Other topics and tools we discussed in the session...

Requested Resources from Workshop Participants

Free audio editing software:


Free Course Management System:

A place to share educational material:


"Generational Learning Styles" by Julie Coates

Free phone conversation recorder:

Session Abstract

Research has shown that student satisfaction, faculty satisfaction and learning outcomes are all enhanced through the cultivation of learning communities in online classes. At the University of Illinois Springfield, we employ a variety of effective practices to engage the instructor with learners and the learners with other learners in online classes. These practices involve specific strategies included in the instructional design, two-way (Web 2.0) technologies, and coordination of activities. Methodologies range from the use of peer mentors to time-proven online activities to the use of innovative technologies to build and sustain the learning community through the semester. Those attending the session will engage in assessing the strategies, technologies and activities as well as suggest others that we all may consider. There are a number of ways to help establish a sense of community: time allotment, support, validation, similarities, peer mentors , and multimedia feedback such as podcasting.

The Machine is Us/ing Us!

Sloan-C Effective Practices for Student Satisfaction

Deborah Antoine
, Instructional Design Specialist, OTEL, UIS
Kandice Biggs, Writing Specialist and Composition Instructor, UIS
Vickie Cook, Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership, UIS
Emily Welch, Instructional Design Specialist, OTEL, UIS

Online Student Engagement to build communities

In 2006 the National Survey of Student Engagement began to gather data regarding the perceptions of college students level of engagement in online classrooms and how this compared to their perceptions of engagement in face-to-face classrooms. E-learners who participated in this survey reported higher levels of engagement and levels of statisfaction with their courses than did their face-to-face counterparts. More information available at: http://insidehigered.com/layout/set/print/news/2006/11/13/nsse

Peer Mentoring Program and Online Tutoring Program

Role as peer mentor:


  • Peer mentor in PAC 442 (Internet and the American Life) (2x)
  • Peer mentor in PSY 323 (Adolescence Psychology) (3x)

Role to students

  • Assisted students with course related questions via the BB discussion forum and e-mail
  • Responded to students on the discussion forum to stimulate discussion and model appropriate feedback

Role to instructor

  • Forwarded student questions when necessary
  • Monitored and evaluated BB discussion board participation

Important Tips

  • Establish a relationship with the instructor and students
  • Know expectations of the instructor for the students and peer mentor
  • Know the boundaries between the peer mentor and students

Online tutoring program to support our online students:

Blackboard one-to-one tutoring appointments

  • Meet with tutor in student’s group page via the discussion forum
  • Post assignment instructions and assignment
  • Give feedback in asynchronous communication to work with students who cannot meet on campus or at a common time with the tutor

Elluminate one-to-one tutoring appointments

  • Meet with tutor in tutor’s V-Room
  • Share work via the application sharing feature in Elluminate
  • Give feedback in synchronous communication to work with student who cannot meet on campus but can meet at a common time with the tutor

Elluminate online workshops

  • Meet with group of students who register for a workshop
  • Instruct with PowerPoint slides imported into the white board
  • Interact with students by asking them questions about the slides and asking them to apply what they’ve learned via the white board