Build an ePortfolio to Showcase Mastery of 21st Century Skills

Description Today’s employers expect their potential workers to be conversant in the 4Cs of 21st Century Skills: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking identified through the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (NEA, 2012). Spires (2012) states that, “digital literacy practices involve the ability to locate and consume, create, and communicate digital content, while simultaneously employing …

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Embed Interactive Questioning within Course Content

Description Faculty are often using images and other artifacts to “chunk” content and embed them within content text to keep the interest of the learner and break-up large chunks of course materials. By using the strategy to embed questions and polling within course content, the instructor can promote student-to-content, student-to-student, and student-to-instructor interactions throughout the …

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Using Buttons to Chunk Assignment Instructional Steps

Description It’s no secret that many students feel negatively about online courses. This often comes from the expectations that learning at the college level in an online setting will be overwhelming, and that there will be a general lack of clarity regarding coursework (Mills, 2015). Facilitating student success in online courses, means that instructors must …

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Use Web Conferencing and Videos to Improve Interview Skills

Description As university graduates enter into complex and rapidly changing job markets, they often face a competitive and challenging employment search process. Well-developed employment search and interview skills are essential, and practicing techniques can improve successful outcomes (Ward, Leuty, & Corie, 2016). Web-based video employment interviews, both synchronous and asynchronous, have become more common in …

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Using Pre and Post-Tests to Close Gaps in Knowledge

Description A challenge most academics experience is delivering courses which assumes that the student has the required prerequisite knowledge.  A great example of this is a course which assumes that a student has completed the prerequisite course at a previous level.  This challenge more often than expected, occurs and with key topics, where the prerequisite …

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Using Video Discussion Boards to Increase Student Engagement

Description Discussion boards in online courses are widely known to encourage higher-order thinking and reflection. However, text-based discussions may not be the best choice for all students or all learning outcomes. Student-created video is used increasingly in the form of video discussion boards. For example, instructors may have heard of Flipgrid, a popular video discussion …

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Using Low-Stakes Quizzes to Encourage Mastery

Description Information retention and transfer can be enhanced when a learner is given multiple opportunities to recall new information. In an online course, this can be done by integrating low-stakes quizzes that allow multiple attempts and providing meaningful feedback on students’ performance. Offering a low incentive and multiple attempts will help to remove the pressure often …

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An Alternative Strategy for Using Online Discussions for Learning Course Content in STEM Courses

Description Online discussion boards offer students an opportunity to engage with their peers and instructor in a course outside of the classroom.  The discussion boards are often used to replicate a classroom discussion and have many positive benefits.  It is relatively straightforward to setup and facilitate online discussions where students weigh in on a certain …

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Implement the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework by Providing Learners with Options for How to Express What They Know

Description Research has shown that by providing learners with choices in learning, it can increase their intrinsic motivation and overall performance on an educational assessment (Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008). Furthermore, it is essential to provide learners with educational options to diversify the ways in which they are able to express what they know (CAST, …

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Incorporate Online Debates to Stimulate Critical Thinking and Engagement

Description Online debates have been found to elicit higher levels of cognitive presence in online discussions versus the more traditional question-and-answer format (Zydney, deNoyelles, & Chen, 2014). This can be explained in several ways. In a debate, students must argue for or against a position, with the intention of persuading others to assume the same …

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