Hiding a message somewhere on the module page on the VLE is a good way to entice students in. It is behaviouristic but effective! The novelty will fade over time but it can be useful in the first few weeks of creating a new behaviour – i.e. engaging with the VLE.
In the midst of some text on the VLE you want students to engage with (e.g. the current week’s blog task or the assessment details), write an offer – “If you complete this question [xxx] and email me you could win this VLE week’s prize” for example. This could be the promise of a small gift or an experience – you can choose.
Each week you could hide it within different areas of the pages where key work you wish students to engage with is located.
Make sure they don’t just skim read to find it – they need to complete the associated task you have set to be eligible.
The task could be a question about the assessment criteria or a blog post.
You may want to (or need to if no-one notices it) inform students that you are doing this. It will remain effective if you don’t do it every week but make it more random. If one of the prizes could be a great opportunity such a tickets to a hot gig or a backstage pass etc. then you increase the incentive for students to engage. You may offer multiple winners or just one. It is worth asking the college for any incentives they have that you can use for this task.
Large Group Teaching:
This will work well with all group sizes.
If all your teaching is online anyway, this may not be such an issue. However, you could still use the idea to encourage students to access tasks, extra resources or even challenge tasks that they may otherwise avoid.
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