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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Foster Peer Review Using Online Discussion

Description Peer review is a strategy steeped in the social interaction proposed as essential to cognitive development by scholars such as Bruner and Vygotsky (Price, O’Donovan, & Rust, 2007; Hughes, Ventura, & Dando, 2004). Peer review involves small groups or pairs of students sharing work with one another, creating an environment where students can develop …

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Increasing participation and engagement in student introduction posts through narrative

Description It can be difficult for students to connect with each other and with instructors in web-based courses. A number of strategies, design-decisions, and activities can be used to alleviate this issue (Vonderwell, 2003). One commonly used activity is the introduction post – the digital correlate of the in-class introduction. The instructor creates a discussion …

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Provide Non-Linguisitic Representations to Foster Reflection

Description Nonlinguistic strategies require students to create a representation of new information that does not rely on language. Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) define non-linguistic representations as the use of visual, kinesthetic, and whole body systems to acquire and store knowledge. Mental images and physical sensation combined with linguistic modes allow students to better reflect. …

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Use pop culture to energize online discussions

Description Researchers agree that students retain more when active, student-centered learning techniques are employed and that fun and engaging learning experiences foster higher information retention (Bonwell and Eison 1991). When teaching large classes online, this can be difficult, but faculty still want to create an environment that is personal and interactive (Carbone 1998). Faculty want …

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Use student created discussion prompts for peer review

Description Reading assignments are often the basis for understanding much of the information and material content delivered in class. It can often be challenging – and overwhelming for students – to encourage reading and assess comprehension in the absence of traditional face-to-face class discussions. Utilizing student created discussion prompts as a means for peer review …

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Using GIST statements for summary of learning content

Description The goal of a GIST statement is to write a summary in a given amount of words (i.e 20 words, 15 words, 10 words). GIST is an acronym that stands for: Generating Interactions between Schemata and Texts (Cunningham, 1982; Herrell, 2000). The instructor can determine the amount of words when writing the GIST statement. …

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Using Voicethread for online debate

Description Description: Project-based learning is a method of inquiry-based learning where students are required to develop an end product using their knowledge of a specific topic. In most cases, the product is directly applicable or usable in the real world. Larmer and Mergendoller (2010) cite seven requisites that a good project-based learning experience must have: …

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Using a Guided Approach to Support Critical Thinking in Online Discussions

Description Supporting college students to develop critical thinking skills is an overarching goal in higher education. Students with developed critical thinking skills have the ability to evaluate their own arguments as well as others, resolve conflicts, and generate well-reasoned resolutions to complex problems (Behar-Horenstein & Niu, 2011). Given that there is an exponential increase in …

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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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