Elevate the Virtual Classroom

Engaging online instruction can dramatically improve access to and quality of education. To fully realize this potential, institutions must invest in upskilling educators in digital pedagogy in order to maximize student learning and success. The Student Engagement Strategies (SES) Course Series is designed to help educators learn how to facilitate fully active learning in their classrooms, with a special emphasis on virtual environments. From this course, instructors will be able to apply principles from learning science to design courses that maximize student learning, facilitate engaging classroom sessions, and develop rigorous and reliable assessments.

Minerva faculty have rigorous training grounded in learning science and years of experience developing and teaching virtual courses across many disciplinary contexts. Based on our classroom experiences and research, we have identified universal strategies for designing and delivering effective and engaging online courses.

As the only synchronous course available for education professionals, participants will benefit from live, seminar-style instruction with active participation with other participants.

LEARNING OUTCOMES/

Analyze, understand, and apply principles from the science of learning

Practice techniques to facilitate student engagement in virtual and in-person classroom environments

Build strategies for outcomes-based teaching and assessment in virtual and in-person classroom environments

Learn more

Complete the form below to express your interest.

Session Format

The SES Course Series consists of four stand-alone modules. Module 1 is required for participation in all subsequent modules. After completing Module 1, institutions are able to select which subsequent modules, 2-4, best fit their individual needs. Participating institutions may select a version with a practicum component to receive customized, 1:1 feedback from experienced Minerva faculty.

Each session employs a flipped-classroom approach, where participants are required to complete readings and activities before the class meeting in order to promote robust discussion. During the class session, participants will take part in a variety of fully active learning tasks, such as polling, debates, and breakout groups, to engage more deeply with the material and one another. Fully active learning pedagogy has been shown to significantly improve information retention and retrieval compared to lecture-based passive learning. At the end of each session, participants will complete short assignments to apply and reflect upon their learning.

Expected time for each module (2 sessions) is approximately 9 hours. Each session will require 90 minutes for pre-class preparation, 90 minutes of class time, and 90 minutes of post-class assessment work.

Module 1: Essential Elements of Effective Virtual Classrooms *

*Required for all following modules

Session 1 topics:

  • The 16 principles of the science of learning
  • Purpose, relevance, and transfer

Session 2 topics:

  • Building community in the virtual classroom
  • Inclusion in online classrooms

Module 2: Course Planning and Lesson Design for Virtual Classrooms

Session 1 topics:

  • Outcomes-based teaching
  • Define and organize learning goals

Session 2 topics:

  • Frameworks to design synchronous and asynchronous activities
  • Capitalizing on data, cases, simulations, and teamwork online

Module 3: Facilitation Techniques for Virtual Classrooms

Session 1 topics:

  • Bringing lessons to life
  • Effective instructor practices for virtual classrooms

Session 2 topics:

  • Incentivizing preparation and engagement
  • Strategies for keeping an engaging pace
  • Facilitating student dialogue

Module 4: Assessment design for Virtual Classrooms

Session 1 topics:

  • Planning your course assessment journey
  • Best practices for providing formative feedback

Session 2 topics:

  • Designing fair, reliable, and valid online assessments

FORUM

All classes are conducted in live, interactive video seminars via ForumTM, the advanced learning platform developed by Minerva. Forum is designed specifically to improve your educational experience, with video-based seminars that provide:

  • Direct interaction with your professor
  • Dynamic instruction, peer learning, and frequent feedback
  • Attendance from anywhere with broadband internet
  • Simplified schedule and assignment management
  • Enhanced performance review and progress tracking

previous participant feedback

“Even though we will be striving to be in-person in the fall, there are so many things I’ve learned that I will not only use online or hybrid, but in any future in-person classes I teach. It’s been an invaluable experience, thanks to all of the Minerva instructors...The joy I felt when something clicked is what I want my students to experience and take with them as well. Thank you for this wonderful year!”

Participant
Bentley University

previous participant feedback

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