December 11, 2009

Should You Let Students Lead Discussion Boards?

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Several years ago, a colleague suggested that having students lead discussions in the online classroom would be a good idea. I agreed and searched the literature for research on this topic but found nothing. No one at that point had been looking at having students moderate, or they hadn’t written about it. I still thought it was a good idea and decided to pursue this line of research by having my students moderate and follow up with an end-of-course student questionnaire.


December 10, 2009

Making the Shift from Rhetoric to Performance

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Discussion of teaching and learning as an academic, scholarly endeavor has become an acceptable conversation on college campuses. A shift is beginning to take place whereby the scholarship of teaching and learning is now being taken seriously. We are making progress in higher education by making undergraduate education intentional, thus moving toward a learner-centered paradigm.




December 7, 2009

Primed for Learning: Maximizing Teachable Moments When Students are Ready and Willing to Learn

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Teachable moments, those special times when students are most ready and willing to learn, are traditionally considered unplanned opportunities. But should teachable moments be treated like unexpected gifts or can they actually be set in motion with a little advanced anticipation and planning by the instructor?



December 4, 2009

A New Look at Student Attention Spans

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Have you heard that advice about chunking content in 10- to 15-minute blocks because that’s about as long as students can attend to material in class? It’s a widely touted statistic and given the behaviors indicative of inattentiveness observed in class, most faculty haven’t questioned it. But Karen Wilson and James H. Korn did. They got to wondering how researchers made that determination. “What was the dependent measure, and how did researchers measure attention during a lecture without influencing the lecture itself as well as students’ attention?”


December 3, 2009

Twitter in the Classroom: Studies Find Increased Student Engagement

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With interest in Twitter on the rise, many instructors continue to grapple with the question of whether it has a place in the college classroom. And, if it does, what is the best, most effective way to use it? So perhaps it comes as no surprise that we’re starting to see studies on the use of Twitter in both traditional and online courses.



December 1, 2009

Keep Your Classes on Track During the Holidays

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This time of year is always one of the most difficult times for students to focus on their studies. In the online classroom it can be an especially challenging to keep students engaged, serious, and committed to assignments and deadlines. For while students in the face-to-face classroom know they must be in X classroom on Y days at Z time each week—no matter the month—the casual setup of the online classroom can bust wide open if not addressed during these holiday months.