Instructors can use the opening weeks to establish community and allow students to get to know each other.  This is an opportunity to reassure them that diversity is valued and the classroom is a safe place to take risks.

It is helpful to send the message early in the course that while some activities are fun, the class is serious and rigorous.

It’s beneficial to conscientiously work to bolster your connection with students after midterms or other major graded assignments, reaffirming your role as coach instead of judge and jury.

Instructors who design the semester in sync with their own calendars can avoid overtaxing themselves when research or personal matters require extra energy.

During the final weeks, it’s helpful to recognize that students may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Students find clear structure and opportunities for review to be especially valuable during this time. 

Keeping students engaged can be done without any special technology, but learning management systems can be leveraged to add excitement to a course. Release conditions in ICON can motivate students to get to specific content (such as an introduction post on a message board or a meme related to course content).