Student-to-Content Engagement Activities
Dr. Michelle Browning has created a worksheet with activities and examples to engage students with content.

Student to Content Engagement
by Dr. Michelle Browning


Content Acquisition

Mini-Lectures and Demonstrations
These types of lectures supply students with a brief overview of content, materials, concepts and topics or demonstrate exercises and animate complex concepts or ideas. Mini-lectures and demonstrations should be “chunked” and divided into short, readable pages.


  • Narrated screen captures

Streaming video is used to demonstrate procedures and help visualize concepts. Videos should be chunked into 5-10 minute segments. Transcripts should be provided for ADA compliancy.


  • Classroom Lecture
  • Procedures
  • Concepts

Audio recordings or podcasts capture a lecture and provide students an opportunity to review lectures for comprehension or verify session notes. Transcripts should be provided for ADA compliance.


  • Classroom Lecture
  • Procedures
  • Concepts

Guest Speakers
Topic experts present information to students through classroom presentations or discussion boards. Chatrooms or podcasts are methods of integrating speakers into an online course.


  • Content or Topic Expert


Simulations are a method to help students participate and learn processes such as dangerous or expensive situations and labs or practice soft skills. Simulations can be set up to require student decision-making to control the outcome of the situation.


  • Labs
  • Virtual environments (machines, transportation, experiments)

Games are used to review course content, concepts, reinforce previously learned materials and prepare for exams.


  • Flash Cards
  • Crossword Puzzles
  • Pick a Letter

Internet Research and Virtual Field Trips
Students use the internet to research questions, problems, events, or discover places through the web that are too far away or costly. Field trips can be followed up with discussions, journals, reports, etc.


  • World History events
  • Trip to museums, ancient civilizations and other locations

Case Studies
Working individually or within groups, students evaluate real-world problems and situations. Students present cases to class for analysis through class presentations, discussion boards and/or chatrooms etc.


  • Content specific events or outcomes

Groups of students produce a newsletter on a specific topic related to class. Students might share their newsletter with students and faculty in a course, major or department.


  • Class events

Concept Mapping
Students create visual representation of models, ideas and relationships between concepts.


  • Processes, ideas, concepts related to course topic or degree programs

Experiments and Labs
Students test concepts in the laboratory, or at home with basic, household items.


  • Dangerous or inaccessible labs

Collaboration and Reflection
Instructor might pose questions related to the textbook, provide content related materials for review and reflection, or extend the classroom discussion. Students post opinions, ideas, and experiences and respond to other classmates. Furthermore, discussions and blogs can create a sense of community in all type of classroom environments.


  • Course topic or subject related question
  • Hallway or Water cooler:
  • Provide a discussion where students can communicate with each other for non-academic or non-content related collaboration.

Group Work
Within groups, students collaborate to solve problems, explore class topics, share knowledge and ideas, and create activities, presentations, reports and other assignments or assessments.

Journals and blogs
Students maintain a journal or blog to reflect upon course topics or personal reactions to course materials.

Quizzes, Tests and Exams
Assessments might be integrated into each module, unit, topic or week as a method to ensure students have completed readings, viewed presentations, reviewed concepts, etc. Assessments might be integrated into the curriculum as graded or ungraded or periodically to check for understanding and comprehension.

Quizzes, tests and exams should include short answer and essay questions that promote critical thinking and might be formatted online to include time limits, randomization of questions and password protected.


  • Classroom exams

Written Papers
Papers are written on various class topics, research, case studies, etc. Tools such as SafeAssign and Turnitin.com can be used to assist with academic integrity.

Students complete a capstone project that demonstrates their mastery of course outcomes. Projects are submitted as presentations, web sites, written papers, case studies, videos, ePortfolio, Wiki, etc.


  • Example 1
  • Example 2

Examples of student work can be created and uploaded into an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio). Students create their own portfolios and share it with other students, the instructor or within the entire web community.

ePortfolios assess student work, demonstrate competencies in subject area and might be used to demonstrate work to prospective employers.

Students prepare and present mini-lectures on a topic, concept or idea. Presentations can be in the form of web sites, PowerPoint, poster sessions, podcasts, video captures, skits, etc.

Click on the link below to view a copy of the worksheet

pdf-icon.png  1. Student Engagement with Content - PDF Document (109 KB)