Create Intentional Communities through Meaningful Student Introductions

Description Student introductions are a high-impact practice: they build community within the course, set the stage for more substantive forms of student-student and student-instructor engagement, and can reveal unknown issues or strengths on the part of students (Dolan, Kain, Reilly, & Bansal, 2017). Building community in online classes (Nelson & Goodson, 2018) through introductions helps …

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Create a Case Method Group Activity to Engage Students in Critical Thinking

Description The case method group activity is an instructional design strategy that involves faculty members providing one or more case studies to which groups of students respond. The case(s) could be a real-life case or simulation. It could be description of key concept(s) applied, a story or scenario, an actual case study, a problem or …

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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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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 Rubric Rationale to Improve Student Performance on Peer Review Assignment

Description Research shows that students perform better when the rubric provided by an instructor is deconstructed for them (Jones 2017). This allows the students to see not only how they are going to be graded, but why they are going to be graded that way. The ideas for the evaluation categories on the rubric came …

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Individualizing Assignments in an Online Course

Description Individualizing assignments in an online course promotes student and instructor interest, challenges students to strengthen their research skills, and prevents students from paraphrasing other students’ work and presenting it as their own. This entry describes a strategy used to teach an online course in Urban Sociology, however, this strategy could be applied to many …

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Student video presentation of homework

Description It can be difficult to build a sense of community in an online course (Moskal et al., 2010), especially in mathematics where written work is usually somewhat limited. I find that regular class discussions provide a considerable benefit in this process. But the practice that has most effectively improved connections between students and between …

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Use Scavenger Hunts to Orient Students Online

Description A scavenger hunt can be used to help orient students to an online course at the beginning of the term. This activity works like a traditional scavenger hunt, as one gives the students specific instructions as to what they are to look for in the course. By completing the activities, students navigate through the …

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