Design with a Purpose (Your Assessment)

Question – As an educator – have you ever experienced the following routine?  You teach to large groups of students, you assess, you evaluate, you ‘scratch your head in reflection,’ redesign the assessment, and repeat – sometimes with improvement in students learning goals and sometimes not? We offer five things to keep in mind when designing…

My Worth: A Reflective Journal

Learn from this student as they discuss the impact a reflective journal assignment had on their self-identity and feelings of self-worth.

Trade Secret #4: Be a hoarder

This took me a shockingly long time to figure out. I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until 2012 that I began to personally archive all of my postings in the group discussion forums, and I now use these as a base from which to continuously adapt and reframe year over year. Although I…

Trade Secret #3: Use videos to introduce each week and mix it up

Incorporating a short video of myself at the beginning of each “class” (weekly module) helps to establish instructional immediacy, a key component of effective online teaching and learning. We’re not talking high production values, but just helping students to put a face and personality to my name helps foster a sense of connectedness and engagement.…

Trade Secret #2: Create a consistent course architecture

Institutional Learning Management Systems tend not to be the most intuitive or visually appealing. I create folders for each week’s content, populated with the same kinds of materials in the exact same sequence. This offers a sense of continuity to the online classroom – analogous to holding a face-to-face course in the same room every…

Trade Secret #1: Put out the welcome mat and over-communicate

The most important things that students want to know are: “What is expected of me?” “How do I access the course?”, “Where can I get help if I need it?” and “How can I be successful?” I make a point of addressing these questions by mobilizing multiple communication channels. People access and attend to information…

Trade Secret #5: Show you care and put it in writing!

This is no big secret, but paying close attention to the affective dimension is key to learning and teaching. The majority of online courses at this time are still largely text-based, so I pay special attention to the nuances and emotional tone in all of my communications with students, whether via email or in the…

Don’t wait until it is too late! Using Google Docs to give immediate feedback.

In this video, I walk you through how I use Google Docs in a synchronous virtual classroom for in-class work. I find this technique useful for providing real time feedback on students’ understanding of concepts and prevents students from going too far down a wrong track. By setting up a clearly labelled document for each…

Google Slides: Your Answer to Collaborative Synchronous Work

With Google Slides you can create template slide decks that encourage collaboration. By creating templates, students can follow along – you provide the backbone to support students in creating, researching, and presenting. Working together on slides is an interactive synchronous classroom activity that can be done over and over again to build skills and learn…

Breaking Down Barriers to Marketing Concepts

To help international learners more easily understand marketing concepts, I ask each to choose a brand at the beginning of the term and to become the class expert on their brand.

Setting Expectations for the Learner

This submission outlines how you can use an instructional video to set your learners up for success by communicating common pitfalls. This strategy is demonstrated in a video focused on “searching for open educational resources (OERs)”.

Marketing Your Lesson Plans

How can you stimulate curiosity and increase student engagement online? Market your upcoming lessons and spark tenacity in your student’s desire to become active partners in their learning!

Engage with Flipgrid!

A simple strategy to promote student engagement and community building. The strategy is about using a video platform that provides equal opportunities to all students.

The Breakfast Club

Amy Pelvin describes feeling disconnected from the day to day interactions with students, particularly in full or partial asynchronous courses. She decided to start The Breakfast Club. This runs during asynchronous classes and is an opportunity to connect with students and build relationships.

Using PeerMark

This video shows the steps to creating a PeerMark submission folder inside a course module and instructions on how students can give feedback to their peers. PeerMark is a great way to get students to share their work before their final submission or as practice. The options are limitless!