Category: Course Design Considerations

Best practices in course design and tactical use of technology in teaching and learning.

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Canvas Descriptive Links and You!

If you’ve been following my accessibility series, you know that descriptive links are a good way to make content accessible to students using screen readers or other assistive technology, and they make content look snazzier and cleaner to boot. Canvas opens the world of descriptive links up to more than just external website URLs, though: the system lets you create… Read more →

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Motivations for Learning & Teaching Online

Post by: David Rice, Associate Professor of English and participant in the Learning Community on Online Teaching & Learning When the topic of online teaching comes up among faculty, inevitably some colleagues question the wisdom of delivering their content online. Though many teachers find the idea of online teaching intriguing or even inspiring, the question “why teach online” is a… Read more →

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Faculty Presence and Student Expectations in Online Learning

Post by: Jennifer Campbell, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Education and participant in the Learning Community on Online Teaching & Learning “But how do I get a good grade?” Every instructor has been asked this question by a student, and to boil it down to a single word answer, hopefully we can agree upon, “expectations.” Students are asked to… Read more →

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Threading Voices with VoiceThread

Post By: Daniel Nester, Associate Professor of English and participant in the Learning Community on Online Teaching & Learning Getting students to participate in class discussion remains an evergreen faculty concern. In the classroom, instructors might draw from any number of techniques, from working on the board or breaking up in groups to the classic open-ended Socratic question. Online learning presents… Read more →

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Kick-off conversation…and lots of opportunities!

A new learning community that has formed to explore the opportunities and issues surrounding the broad topic of Online Teaching and Learning met for the first time. I’ll call the group LC:OTL, and we’ll call the meetings gatherings. …I sense much less “pressure” compared to “a traditional committee”…I think that is a huge plus. This open group of practitioners will gather on a… Read more →

The Opportunity Matters – Social Presence in an Online Environment

One area in which we receive a lot of questions by instructors-to-be of fully online and hybrid courses is about communication in online courses. How much should you communicate? What will students expect? How often should I log into my course? These are great questions! When we’re thinking about instructional design, we call this “social presence”. It’s part of a… Read more →

What is Gamification?

We know that there are benefits to harnessing certain elements of games in learning, and we know that there are more and less ideal ways to implement games in the classroom. We also know that there are two common terms for this implementation: gamifying and gameful learning. So, what’s the difference between the two? Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, and Nacke attempted… Read more →

Gamifying/Gameful Learning: Do’s and Don’ts

Gamifying learning and its young, hip child gameful learning are interesting ideas, often executed poorly. We know that the point of including game-like elements (or games themselves) in the classroom is a way to increase motivation and utilize implicit learning skills. What are the basic do’s and don’ts of incorporating these ideas? Do: Use games the way you would assigned… Read more →

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Help Your Students Develop Personal Responsibility – with Tools You Already Use

The ability for students to benchmark their performance against that of their peers can lead to greater self-awareness, increased effort, and personal achievement. A Blackboard Blog post highlights the use of a tool developed by the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The tool, called Check My Activity, is intended to encourage students’ personal responsibility for learning by allowing them to… Read more →