Using Standards-Based Rubrics to Facilitate Online Peer Assessment, Response, and Reflection

Description While traditional rubrics can more clearly convey to the student how they will be assessed,  there are some limitations to this approach. One limitation is that students may passively rely on the rubric for a checklist on how to complete the assignment, without infusing their own creativity or originality.  Even if very detailed, a …

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Scaffold Online Discussion through ‘Steering’

Description Steering is a strategy used in interactional scaffolding of asynchronous discussion. Interactional scaffolding assumes the important role of the instructor as mediating discussion and maintaining a communicative ‘presence’ to support students to participate effectively in this mode of interaction. Interactional scaffolding involves modelling discourse and ways of communicating, and ensuring that the discussion keeps …

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Strengthen Peer Review by Promoting the Lens of Design

Description Peer review has the potential to be an effective activity for students to engage in, for several reasons. Students do not rely on the sole voice of the instructor, who is an expert in the matter. Peers may be able to communicate with other peers in a way that is difficult for the instructor. …

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Utilizing Active Learning Techniques to Promote Application of Knowledge

Description In today’s complex world, acquiring knowledge and using tools in a single domain is insufficient to remain competitive as individuals. Students must also learn to apply tools and knowledge in new domains and different situations (Grabinger & Dunlap, 1995). In addition, the spread of misinformation is becoming a common concern among education and society …

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Using Voicethread for Online Debate

Description An online protocol called “Prompt a Stand” was used in conjunction with Voicethread, a tool for having online discussions, in order to foster a debate on a topic. Protocols are “strategies for having structured communication to enhance problem-solving, encourage different perspectives, and build shared knowledge (Dichter & Zydney, 2015). The Prompt a Stand protocol …

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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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Integrate Real-World Examples in an Online Course

Description Learning retention can be encouraged and reinforced through the integration of real-life examples and artifacts into course material (Chrestensen, 2007). A simple way to do this in an online course is to include a section of the course that references real-life examples. These examples should be directly related to the learning objectives and content …

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An Alternative Strategy for Using Online Discussions for Learning Course Content in STEM Courses

Description Online discussion boards offer students an opportunity to engage with their peers and instructor in a course outside of the classroom.  The discussion boards are often used to replicate a classroom discussion and have many positive benefits.  It is relatively straightforward to setup and facilitate online discussions where students weigh in on a certain …

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Encourage 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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