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

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?

Technology is a TOOL not a Learning Outcome

You may be familiar with the image below if you have attended one of my workshops. (In fact, you’re probably sick of seeing it by now!) Bill Ferriter posted this image to Flickr in July 2013. (If you’re on Flickr he’s a good one to follow: www.flickr.com/people/plugusin.) I use this image often to drive home the following: Do not focus on the name of a tool (Google Doc, Prezi, VoiceThread) but rather what you want to do (or what you want your students to do).

Continue reading Technology is a TOOL not a Learning Outcome