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Interactive Document: get your students engaged with online study materials

Ananda Verheijen
March 24, 2020

Interactive Document

Improving students’ knowledge and discussion skills


1. Instructor provides students with the outline of the exercise

2. Instructor uploads an article to be discussed by students

3. Instructor adds 2 discussion moments in the article by annotating the relevant part of the text for students to address

4. Instructor asks students to start at least 1 discussion with their peers 

Description of activity

This type of activity can be used in any online classroom setting. The activity aims to improve students’ knowledge and discussion skills through collaboration.

In this activity, the instructor uploads the article to be discussed. They then add two discussion moments in this article. Students have to participate in the discussions started by the instructor and start one discussion with their peers by creating annotations in relevant parts of the article.

The instructor keeps track of the analytics, keeping track of the students’ engagement, to find out the most debated topics. This can be done via the teacher dashboard or the .csv export.

Value for distance learning

  • Instructor keeps track of student behavior
  • Student knowledge increase due to the collaboration process
  • Enhances learning through forming of knowledge of students’ understanding on specific topics and developing argumentative skills for discussions

Tips and variations

  • The instructor asks students to come up with questions to be discussed in the next class
  • The instructor adds grading to this assignment, assigning weight to the participation in the activity (contributing and/or starting discussions or posting questions)
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