Increasing social activity within a course, such as liking or commenting on submissions and asking questions in the discussion boards, can help build positive momentum in your course on NovoEd and foster a collaborative learning space. Often, the facilitation of social activity is led by the teaching assistants or course instructor. However, if your teaching team is small or has limited resources to facilitate your course, we encourage you to start a course champion program to help support peer-to-peer interaction within a course.

What is a course champion program?  A course champion program recruits former students of your course or program (for repeat courses), or existing students who are highly engaged in a course, to enrich the community aspect of the course experience for learners (check out how NovoEd builds an online community with Program Space). Here are some examples of tasks you can ask your Course Champions spend time on each week:

  • Like and comment on discussion forum posts & start new posts (read here to learn more about e-learning discussion forums)
  • Comment on assignment submissions
  • Responding to basic technical or content questions
  • Elevating learner issues to the Teaching Team
  • Identify particularly interesting learner stories, submissions, discussion threads
  • Brainstorm with fellow Champions ways to engage other learners
  • Reach out to at-risk learners with a personal note of encouragement

The following are some steps to think about before implementing your own course champion program for your course.

  • Set Expectations  Before recruiting for course champions, make sure to think about the different expectations that you will have for the course champions. For example, will you ask your course champions to comment on at least 5 submissions per week? Or will course champions be asked to reach out directly to inactive learners? How many hours per week will this commitment take?
  • Create Incentives What will incentivize learners to become a course champion for your program? Will course champions receive a custom badge in a course or receive a certificate or accomplishment with distinction? Think about how you might encourage learners to volunteer to become a social catalyst for your course.
  • Recruit for Champions! How many champions will your program have, or need? Based on how large your course is or how much social activity you want to generate, you can either reach out to potential champions with an application, or invite learners to become a champions. When recruiting for champions, make sure to communicate your expectations for them.

Is the course champion program right for my course? In both small and large courses, course champions programs can help encourage learners to generate social activity and peer feedback, leading to higher learner satisfaction and completion rates. This program can be particularly useful for courses with limited resources. However, if your course is looking for more opportunities for professional feedback or mentorship, we encourage you to look at NovoEd’s mentorship feature which will allow you to recruit professionals to mentor specific teams of learners during a course.