Design a Better Survey

Designing a good survey can be harder than many people think. It takes time to think through the goals of the survey, practice to craft good questions, and testing to validate the results. Surveys should be short to get the maximum response from participants but also be clear and valid to get data which will be helpful in analyzing the results. To get started, there are a few easy best practices from theory and research into survey instrument methodology which can help. 

Using Course Wikis to Promote Peer-to-Peer Learning

One of the hallmarks of any good classroom is peer-to-peer collaboration and learning. Many researchers believe students can actually learn more from interactions with peers than they can from listening to expert (professor) lectures or other passive forms of content...

Quizzes for Formative Assessment

Online learning environments in higher education (such as our learning management system, Canvas) offer increased opportunities for delivering formative assessments to measure student learning. In particular, the use of self-grading quizzes can provide students with...

Student Moderated Discussion Boards

There are many ways to use discussion boards to facilitate connection, inquiry, and interaction outside of the classroom. Used in the right way, these discussions can increase student learning outcomes, interpersonal connection, and metacognitive skills. One method that is often overlooked or passed over for one reason or another are student led/moderated discussion forums. Having students lead discussion forums requires them to take charge and thereby focus on meaning, rather than superficial qualities…

Adobe Connect Breakouts

The "breakout room" feature allows you to facilitate small group discussion or activities within an Adobe Connect session. Participants are separated into sub-rooms, each with their own audio feed, chat pod, etc., while the instructor can move from room to room to...

Anonymous (“Blind”) Grading

Anonymous grading is the practice of hiding the identity of a student to the person who is assessing their work. While anonymous grading may not be appropriate for every assignment, there is some evidence that the practice can help in eliminating both actual and...

Designing an Online Class Session (Synchronous)

  Are you teaching a blended or online course? Do you plan on holding one or more of your class sessions virtually? Maybe you typically teach face-to-face, but need to hold a class online due to weather or travel restrictions. The tips and activities below can...

Tips and Strategies for Online Formative Feedback

Many instructors are used to giving formative feedback in the classroom–maybe through informal interactions with students before and after class, or through “gauging” the room and providing guidance based on a judgement of whether students are struggling and how, or through responding to students during class discussions or student presentations. Online, the opportunities to give formative feedback are different, but no less valuable.

Role of Faculty in a Blended Course

Classes are no longer as simple as 30 students sitting in rows before a blackboard, students are no longer as limited to gathering knowledge in school, and teachers are no longer just lecturers. In this new, interconnected and networked world, what is the role of faculty members in teaching, particularly in online and blended learning courses where so much of the learning can happen independently and remotely?

4 Things to Include on an Online/Blended Course Syllabus

A syllabus is a place to communicate course requirements and expectations. This is as true in person as it is online. However, online and blended courses often have students who are new to that mode of delivery and unfamiliar with expectations for participation, climate of inquiry, and technology proficiencies required of them to be a successful student. The syllabus can help communicate these expectations and additional requirements. Consider including the following additional items on your syllabus for an online or blended learning course.