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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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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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 Learner Created Videos for Student Engagement in a Flipped Classroom

Description It has been a challenge to engage students in large-enrollment classes, especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The larger the class size is, the less likely students will actively engage in class activities (Rocca, 2010). The lack of engagement creates information overload (Hewitt & Brett, 2007), which consequently resulted in …

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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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Applying motivational design principles to create engaging online modules

Description In a classroom setting, levels of student engagement vary widely, but instructors can adjust the lesson based on the perceived level of student engagement. However, in an online environment, instructors cannot spontaneously prompt students to motivate their engagement. When developing asynchronous modules, using a motivational design model and appropriate technologies allows one to replicate …

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