October 5, 2009

Using Shared Online Video to Anchor Instruction: YouTube and Beyond

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t was August 26, 2009. That evening I receive a phone call from someone in Japan looking to create free online math and science courses on mobile devices for youth in India using existing shared online video. The following day, I get an email from a colleague at a university in Canada who had just read my new book, The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. Many points made in the book seemed to resonate with him except for my advocacy of YouTube videos in teaching. Like most faculty members, he was very reluctant to show the YouTube homepage to his class because an offensive video might be featured.



June 15, 2009

Addressing the Unique Needs of Your Students

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Why are you interested in improving your courses and instruction?

That was the question posed to attendees to kick off the online seminar Five Steps to Improve Your Online Courses and Instruction by presenter Dr. Patti Shank. Most of the respondents selected as their answers “to better support students” or “I hope this will reduce some of the hassles of teaching online.” A few of the more honest ones chose “I’m expected to do this” and a couple more came because they “need to address specific problems.”


May 4, 2009

Online Assessment: Tips on Rubrics, Discussion Boards and Gradebooks

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Even the most experienced educators can feel overwhelmed when they teach their first hybrid or fully online course. On top of dealing with the time and space constraints of asynchronous learning, there are so many different tools to learn. Tools, it seems, that all of their students either know how to use or master very quickly.


March 17, 2009

Tips for Teaching Large Classes Online

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Jonathan P. Mathews, assistant professor of energy and geo-environmental engineering at Penn State University, teaches a high-enrollment (more than 400 students) general education online course, Energy and the Environment. Although he has two teaching assistants, the logistics of managing such a large class would be overwhelming without implementing the following course design and management ideas.


September 24, 2008

Choosing Appropriate Distance Learning Tools

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Faculty need to consider learning objectives, learning styles, accessibility, cost, and available technical support when designing distance learning courses, says Laurie Hillstock, manager of distance learning at Clemson University.

Hillstock works with faculty to develop satellite, CD-ROM, and Web-based courses using a design model that is roughly 80 percent asynchronous and 20 synchronous. Within this model, instructors can…


September 4, 2008

Project Introduces Students to Helpful Resources

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Many of my students wait until they are in academic trouble before they seek help. By then, they are often in too deep to be retrieved. At the beginning of the semester, I’ve always tried to encourage students to know what support services are available to them. “Find help before you need it!” I tell them. But often times this advice is either completely ignored or stored for use when it’s too late. How could I convince students to heed my advice? I needed a more creative approach…