This week on the BRIGHT podcast, I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Chris Harrington, who serves as the director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, where he leads a team of researchers who study the most effective practices for online and blended learning.
This year, Chris’ research team released a landmark study — “Key Strategies for Engaging Students in Virtual Learning Environments” — based on a survey of over 1,800 virtual educators from 17 state virtual programs that are part of the nationwide Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance.
Chris and his team are hopeful that the findings of this study can ignite a larger conversation on how educators can leverage the expertise of these seasoned virtual instructors to help boost the engagement of online learners everywhere.
In this episode, we chat about:
- Why student engagement served as such a challenge during “pandemic teaching”
- Common misconceptions about online learning
- The findings of his team’s latest study on student engagement in online learning
- The balance between synchronous and asynchronous instruction in the online learning environment
- Advice for teachers looking to try new strategies for keeping students motivated in a virtual learning environment
- Research: Key strategies for engaging students in virtual learning environments
- Research: Michigan voices: An in-depth look at the experiences of educators, students, & parents during emergency remote learning
- Webinar: Engaging students when learning from home
- Explore: Keep Michigan Learning: Free resources for Michigan educators
- Free PD series: Transitioning to Remote Teaching
- Virtual workshop: Moving forward: A 2021 virtual workshop for school teams and teachers