Using Pre and Post-Tests to Close Gaps in Knowledge

Description A challenge most academics experience is delivering courses which assumes that the student has the required prerequisite knowledge.  A great example of this is a course which assumes that a student has completed the prerequisite course at a previous level.  This challenge more often than expected, occurs and with key topics, where the prerequisite …

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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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Use Web Conferencing Tools for Office Hours

Description One of the primary concerns reported by online students is feelings of isolation (Abrami & Bures, 1996), and according to Wang, Dziuban, Cook, & Moskal (2009) one of the most effective predictors for student satisfaction is their perceived ability to respect students and show genuine interest in their learning. One way to bridge the …

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Three-before-me

Description The concept of “Three Before Me” pushes the responsibility of locating an answer to commonly asked questions to the student. The student must prove to the professor that he/she has contacted three different sources prior to contacting the professor. Link to example artifact(s) Here is an example of “Three Before Me:” If you have …

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Reach More Students with Targeted Office Hours

Description One of the biggest challenges instructors face with large class sizes is connecting with students individually. Often students will make use of office hours for that personal connection, but there are only so many hours in the day and teaching online adds another layer of complexity. What are targeted office hours? Have you ever …

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Managing Student Interaction with Sign Up Sheets

Description In a distance learning environment, Moore (1989) suggests there are 3 different interaction types: student to student, student to instructor, and student to content. Given various variables such as class size, student location, student needs, teaching load, and content complexity, managing student to instructor interaction can be a difficult and time consuming process. How …

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Discussions large classes

Description Holding effective, engaging discussions in large classes can be a challenge. However, they provide an opportunity for online students to engage with each other and the instructor in a way not possible with other kinds of assessments. Here are some ideas to structure this effectively. Group Size: The most common acceptable number for groups …

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Intervention messages

Description Intervening with Students It is important to contact students when their observed behaviors within the course indicate cause for concern (e.g., disengaged or at-risk of not succeeding). In addition to the obvious behavior of not submitting assignments, checking the Learning Management System’s (LMS) “Student Tracking” tool frequently (sorting by last access) allows the instructor …

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