Low-stakes Assignments – High Gains

Many people groan at the mention of Blogs. And honestly, I can understand why. It’s just one of many over-hyped (and at times poorly utilized) technology tools. Spinning up a blog for students to work within is a fairly simple task so it’s easy to assume that, as long as the prompts are carefully crafted, the addition of this technology will help lead students to your intended goals and outcomes. Continue reading Low-stakes Assignments – High Gains

Group Work

In this post I have a several resources on managing group work for both classroom and online instruction. While I’m not a fan of using technology simply for the sake of using something “cool”, the productivity value of collaborative documents can certainly make life easier for students completing their work. When it comes time to grade, these same technology tools can allow faculty to see a log of who contributed, how often each student communicated, or how much feedback and revision was provided by each student. (For those who prefer regular check-ins, technology tools provide a unique vantage point which allows faculty to address issues of group discord as they begin to crop up.) Continue reading Group Work

Developing Online Lectures as a Supplement to Classroom Instruction

Faculty often approach me, with a technology already in hand, requesting technical assistance in producing a recorded lecture for online distribution. Before diving into the technology how-to’s, most of our time together is spent planning the project, identifying a clear and measurable objective, developing a script/outline, deciding how to engage students, and developing an appropriate assessment piece. More often than not, the technology the faculty came into the meeting with is replaced by something completely different based on identified needs.

Before you select a technology or meet with an instructional technologist, spend a few moments taking the following into consideration for a smooth, successful project. Continue reading Developing Online Lectures as a Supplement to Classroom Instruction

Barbi Honeycutt: Resources for Flipping Your Classroom

Barbi Honeycutt, frequent Magna Publications contributor and owner of FLIP It Consulting out of Raleigh, NC is one of my favorite Flipped Classroom advocates. Her articles and presentations share effective strategies and activity ideas for both in and out of the classroom (many of which are low-technology solutions). If you have an interest in learning more about the flipped classroom, or if you are quickly becoming a seasoned flipped instructor, I encourage you to keep Barbi Honeycutt’s work on your radar! (barbihoneycutt.com/blog) Continue reading Barbi Honeycutt: Resources for Flipping Your Classroom

When students aren’t discussing, it may be time for a blog

The dreaded, threaded discussion! One original post and two replies is a routine way of facilitating a discussion activity for students outside of the classroom. But so often a well intended activity turns into repetitive “I agree” and “good point” posts, rewording the original poster’s argument or summary.

There are methods to foster better collaboration, for example breaking the class up into smaller groups and retooling questions into case studies. But if you’ve already tried these methods, and find that they don’t quite fit your needs, consider swapping the discussion forum for a blog. Continue reading When students aren’t discussing, it may be time for a blog

Blog, Wiki, or Discussion Board?

Most faculty have a fairly good idea of the differences between a Blog, Wiki and Discussion Forum, but which one will help you and your students collaborate and communicate effectively?

The chart below can be used as a guide to point you towards one tool over the others. I have used Blogs, Wikis, and Discussion Forums for unusual and out of the box purposes, so don’t consider this chart set in stone. In the example, Blogs are listed as a place to present opinions but Blogs can and should be used to present facts as well. Continue reading Blog, Wiki, or Discussion Board?

Hosting Live, Online Classes

So you’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of online conferencing software! Congratulations! Whether you’ve invited a guest lecturer to present remotely in your classroom, decided to hold your office hours online, or found yourself needing to buy time on a Snow Day before a major exam, take a moment to review the following considerations before committing to a live video conference.

Continue reading Hosting Live, Online Classes