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Students Gathered with Devices

Making the Most of Virtual Classrooms

by Jeff Campbell

University Business

Article excerpt

Three ways to make the virtual classroom personal

Going digital doesn’t have to mean creating an impersonal academic experience. Far from it. The challenge in creating a virtual classroom setting is how to do so while making it…focused on the student’s experience.

Our take

Engaging Online: Making the Impersonal, Personal

As instructors move to more use of online learning, they are challenged to ensure that this learning doesn’t become overly impersonal; finding ways to engage students virtually can boost learning outcomes. J. Jeffrey Campbell, director of the San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management School’s Master’s Program, is finding ways to make the online learning environment more personal by limiting the number of students to allow for more interaction and offering students opportunities to engage with other class members “offline.” What other best practices could be applied to boost engagement in online learning environments?

One of the challenges with educational settings that are entirely, or primarily, online, is that students may feel like “just a number,” Campbell points out. Educators have an opportunity to serve as mentors and coaches in this environment and should seek ways to make the interactions more personal and, ultimately, more meaningful.