Highlights from Engagement Week #1: Engaging and interactive learning

How can we make our asynchronous and synchronous teaching more interactive?

In December 2020, the TIPS Community celebrated its first Student Engagement Week with events and activities around engaging and interactive teaching and learning. In this post, we have highlighted top tips and tricks shared by colleagues on this week’s asynchronous discussion board and during the Share, Adopt, Adapt workshop on 17 December.

TIPS Engagement Week Padlet

Padlet boards are great interactive spaces for capturing ideas. We posed a new seed question every day of the week and you answered. Click here to see the full Padlet for this Engagement Week. Here are our favourites:

Monday: The last student interaction that has made you smile

Thanks for sharing so many lovely stories. Unsurprisingly, what makes you smile is receiving appreciation for what you are doing, and often it is the little things that prompt people to send their thanks.

Tuesday: Simple tools, quick results

Too many good ones to choose from so here is a selection:

  • Voice comments on Turnitin Feedback Studio to make feedback more personal (OneNote can be used for longer voice comments)
  • Chat bombs – reducing pressure on individual students when being asked to respond
  • Playful mini engagement with new tech to increase digital literacy, e.g. regular (daily/weekly) very simple mini – engagement tasks with low failure thresholds
  • Padlet – allows students to ask questions anonymously (I loved the suggestion of using one to ask students to confirm their ‘muddiest point’).

Wednesday: Fail Fest: your worst experience

There are valuable lessons to be learned from what hasn’t worked as well as what has:

When you are trying super hard to use a lot of flashy tools to make online learning and teaching better and more engaging and you absolutely over-estimate students’ appetite for and capacity to deal with all of these new things at once.

My top pick from this ‘fail fest’ was ‘too many tools’:

Lesson learned: tech induction is important, simple tools often better, and less certainly more.

Thursday: A small miracle in student interaction and engagement would look like this

This one was easy and there was a lot of agreement: what makes us happiest is when a group arrives at a point where every member feels safe to engage and to enter a vibrant, stimulating exchange that is mutually beneficial. Cameras on, full chat, smiling faces!

Friday: Give it a go: What would you be excited to try out and play with?

So many ideas and new things to try! If you would like to try something out before launching it with students, the TIPS community is the place to go. Why not post in our MS Team and arrange your own ‘Give it a Go’ session?!

Click here to see the full Padlet for this Engagement Week.

Recordings from our live event

The highlight of the week was our Student Engagement Showcase live event co-organised by TIPS and LITE. In 3-minute snap-sessions, colleagues shared their strategies to boost student engagement and create interactive learning activities online. You can now watch all shorts on this playlist:


Would you like to find out more about the Community on Teaching, Innovation and Practice in Student Education (TIPS)? There is more information about the community and how to become a member on our website. We have also started to share colleagues practice on our TIPS Blog and you can also follow our MS Stream video channel here.

Your TIPS team

Contact: academicdev@leeds.ac.uk.