3 tips on how to activate students in an online lecture

3 tips on how to activate students in an online lecture

Imagine you have three hours, one computer screen and 15 international students connecting from various locations. Your goal is to engage them with the content and apply their new knowledge. Read below about 3 tips that worked well.

For the past two years I am a guest lecturer at Rome Business School Master of Fashion Management for the topic Branding, Naming and Corporate Guidelines. So far the lecture took place on-campus in Rome. Last week’s lecture was virtual: Me lecturing from The Netherlands, and international students attending from various countries: 🇫🇷, 🇹🇷, 🇵🇱, 🇮🇩, 🇦🇱, 🇺🇾, 🇬🇷, 🇲🇦, 🇭🇺, 🇷🇺, 🇱🇧, 🇧🇷.

How to engage students in an online lecture

Compared to interaction in the classroom, a digital environment is definitively more challenging due to limitations in interaction – the only mutual communication tool was the chat.

Here are three tips on how to engage students in an online lecture:

  1. Address students individually: right at the beginning, catch the attention of each individual students. What I did was including the local translations to greet my students in their mother tongue.
  2. Connect theory to their own experience: in the introduction part of the lecture I asked my students about their favorite fashion brand they’re wearing today and how the brand makes them feel. The information I received, paired with the location from question 1, helped me to include several real-life examples into the middle part of the lecture.
  3. Inspire them to share their ambition: at the end of the lecture, I asked students about their career ambition after graduation. Some wanted to start their own fashion brand, some wanted to work in a certain role in a certain industry. By ending the lecture with a personal context, students get inspired by hearing their peer’s path.
Highlight key content

Extra tip
: in online lecturing environments such as Webex, teachers can highlight key content in their slides with a marker (see screenshot on the left, green text highlights). This interaction helps to focus attention to the spoken explanation of the teacher.

This blog was published before on LinkedIn.