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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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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Encourage authentic learning in online discussions through the use of photovoice

Description One of the major challenges in higher education is for students to find relevance and value in the content they are learning in the classroom (Ambrose 2010). This extends to the online discussion, where students sometimes do not see the value in actively participating the discussion and do the bare minimum to complete the …

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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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