U21 Educational Innovation Symposia

Motivating Online Student Engagement in and out of the Classroom

In November 2020 and again in February 2021 due to popular demand, U21 ran interactive, digital symposia on the topic Motivating Online Student Engagement in and out of the Classroom. The event was run twice on each occasion to allow U21 members from around the globe to join the conversation. 

Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, many universities have seen a rapid move of their teaching and student support online, alongside students being unable to study abroad. Whilst online delivery is not new, the context of such a large-scale move to online delivery of teaching, learning, preparation for employment and internationalisation opportunities is unique.

Led by Professor Blake McKimmie (see below), this short, interactive U21 Symposium challenged participants to explore this new context, drawing on experiences of blended learning to enhance engagement and learning online. Participants actively considered some of the challenges of online student engagement, and the implications for student learning, employability, internationalisation and virtual exchanges.

The event included:

  • Keynote Speaker Professor Blake McKimmie, University of Queensland (see below)
  • Interactive group exercises and discussions with peers across the network
  • Final group plenary discussion

Blake McKimmie is a professor in the School of Psychology, and Principle Practitioner at the Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovation at the University of Queensland. He has won a number of teaching awards, including the edX prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning, a Wharton QS Stars Reimagine Education Bronze Award, and a MERLOT Classics Award. In 2019, he led the team that won the Australian University Teacher of the Year Award for Teaching Excellence.

Resources from the Event
Part A of the Symposium
Part B of the Symposium










Padlets from the Events

February 2021

Padlets session one, activity one Padlets session one, activity two 

Padlets session two, activity one Padlets session two, activity two  


References from Professor Blake McKimmie's Presentation (PDF)