Use Word Clouds to Enhance Critical Thinking

Description One of the major goals of higher education is to cultivate students’ critical thinking skills (Roth, 2010). In order to be prepared for the workplace and to be an informed citizen, students need to be able to base judgments, make decisions, and solve problems based on the careful critique of available evidence. Engagement, defined …

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Use Word Clouds for Reflection and Synthesis

Description Word clouds are those fun, visually interesting combinations of words that summarize a topic or idea. The size of each word in relation to the whole word cloud indicates that word’s prominence. Typically, the larger the word, the more frequently it appeared in the source text. Word clouds can be seen in everyday life …

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Use Videos to Illustrate Complicated Conceptual Knowledge

Description Most academic disciplines include highly conceptual or abstract concepts that are difficult for students to grasp. For instance, building a solid foundation of conceptual knowledge for students is critical in engineering education (Streveler, Litzinger, Miller, & Steif, 2008). An incomplete conceptual understanding hinders the development of central engineering competencies and expertise. However, it is …

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Use Mobile Apps to Encourage Student-Created Course Content

Description Having students create content-related resources encourages them to feel ownership of what they are learning and influences the level of engagement perceived toward the class (O’Neill, 2005). There are a variety of free mobile applications that facilitate this activity. Link to example artifact(s) Instructor: Steven Hornik, Kenneth Dixon School of Accounting, UCF Course title: …

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Use Branching Videos to Engage Students

Description Using branching story lines within an interactive decision-making video is an engaging method of enhancing the learning process for digital natives. Each short video segment along the path of the branching story line presents the viewer with a dilemma (decision point) and a subsequent choice of how to proceed. As the viewer makes decisions …

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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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Use Images While Considering Accessibility and Copyright to Illustrate Online Course Content

Description Photographs and other images can convey concepts effectively and provide visual interest in course materials. However, there are copyright, intellectual property, and accessibility issues to consider in order to use images appropriately. For instance, “copyright law [is] a potential liability for both the faculty member and the institution” (Diaz, Mitrano, & Chrisoph, 2009, p. …

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Use Digital Badges to Promote Positive Student Behaviors

Description Digital badges are visual indicators of the satisfaction of an instructor-defined goal. When the goals are linked to behaviors that promote success, badges can serve as feedback systems to promote those behaviors (e.g., a badge for submitting an assignment early that meets a pre-defined grade threshold supports timeliness without sacrificing quality). Badges are awarded …

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Providing Student Choice: Adopting an eTextbook in your Online Course

Description An important element of the national conversation about higher education has been the increasing price of textbooks. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the average price of a textbook has risen 82% between 2002-2012. Faculty can help lower the cost of a textbook by adopting an eTextbook or a printed book that is …

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Implement Problem-Based Learning

Description Problem-based learning is an instructional strategy in which students learn the subject matter of a course and the related skills by solving real-world problems and reflecting on their experiences of solving the problem/s. The types of problems presented to students in problem-based learning can range from simple to complex. For students new to problem-based …

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