Instruction and Student Engagement

Increased student engagement in your class can facilitate increase retention, better critical thinking skills, and improved student learning outcomes. Maintaining student attention on the content requires clear expectations and policies, as well as engaging opportunities for students to interact with the content and their peers. Below are some ideas to help you design an engaging class.

Getting Students Engaged

Ensure the classroom is set up for interaction and set the stage for an engaging semester with syllabus language on your expectations. Ensure that students know your expectations around participating in class and attention in the class. Be sure to go over your expectations on the first day of class. Furthermore, explore the exercises that will build the foundation of an interactive class below.

Keeping Students Engaged

Even with setting the best foundation for an engaging classroom that you can, there will be a need for further strategies.

Group Work

Adding group work to class time is an excellent inclusive teaching practice that facilitates better discussions, improved retention, creative problem-solving skills, and increases collaboration and inclusion among students. Try adding it to one class session with the following techniques - your students will thank you!

Addressing Technology Use

It is crucial to have a technology policy in place for your class. Technology policies clarify to students the specific rules and expectations in your course related to the use of laptops, computers, phones, or other mobile devices.

Note: Students with ADS accommodations that include laptop/tablet use must ALWAYS be permitted to use them regardless of the class policy.

Pacing Instruction

Don't rush - students generally need a few moments before they answer and feel very nervous if instruction is rushed. Here are some techniques to slow down instruction.

Teaching with Cases

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is a critical addition to all classes hoping to better prepare students for their work in the business world. Experiential learning provides opportunities for students to apply what their learning in your course to real-world problems.

One Experiential learning offering that is unique to Maryland Smith is the Smith Live Case. Live Cases are opportunities within the curriculum for students to approach a business partner’s challenging problem and recommend a solution. Each Live Case (primary, extended, or executive) is rigorous, unique, and exciting. For more email

OTL can help coordinate guest speakers for your class. Guest speakers are a great way to introduce new voices to your instruction and bring concepts to life for your students by hearing professionals discuss the role they’ve played in their professional journey. For more email

View a presentation on Infusing Experiential Learning in your Online Course to learn more.

Student Support

The following resources may be helpful in supporting students who may be dealing with difficult circumstances: