Woman chatting on laptop in house

As The W enrolls more students in online programs, student organizations should find ways to stay engaged with remote students.

After all, social interaction through extra-curricular activities is known to boost student satisfaction. With that in mind, here are a few tips for student leaders to optimize engagement.

Over Communicate

Online students won’t be able to see the awesome poster you put in the cafeteria or all the residence halls. To engage remote students the method of communication has to change, it is best to over communicate to make sure that information is not lost in translation. Consider using chat applications like GroupMe, text groups, or Marco Polo. Don’t assume that no news is good news. Be sure to check-in with each other on a regular basis.

Create a new normal by scheduling virtual meetings based on everyone’s schedules. There are still ways to be productive. Many resources like Zoom and Google Hangout are offered for free.

Show Appreciation

Although we expect everyone to engage at the same level, for some students, engaging may not be as easy. Be sure to show appreciation towards members for joining meetings, conducting business, and contributing to productivity. A quick personalized text can go a long way!

Delegate Responsibilities

Although this delegation is something clubs should already be accustomed to, please don’t forget that each member can hold their own weight. The organization is not the responsibility of one or a few leaders. Members are more engaged when they have clear roles, and assigned tasks to complete.

Be Aware of Members’ Needs

Not everyone experiences the sames struggles or difficulties. Just as you do with face-to-face events, be sure not to assume that everyone connects in the same way. Find what methods work best for all members so that no one is left out.

Incorporate Extracurricular Activities

All fun and no play makes the members go away! No seriously, don’t forget that if everything was face-to-face, you’d spend time catching up, hanging out, and doing fun things. Don’t neglect those things with online members. Just be creative! Have a concert. Have a dance battle. Or get closer with intimate icebreakers. Whatever you do, don’t forget to have fun!