Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Online Student Engagement

Promoting Early, Active Discussion in Online Courses

In a study of student participation in threaded discussions, Scott Warnock, an assistant professor of English at Drexel University, found that students who post early in threaded discussions tend to do better (as measured by course grades) than those who procrastinate.

Read More »

Building Student Engagement in Online Courses

Despite all the high-tech communication technologies available to online instructors today — discussion boards, email, IM, wikis, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, etc. — every once in awhile Dr. B. Jean Mandernach likes to use a tool that was invented way back in 1876. The telephone.

Read More »

Using Video Clips to Stimulate Discussion in Online Courses

If you’re looking to improve threaded discussions in your online courses, consider using brief video clips as discussion prompts. When carefully selected and integrated into a course, these clips can lead students to higher-order thinking and appeal to auditory and visual learning styles.

Read More »

Three Factors in Online Student Satisfaction

Students’ satisfaction with the online learning environment is an important part of their success. A survey of students at Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) revealed exactly what online students want.

Read More »

How to Reduce Social Loafing in Your Online Course

Are you having trouble getting your online students to contribute equally to team projects? If so, perhaps you should try varying the membership of these teams because, according to a study by Brian Dineen (see reference below), doing so can reduce social loafing and improve online collaboration.

Read More »

Comparing Reflective Thinking in Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Conventional wisdom about synchronous vs. asynchronous communication says that while they both have their places in the online classroom, adult learners prefer asynchronous communication for its flexibility and that asynchronous communication allows more time for reflective thinking. However, a paper presented at the 2004 meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) contradicts these notions.

Read More »

Creating an Active Distance Learning Environment

Kristopher Wiemer, instructional technology specialist at Philadelphia University, encourages instructors to adopt active-learning strategies such as hands-on activities, interaction, and research “to make sure students are engaged and aren’t just sitting there like sponges. I introduce [faculty] to the concept of active learning. Most of them are new to this and…”

Read More »

Asynchronous Discussion: The Heart of the Online Course

Asynchronous online discussion plays a key role in humanizing online courses. Asking provocative questions is an important part of getting students to participate in discussions, but the right questions alone are not always enough to create a truly connected class.

Read More »