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An ongoing theme during my learning to create engaging courses online is adding in the human element. When adding course content to Canvas the readings have stressed the importance of showing your students that you are human. They recommend providing students with videos throughout the course content on Canvas. Research has shown that students engage less with professionally edited videos, this was shocking to me. I really found this fact to be so surprising but the more I thought about it the more I understood the reasoning behind it. It is important to not edit out mistakes when you are recording content to post online as it makes your video more authentic if the stumbles and pauses are present throughout. Canvas provides the tools necessary to embed videos straight into canvas and in any part of your course that you see fit.

Remembering that students can easily disengage during online courses is important. Including these videos and readings are valuable but students have become so great at doing the bare minimum in an online class to succeed. When I think about my experiences during online classes, I must admit that I also fall into this pattern of only doing the necessary aspects as we all have so much going on in our lives. Holding students accountable to ensure they are learning the necessary content and achieving the course objectives requires some forms of assessment. Including mini quizzes at the end of videos or grading discussions are a couple examples of how the students will be held accountable and hopefully will result in increased learning. Important to remember to actively and intentionally engage students. Discussion board facilitation is required from the professor. It is important to participate in some way (e.g. provide discussion forum summaries) so the students see you are invested in the discussions. Just as during a class, as a professor, you would not just walk out and allow your students to discuss the course content, the same expectations apply with online learning.

Remember to engage students and provide human elements throughout your online course or online learning platform.