of the group messaging app, “GroupMe.” This mobile app allows students to enter a private chat right from their phone to attend study sessions before an exam, get clarification on assignments, or ask quick course questions without needing to be logged into the course on their computer. It’s free, optional, and discussions can be reviewed at any time. It’s another technology tool to encourage discussion, interaction, and fosters our online community. Study sessions are led by the course’s teaching assistant, and students can enter/exit the discussion as needed. User attendees typically increase as the semester progresses, and it has receiving positive feedback.


The comments below reflect that students feel engaged in my online classes. In addition, I have discovered that students also use http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ to evaluate my instruction.

Excerpts from CSD 115 & 304 course evals, 2013-2015

Student Quotes

“Dr. Musser is a great teacher! She is fast to respond to emails and really gives us lots of activities to help us understand concepts.”

“She clarifies information and gives great examples.”

“She is very good at giving feedback to make sure we understand material we will need for our future classes and careers.”

“She did a great job working with me on completing assignments. I think she was really approachable and that’s important.”

“She cares about how well students are doing in class.”

“She knows the material she is teaching and not only does she know it, but she also knows what it is like to struggle with this course. So she has things like rhymes and graphs that she has created that helped her when she was taking this course as well!”