Suggestions for Online Learning Activities



Annual Learning Event - a one-day, online __Adult Learning Online conference__ presented by Bow Valley College (Calgary) and Norquest College (Edmonton). Follow the event __@ALOconference__ on Twitter.
contributed by BonnieN, Sept2016 FLO
  • resource shared by BonnieN - slides from keynote by Dr. Norm Vaughn, Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry in Adult Online Learning Environments - with his permission -__tinyurl.com/alooct2016__.


Strategies or Ideas for Online Learning Activities

(Zeineen liked the ISWo's Back Pocket Strategies and asked if there were other helpful of online teaching/facilitation available.)

Collection of websites that contain a mixture of advice, tips, examples of online activities you might find useful.


Several collections (from FLO-Design Workshop)


Ideas from FLO Facilitators


A website compilation of free icebreakers - not specifically for online but many suggested activities can be repurposed for online or blended courses.

A useful video to add to Week 2 topic - Diversity - how to support adult learners online -


Ideas contributed by May 2016 RRU FLO participants


Diversity of learners - how to engage diverse learners

  • Ask groups of learners to name a movie that best represents their group. Ask them to explain why.
  • Ask participants to share a story of who is, or has been, a leader in their life - and why
  • Ask students to share an "identity artifact" answering a prompt: "I identify with this piece because..."
  • Ask students to bring in a song and conduct a rhetorical analysis. Model the activity with a song that might result in some teasing (like John Denver or Bon Jovi) - allow for teacher-student vulnerability and "place" to study and practice discourse
  • Incorporate more videos - suggest the following video to encourage learners to consider what one practice they might carry forward for 30 days: https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days?language=en
  • Have students pick their favourite competency from Tony Wagner's 7 survival skills - http://www.tonywagner.com/7-survival-skills
  • Co-creation of agreed upon norms and expectations. This type of activity in the early days of the course allows everyone to contribute to community norms, thus fostering more accountability. I'd suggest using a Wiki for this, sharing the compilation on a live chat, and posting it in a public forum. Norms help build a culture of collaboration and set clear expectations
  • Use UDL principles to design multiple ways of learning
  • an Introduction forum allows learners to introduce themselves and get to know each other. It helps to humanize this process by keeping it informal and personal. Encouraging use of other media to augment written text is creative and fun - photos, audio, video, or other platforms (Pintrest, Prezi, etc.). This addition allows learners to visually connect beyond words on a screen
  • Use a variety of collaboration and team based activities from discussions, wikis, case studies, role plays, problem-based learning, debates etc. The variety not only caters to the group diversity, but also engages the learners to collaborate in different ways. The more creative the activities the better to motivate and engage learners.
  • Enrich the experience through thought provoking, interesting questions.
  • How can learners be aware of their progress through the learning activitiesEveryone who takes a course wants to know how they are doing, they want to know how did they do on an assignment in a timely fashion, they want input on how their post and discussion are. Should they be doing more of something or less of something. A brief note from the facilitator with things such as love your posts, keep them up, or try to give more examples in your post, be more concise, expand.
  • Make sure that tech is working and participants know how to navigate the course.
  • ...fun exercises for learners to explore the learning environment
  • a competition to be the first to do something always gets people paying attention and moving
  • Make sure "...a respectful tone is set, and that all have a clear understanding of expectations."
  • I think safety is the key. If I can create an environment where all learners feel safe, then engagement in discussions/activities will increase and the learning will deepen. Sometimes I have had off-line conversations that are one-on-one with someone I perceive may be taking more time - to process? to understand? overwhelmed? a check-in to see how they are doing.
  • learners work in dyads or triads provides an opportunity to collaborate and share and it also provides safety for those that are fearful of getting navigating or trying something new.
  • rewarding and encouraging methods rather than using fear of punishment if they do not comply or fail
  • delivering the learning in small chunks - weekly chunks so that learners are not overwhelmed
  • engaging the learners in sharing what they know through facilitating small pieces - there is nothing more thrilling and scary all at the same time than learning something because you have to teach it.
  • ask the learner how they want to be involved in exploring the learning environment while some may not know, some will hava a preference so have a range of options that they can select from.