Online Learning

Is “Learning Management System” a Misnomer?

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Is there a difference between “course delivery” and “teaching,” or are these equivocal terms? What does it mean to deliver verses to teach? Think about this for a moment in pedagogical terms. Do the following make pedagogical sense? Delivering a learning objective. Delivering a formative assessment. Delivering the

Investing in Your Online Courses

Chase Wrenn, a professor in the philosophy department, teaches an online Intro to Deductive Logic course centered on building skills in formal reasoning. He offers the following advice on managing self-paced, asynchronous online courses. What tips do you have for providing effective feedback online? Be prompt and detailed. As an online instructor, there is a lot of asynchronous communication

Quick Tips for Online Teaching

Allison Hetzel, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, shares how she manages her online courses and offers tips for connecting with distance learners. How do you reduce anonymity and build community in your online courses? I work to connect with my class as often as possible. I make sure that I am part of the class

Teaching with Guided Readings

by Andrea Barton, Department of English Introduction From my perspective, a guided reading exercise is any reading assignment that is teacher-annotated. In other words, this is a reading assignment that contains either brief or developed comments, questions, brief explanations, or other such teacher-input that students should encounter while they read. This input functions much like

Giving Quizzes in Blackboard Learn

by Alecia Chatham, Department of Modern Languages and Classics In my online courses, I often post short, weekly quizzes that are graded immediately by Blackboard. There are a few different quiz types that I use for certain things. Key concept quizzes sometimes take students a little more time to figure out on their own, though

Managing Communication in Online Courses

by Alecia Chatham, Department of Modern Languages and Classics I communicate with all students via e-mail and Blackboard announcements. I upload all information, handouts, and useful links to Blackboard for all of my courses. Another great way to use online resources for any type of course is by creating a place for students to check

Feedback in Online Courses

by Alecia Chatham, Department of Modern Languages and Classics Personalized feedback is the best feedback a student can receive. It is the closest to one-on-one teaching possible online short of using Skype! Feedback should always be given either way, personalized or generic. And, if it is generic (i.e., not tailored to an individual student),  it

Engaging Students in Online Courses

by Alecia Chatham, Department of Modern Languages and Classics Keeping students engaged online is definitely challenging. It is a balancing act between engaging and distracting learners! As mentioned in previous posts, the types of questions you ask and how you ask them (for example, timed/un-timed responses) are very important. My strategy for student engagement includes dividing assignments

Crafting Online Discussion Questions

by Alecia Chatham, Department of Modern Languages and Classics Building a community is a key factor in online teaching. Most online classes have a discussion forum for this purpose. Seems simple, right? Well, it’s not as simple as posting a question and requesting responses. This task can present unexpected challenges because some subjects simply do