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How Weekly Newsletters Can Improve Engagement in an Online Course 

 August 23, 2022

By  James Brauer

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Weekly Newsletters in Online Courses

Online courses have become popular in the past decade to offer education opportunities to people who cannot physically attend a traditional on-campus course. However, one challenge with online courses is keeping students engaged in the material and motivated to complete the course. 

In this blog post, we will discuss one strategy instructors can use to improve engagement in their online courses: weekly newsletters. 

This article will demonstrate how newsletters can boost engagement and provide tips for creating effective newsletters. 

Weekly Newsletters: What are They?

A weekly newsletter is a digital communication tool that instructors can use to share important course information with their students and to keep them engaged in the material. Newsletters typically contain a mix of content, including announcements about upcoming due dates, links to resources that may be helpful for the course, and reflections on recent class discussions or activities. Additionally, the newsletter can include short pieces of writing or videos that provide additional information about the course material. They can be a valuable way for instructors to communicate with their students regularly and ensure that everyone stays on track with the course material.

Research to Support Use of Weekly Newsletters

There is research to support the use of weekly newsletters as a means of increasing student engagement in asynchronous online courses. In one study, Kebble (2017) found that students who received weekly newsletters from their instructors felt more connected to their classmates and more engaged with the course material. This study showed that students better sensed the learning community after receiving weekly newsletters.

Another study by Palloff and Pratt (2007) found that developing relationships is essential for creating a sense of community in online courses. They found online interactions can be just as rich and meaningful as face-to-face interactions. However, a sense of community is possible with careful design and facilitation. One way to do this is through the use of weekly newsletters.

Finally, Rovai (2002) found that a sense of community is essential for student success in online courses. He found that students who felt a sense of belongingness and social presence were more likely to be successful in their courses. Furthermore, these students were more likely to persist in their studies and be more satisfied with their learning experience.

Wrap-Up

Research does suggest that weekly newsletters are a valuable tool for online instructors. They can be used to improve student engagement by providing updates, announcements, and reminders. They can also be used to build community by sharing interesting articles or stories related to the course material. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the quality of the newsletter is more critical than the quantity. 

Want to learn more about how to create awesome newsletters? Be sure to subscribe to my blog for future articles like this!

James Brauer


James Brauer, Ed.D., MBA is currently Director of Graduate Education at Avila University. Previously he was a virtual school administrator of a public online school serving students throughout the state of Iowa. Brauer has also served as an assistant principal and special education teacher. He is passionate about leadership and management, health and wellness, and personal development.

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