Online Faculty

Enhancing The Student/Teacher Interaction

Three Strategies To Prevent Student Procrastination And Enhance Student-To-Teacher Interaction

One of the ongoing challenges with online instruction is student procrastination. When students do not have to be at a physical location they can sometimes lose track of time and inevitably fall behind within the course (out of sight out of mind). There are however a few simple strategies that you can employ to prevent student procrastination while also creating opportunities for interaction and, if necessary, intervention to ensure the student's success.

Use those analytics

The Canvas analytics tool provides you with a quick overview of students' progress and global information related to the course. One of its most useful features is the student overview at the bottom. This provides you with a bar graph depiction of the each student's "page views", "participation", and "assignment" status. Once or twice a week its good practice to review this and "hunt for the yellow & red", that is, look for those students with late or missing assignments. Directly from the analytics screen you can then select the student's name to review additional details or simply reach out to the student via email / message.

Canvas Analytics Screenshot 

Use your "assignments" as a communication tool

When you create a Canvas assignment, the gradebook has a feature that allows you to communicate with your students based on specific conditions of that assignment. So for example, you can send a message only to those students who "haven't submitted yet" or "scored less than ____".

This option provides instructors with the opportunity to setup mini-checkpoints within the course, perhaps once a week. You could send a message 24 hours prior to the due date to those who have not submitted or send a message to students who scored lower than a 75 recommended that they go back and review the previous modules. More than anything, this type of custom messaging will let you student know that an instructor is indeed present and monitoring their progress.

Canvas Assignments Screenshot

Use the student Interaction report

The student interaction report is a summary that provides you with the students' grades, any ungraded assignments, and most important for our purposes, the last time the student interacted with you. This is different than the analytics because you can sort by "last interaction" and if needed email the student directly from this page. Alternatively, you can sort by the students' grade and then reach out via message to those students who may be at risk. Like the analytics tool, its good practice to check this one or twice a week to keep a progress check on your students.

Canvas Student Interaction Report Screenshot 

By Lindsey Mercer M.Ed.
USF Online Faculty Development