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Do your students need a chance to revisit concepts and content from past modules? Is there more to say about topics already discussed?

Online Fashion Journalism Instructor Alexey Bulokhov (FSH 313: Style Icons and Fashion Objects), has a solution. He noted that his class had

no designated outlet for students (or me as an instructor) to share insights, resources, references or experiences that pertain to modules already covered. Earlier discussion threads close. New module discussion threads don't seem like a proper space to bring up "oh and by the way, here is the latest article or image relevant to four modules ago." One does not want to derail the conversation from that week's topic.

So as a compliment to the "First Impressions" discussion thread Alexey set up at the beginning of the semester, he added a new optional discussion topic after midterm.  

topic title: Circle Back to...

topic Description:

Sometimes after a module closes, I come across something I wish I could share... Am I the only one?!

Welcome to a designated space for coming back to ideas we've already covered...

CIRCLE BACK TO ... 

    • Did you see something relevant?

    • Did you get a better-late-than-never insight? 

    • Did you discover a great resource or another awesome example?

Please share your ideas here.

In most cases, Alexey notes, [the comments in this topic consisted of] information or reactions that could have been missed otherwise... [They] provided opportunity for ungraded peer-to-peer interaction and pressure-less feedback options and gave [students] a space/tools to build on learned information at their pace over time...

Overall, the "First Impressions" and "Circle Back To..." discussion threads generated 210 additional responses from my students. I calculated that the semester's average number of discussion posts per module was 55, so this equals almost four (!) weeks worth of additional engagement.

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  • After midterm is a great time to re-energize your students by offering something new and engaging. Try Alexey's idea — or check out our tips for Icebreakers & Refreshers.



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5 Comments

  1. Have you tried this? Or some other strategy to get students re-engaged? Please post a comment and tell us about your experience!

  2. This is a great tip! I'm definitely going to try the 'circling back' strategy once Mid-term grades have been submitted. Much appreciated!

  3. Yes, 100% agree! I will be sharing with our WRI course authors and instructors.

    Thanks, Jenny!

  4. Great idea! I will try this after midterm grades as well, thanks for sharing!

  5. I look forward to hearing how it works for you all!