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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Support Students to Use Multimedia in Discussion Forum

Description Discussion forums are commonly used in online courses because benefits are multiple. However, instructors and students may find it daunting to read tens or hundreds of posts. One way to make online discussions less overwhelming is to allow alternative means of expression. Instead of writing, students may be encouraged to use images, voice, and …

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Foster Meaningful Learning with Renewable Assignments

Description Different from a traditional disposable assignment, a renewable assignment is an assignment where students compile and openly publish so that the assignment outcome is inherently valuable to the community after the class is over (Veletsianos, 2017). Renewable assignments can be scaled to graduate and undergraduate students across disciplines and take various forms. One form …

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Use Mind Watch Journals to Reflect and Connect to Content

Description According to Facing History and Ourselves (2017), “a journal is an instrumental tool for helping students develop their ability to critically examine their surroundings from multiple perspectives and to make informed judgments about what they see and hear. Informal writing, such as journaling can serve as a way to formatively assess the student. Additionally, …

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Using Images to Encourage Visual Creativity, Display Comprehension, and Application of a Lesson

Description Educators can use a creative way to encourage students to explore how they can represent a humanities or social science concept through images. Some students have interesting ideas, but are unable to express them through essays or conventional discussion because many of our instructional activities do not lend themselves to such ways of thinking …

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Develop Critical Thinking Skills through Online Simulations Created with Blackboard’s Testing Tool

Description Simulation with sophisticated manikins or standardized patients has firmly established itself as an effective teaching practice in nursing and medical education (Liaw, et.al., 2015; Shin, Park & Kim, 2015). Although mastering many skills of advanced practice nursing requires high fidelity simulation, the thinking processes – diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision-making – can be successfully …

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