WORKSHOP: Strategies and Tips for Incorporating Peer Interactions into Online Courses (90 mins)
The number of students who take online courses continues to grow at Mason and nationally. Research indicates that student-to-student interaction has a positive impact on performance, engagement and learning satisfaction in online courses. Peer interactions allow students to feel like they are part of a learning community and give them the opportunity to develop important career-readiness skills such as collaboration and communication. However, it can be a challenge to create and assess meaningful peer interactions in fully online, asynchronous courses. In this workshop, instructors who have developed courses for the Online BS in Psychology will share their experiences in designing and implementing assignments that involve extensive peer interaction and/or feedback. The session attendees will first engage in a discussion of possible avenues for peer interaction, using different types of courses (lectures, labs, and seminars) as “case studies”. Presenters will then share their experiences incorporating peer interactions into their own courses. Assignment design, tools/technology, frequency of interaction, and assessment are among the topics that will be discussed. Finally, attendees will work in small groups to come up with plans for introducing or refining peer interaction and/or review in their own online, hybrid or even face-to-face courses. The presenters and session attendees will work together to create “one-pagers” for the various peer interaction strategies that can be shared and used for reference after the session.