Promote Active Learning in Group Projects Through the Use of the Transparent Assignment Framework

Description Active learning features a generative component whereby students process the educational material of interest and articulate its relevance within the context of both coursework and their own lives (Fiorella & Meyer, 2015). The effectiveness of active learning may be enhanced through the use of problem-based projects which promote collaboration and higher-order thinking (Grabiner & …

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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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Encouraging Metacognitive Learning by Visualizing Objectives

Description Students want to know what will be on the test. But faculty want students to focus on authentic learning rather than simply scoring well. Our strategy addresses both desires. Good course design involves alignment of course and lesson objectives with relevant activities and assessments. It is imperative that students be provided with this “roadmap” …

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Supporting 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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Using 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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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 a Reflective Online Discussion Activity to Help Students Solidify Learning

Description In order to build the scaffolding for learning, students need to acquire knowledge to build from. Lectures and chapter reading assignments can make current Instructional Designers cringe, but often times it is a time-efficient strategy to deliver content. What the authors of Make it Stick illustrate so well is that often when learners listen …

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Use Role Play to Increase Student Engagement in Online Discussions

Description As faculty, we are always trying to both stimulate student engagement and assess learning. One method for increasing student engagement that has been gaining in popularity is engaging students in role play activities. These activities can vary in scale from large, multi-day events (such as Reacting to the Past) to smaller activities contained within …

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Post First Discourse

Description Online discussions are most effective when students engage in higher order thinking, taking time to reflect and compose original posts. Instructors play a key role in purposefully designing discussion forums that move “student discourse out of the margins of thinking to deeper levels of thought” (Williams, Jaramillo, Peski, 2015, p. 46). The post-first discourse …

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Implement Tuning Protocol to Improve Online Discussion Peer Replies and Assignment Quality

Description Asynchronous discussions are often utilized in online courses and while they can be effective toward creating and sustaining a learning community, they are not effective if not optimally designed. It can sometimes be difficult for students to converse in a way in which knowledge is co-constructed, and a way in which students can constructively …

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