So you might have run your first RoundTable but students weren't quite as engaged as you hoped. Consider these suggestions to improve student engagement in your next Online RoundTable:

  • Ask Open-Ended Questions in your initial prompt. When your students are responding, it will be much more interesting and relevant for them if they share their own opinions, ideas and experiences than if they simply are asked to respond to knowledge-based questions.

    • For example: If you were to give this character a piece of advice, what would you tell them? At what point in the novel would you tell them this advice? Why?

  • Set Peer Feedback Expectations in your initial prompt.

    • Expect students to make at least three comments including one post they agree with, one they disagree with disagree, ask a question

    • Make two comments, one as the first commenter and one as the second commenter in a thread.

    • Mr. Frank from Queens often includes these guidelines:

      • Suggested number of responses:

        • Bronze: 2 responses

        • Silver: 4 responses

        • Gold: 6 responses

  • Remind Students to Reply to Comments on their Post.

    • It sounds obvious, but sometimes they need a reminder during the discussion!

  • Star Student Submissions during or after the discussion. Press the "Star" button on a submission, a text box will open, enabling you to tell the class why the model submission was chosen. All students will get a notification when you star the post, and if they click on the notification, it will bring them directly to that post. Star responses to:

    • Highlight great peer feedback, respectful disagreement or simply an awesome discussion thread.

    • Draw attention to important ideas

    • Encourage students to give feedback to that student

    • Mark a post as a model for students to reference

  • Take 5 minutes to Review Data Summary and Reflection Questions as a Class.

    • Drawing attention to participation and reflecting on how the discussion went is a great way to engage students in metacognition.

    • Try setting class goals for next time based on this data. For example: We will aim for 100% of students getting comments on their ideas!

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