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…

Teaching at a Distance Etiquette

Explore some rules/norms that will help to maintain respectful behaviour and effective learning in synchronous and asynchronous online classes.

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)”.

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.

Deployment of Intelligent Agents

Explore the ways in which Intelligent Agents in the Brightspace LMS (eCentennial) can send automatic communications to students based on their progress in your course!

Always-Up-To-Date Course Map

The Always-Up-To-Date Course Map is a strategy to help our learners navigate through new online learning environments.

7th Inning Stretch to Reduce Online Fatigue

As we use online conference tools such as Zoom to conduct our teaching, we have all experienced online fatigue when we spend too much time sitting and staring at our screen. I have applied a “7th inning stretch” technique to reduce online fatigue.