In a recent post on his blog, Agile Learning, Derek Bruff (Director of Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching) describes a technique for Zoom discussions called "ready-set-go." The basic idea is that an instructor poses a question, asks everyone to type a response in the chat window, but tells them wait until instructed to hit "return." After allowing time for everyone to type a response, the instructor says "ready, set, go" and students all hit return at the same time.
In this video, I share one way I have had success using Canvas discussion boards for writing workshops. This video might be useful for teachers who ask their students to workshop papers in their courses and will not be using external tools.
One of the problems facing teachers of remote or online courses is that, because nearly all of our course materials are walled off inside a learning management system like Canvas, many students may not know much about the course beyond the generic course description. One way to encourage students to start thinking about your course is by creating what Michelle Pacansky-Brock calls a "liquid syllabus"—one that is more sharable and easier to engage with than a static document sitting in an LMS.