Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Online Education

Using Synchronous Tools to Build Community in the Asynchronous Online Classroom

Sometimes students in the online environment just need that extra nudge to feel connected in order to truly excel. As instructors, we can facilitate community-building in an asynchronous environment by utilizing synchronous tools, such as Wimba, Skype, Elluminate, and others available to us via our learning management system or outside of the LMS.

Read More »

Get Your Online Course Off to a Good Start

The beginning of an online course is a critical time in which the instructor establishes expectations, sets the tone, and helps students navigate the course. Here are some points to consider for the time leading up to and including that first week:

Read More »

What Are Students Telling You by the Questions They Ask?

A few years ago I had a student, one of the best in her high school class, who told me she hadn’t completed an online college-credit course because she was afraid of the “system,” which she thought was too anonymous and impersonal. Online instructors have to be able to spot such worries and spot them early, and then help students overcome their fears.

Read More »

The Underbelly of Online Teaching

No matter how much we embrace and enjoy online teaching, the human frailties of mistakes, disappointment, anger, frustration, and oversights will come calling each time we teach a class. And when any of these happen we can respond with an emotional and unchecked action—never good—or we can accept that these negatives will always be part of our online teaching efforts and learn how to deal with them in a sensible, appropriate manner. What follows are the most common of the negative issues one will find when teaching online.

Read More »

Distance Education Administrators Face Unique Challenges

Distance education administrators must constantly juggle concerns about academic integrity, technology, and student access, along with campus politics and their own learning curve. Fred Lokken is chairman of the Instructional Technology Council and associate dean for teaching technologies at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nev. As part of an ITC Conference panel, he and his colleagues considered some of the challenges that distance education administrators face

Read More »

Five Common Pitfalls of Online Course Design

Much of what passes for an “online course” these days could more accurately be described as the electronic version of class hand-outs. These courses usually consist of a course description, a syllabus, lecture notes, reading lists, and assignment checklists. In other words, whatever materials a student might have viewed on paper in the past are now read onscreen, and whatever presentations a student might have watched in the classroom are now observed on their screen.

Read More »

Technology-Enhanced Classroom Assessment Techniques

In the mid-1990s, college faculty members were introduced to the concept of classroom assessment techniques (CATs) by Angelo and Cross (1993). These formative assessment strategies were learner-centered, teacher-directed ongoing activities that were rooted in good teaching practice. They were designed to provide relatively quick and useful feedback to the faculty member about what students did and did not understand in order to enhance the teaching and learning process.

Read More »

How to Make Your Online Students Feel Connected

The college student experience, even for graduate students, is much more than course assignments, so why is it that the online learner’s experience is often limited to logging in, reading assignments and posting on the discussion board?

Read More »

Community Colleges Continue to Grow Online

Community colleges saw a nine percent increase in distance learning enrollments in the 2009-10 academic year, according to a survey by the Instructional Technology Council (ITC), an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Read More »

Creating Effective Responses to Student Discussion Postings

An integral part of nearly all online classes is the threaded discussion—it is where students interact on a nearly daily basis, posting their thoughts and information on main discussion topics, your postings, and the postings of other students. While you have measured control over the content, length, and tone of student postings, you have full control over your own.

Read More »