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Education through innovation

2013 DeVry University Faculty Symposium

May 2nd, 2013
Decatur, GA
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2013 Faculty Symposium
Faculty Engagement Strategies in Online Education
Jonathan A. Agresta, M.Ed. 

According to research, online higher education enrollment has outpaced overall higher education enrollment 5:1 over the last decade.  Because of this, faculty are forced to transition traditional onsite courses into an online environment with very little training, thus causing lower engagement than traditional courses.  In this round table discussion, faculty from across DeVry University will discuss the various techniques used to increase the level of engagement and retention in online courses.  Ideas will be introduced from outside institutions, as well as introducing third-party technologies that can be incorporated both in-and-out of the DeVry system.


Engagement Strategies:
  • Constant Contact – 8 Days a Week
  • o   Emails
  • o   Announcements
  • o   Phone calls, in course enrollment section
  • Spell everything out
  • Be Redundant
  • o   Say the same thing as many times as possible in as many locations as possible
  • Hyperactive Discussions
  • o   Higher frequency postings with meaningful content (every day)
  • o   Don’t reply to everyone, just those that are active in the conversation
  • o   Meaningful posts will get piled on by the active students
  • Be Redundant

Embrace Technology

Screen Recorders:

  • Screencast-o-matic (
  • o    Free to use
  • o    Java-based applet to record up to 15 minutes of your desktop actions and audio
  • o    No installation required (good for DeVry laptops)
  • o    Adds a halo and other visuals to help the view follow along
  • o    Easy to use and record
  • o    Cannot edit without video editing software
  • Jing (
  • o    Free to use
  • o    Requires an installation (NOT good for DeVry laptops)
  • o    Similar attributes at Screencast-o-matic
  • o    Can edit with Camtasia Studio (extra cost)
  • o    Limited to 5 minute recordings in free version
Video Hosting:

  • Screencast (
  • o    Free to a point, cleaner than YouTube but limited
  • o    Bandwidth can run out quickly
  • YouTube (
  • o    Free, but has some issues related to advertisements

Screen Sharing:

  • Adobe Connect (
  • o    There are costs involved
  • o    Requires an installation
  • o    Has chat and audio
  • o    Can assign viewers as presenters
  • Join.Me (
  • o    Free to use
  • o    Requires an installation
  • o    Has chat and audio
  • o    Can assign viewers as presenters


Helpful Hardware, Software, & Websites:


  • BIG hard drive
  • Google Drive/Dropbox/Cloud tools
  • Tablet/Smartphone (to post on the go)
  • Send Space (

Roll with the Punches and Adapt


  1. It is important to condition students using reminders and detailed instructions.
  2. You can record your actions on Smartboards (if available) and use that to help instruct online.
  3. Adobe Connect is now available to all faculty, check with your Associate Dean about obtaining an account.
  4. Find or create a place (HUB, Sidebar) where faculty teaching the same course can communicate about what works and what doesn’t work.

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