Assign Six Word Memoirs for Reflection and Synthesis

Description Similar to the six-word story from the flash fiction genre, the Six-Word Memoir is a writing genre for telling a personal story in six-words. In popular culture, it has become a global movement now featured in the book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs: by Writers Famous and Obscure, on [in the …

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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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Set up an online conference for student orientation

Description One of the primary concerns of online learning reported by students is feelings of isolation (Abrami & Bures, 1996). Instructional media such as online conferencing could help students feel connected and decrease the sense of isolation (Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, & Archer, 2001). Typical Web conferencing tools allow instructors to communicate with students via text, …

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Student video presentation of homework

Description It can be difficult to build a sense of community in an online course (Moskal et al., 2010), especially in mathematics where written work is usually somewhat limited. I find that regular class discussions provide a considerable benefit in this process. But the practice that has most effectively improved connections between students and between …

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Use Digital Posters for Online Community Introductions

Description A sense of community within a course can increase student engagement, persistence, and performance (Rovai, 2002; Vesely, Bloom, & Sherlock, 2007). In asynchronous teaching, creating community can be challenging. Instructors can facilitate a sense of community by providing ways for students to introduce themselves to each other. Glogs (graphic blogs) are interactive electronic posters …

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Use Google educational apps to foster online collaborations

Description In the 21st century modern education is becoming increasingly complex due to the technological environment within which it operates. This new environment offers exciting new possibilities but also raises challenges. Low cost, ubiquity, accessibility and ease of use are all potential affordances, which are making social media technologies an attractive option for transforming teaching …

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Use Twitter @replies/mentions to reach out to professional networks beyond the class

Description Twitter is a social network that allows individuals to follow other users, post their own tweets, and create a network within which they can communicate. Participants on Twitter receive a Twitter “handle” or username, which is preceded by an “at” symbol: @. For example, this author’s Twitter username is @digirhet. Discussions and conversations among …

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Use digital communication tools to enhance online communities of inquiry

Description Learning online may be an isolating experience which may lead to student attrition. Digital communication tools may help to enhance online communities of inquiry and address students’ feelings of social connectedness, perceived instructor presence, cognitive engagement, and persistence. Research shows that faculty use of various new media and communication tools (including social media) may …

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Use mobile communication technologies to increase students’ feelings of connectedness and instructor support

Description Use of mobile communication technology in the higher education setting is still a relatively new area of study. On brick and mortar campuses, students who have face-to-face interaction with their professors and peers can often be seen texting or “tweeting” between classes or in class. Such mobile messaging usage in class can be very …

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Use online debates to enhance classroom engagement

Description A debate is a formal competition between two teams, usually with three members each, arguing a discussion statement known as “the moot”. Shaw (2012) believes that debates stimulate critical thinking and can be a highly effective way to actively engage students in research in the online classroom. Student-generated debate presentations can become a welcome …

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