Content is at the heart of learning. Students come to university to discover new information, identify important problems and their solutions, encounter new ideas, and learn new processes. In short, engaging successfully with content is nearly always a learner's primary goal.

Fostering student engagement with content begins with building your own presence in a course, as we have already explored. Through quality student-facilitator interaction, you create the framework within which students can successfully learn course content. But what about students' direct interaction with that content? What can course facilitators do to help students engage successfully with readings, lectures, multi-media, and other types of content online?

Many important questions regarding student-content interaction are answered when a course is originally designed. Yet, there are still key steps you can take during course facilitation to help your students make the most of the content that they will encounter. In this section, we explore student-content interaction and some of the ways that you can help foster engagement in this area.

Key concepts

This unit will introduce the following important topics, concepts, and strategies:

  • The facilitator's role in enriching student-content interaction

  • Metacognition, and some ways to foster it including:

    • Identifying confusions
    • Modelling metacognition
    • Explicitly teaching metacognitive strategies
  • Student motivation, and some ways to foster it including:

    • Sharing your enthusiasm
    • Signalling relevance of key information
    • Transparency in teaching strategies

Unit sections

4a. What is student-content interaction?

4b. Factors for engagement in student-content interaction

4c. Strategies for improving student-content interactions 

Supplementary resources