Online Learning

16 Community-Building Ice-Breakers for Zoom

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Among the many objectives for the first day of class, for some teachers, is to create a sense of community. Many of the strategies used face-to-face may be adapted to the online environment. Here are some ice-breakers that have worked in the past. They may be adapted to

Three Ways to Construct Supportive Online Courses

by Jaimie Choi, Department of Psychology As COVID-19 swept the country, many of us have transitioned to virtual teaching, using diverse platforms that deliver online lectures. Unfortunately, despite the convenience of being able to lead a lecture in our pajama pants, there are many studies that cast light on the psychological pitfall that follows being

Social Reading Supports Student Success (e.g., Hypothesis)

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Maintaining engagement and a sense of community is valuable no matter how strange and extenuated the conditions for teaching and learning. 24 UA courses used the new Hypothesis tool in Blackboard (found in your “build content” menu). Hypothesis allows teachers and learners to add a layer of commentary

Using Gradescope to Give Detailed Feedback on Assignments

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies/eTech Did you notice the “Gradescope” option under the “Build Content” option in your Blackboard courses in Fall 2020? Perhaps you also noticed the Gradescope resources posted by the Center for Instructional Technology? Thanks to the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and

Messaging with Slack Improves Class Communication

by Lauren Horn Griffin, Department of Religious Studies I’ve been using Slack, a communication and collaboration tool, with the students in my Fall 2020 course REL310, “REL Goes to the Movies.” The app has given me more insight into student understanding and progress (those formative moments) than the live discussions where only some participate. Due

Transition Multiple-Choice Exams Online: A Large-Enrollment Solution

by Diana Leung, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry In 2020 the changes brought about by COVID-19 forced me to transition my normally face-to-face classes to an online format. This fall semester I teach two sections of a freshman Introductory Chemistry class (CH 104), each with about ~200 students, and an Organic Chemistry II (CH 232)

Zoom Roleplay Practices to Teach Theory and Case Studies

by Elif Kalaycioglu, Political Science A key goal for my hybrid, advanced seminar this semester is to get students to think about the multiple roles that expertise plays in diverse domains of global politics. This requires familiarity with a range of IR theories on expertise, as well as linking these theories to concrete case studies.

Electronic Whiteboard Options for Online Lectures: iPad & Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

by Diana Leung, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Alabama. After the need for social distancing due to COVID-19, I had to transition my face to face classes to an online format. My teaching style relies crucially on the use

Academic Support in Our New Online Context

By Amy Dayton, Department of English Many faculty members rely on UA’s academic support programs to provide students with the individualized help they need outside of class. Despite the current crisis, the UA Libraries, Capstone Center for Student Success, and UA Writing Center continue to offer support to help students meet their academic goals and

So You’re an Online Student! Tips for Success

by Dr. Jennifer Roth-Burnette, Capstone Center for Student Success 1. Treat online study like a job. Plan 1.5–3 study hours per credit hour each week. If you are taking 12 credit hours, that’s 18–36 hours per week, depending on the difficulty of the courses you are taking. It’s a lot, but you can do it!