Games have power. They can make fun, fantastical, the dull, doable, and the joyless, joyful. At ASU we have a number of faculty who use the power of games and simulations in their classes as a way to entice students to further engage with the course content.
ASU Online accomplishments in 2012.
Fabulous article on University of Arizona’s Ed Prather’s experiences with his large lecture Astronomy class for non-majors. Focus is student centered/student interaction AND student ambassadors. “With this work we see the progression of participants in the Ambassador Program from high-achieving non-science majors taking a GE course, to peer-teaching assistants within the course, to astronomy education researchers evaluating the success of the course.”
ASU’s College of Public Programs’ Steven Crawford discusses the use of student wikis in his “Social Media for Social Good” course.
The wiki assignment focused on the UN Millennial Development Goals with student groups creating a wiki page for their chosen goal. The wiki format allowed the student groups to collaboratively create and edit their page asynchronously, discuss the creation and content of the page in a discussion board associated with the wiki, track changes to the page, and to embed multimedia files. Student reception to the assignment was positive and the quality of the work very good!
I’ve been hoping for this day for some time — the intersection of gaming and education into the mainstream. At last year’s Games for Change conference, Valve’s Gabe Newell announced that he would put his considerable resources into working with educators to bring physics to students via Portal and Portal 2. Well, the site is READY and it debuted TODAY at this year’s Games for Change conference!
Graham et al. note the following seven lessons for online instruction: Instructors should provide clear guidelines for interaction with students; provide well-designed discussion assignments to promote cooperation among students; encourage students to present course projects to one another; provide prompt feedback of two types–information and acknowledgement; provide assignment deadlines; provide challenging tasks, sample cases, and praise for high-quality work to reinforce high expectations; and allow students to choose project topics.
Arizona State University Nursing instructor Patricia Harris discusses her use of rubrics and the GradeMark* functionality within Turnitin. Nursing faculty are finding that their use of these two tools:
- encourage transparent scoring guidelines;
- promote consistent scoring among faculty;
- emphasize writing;
- provide evidence of student critical thinking growth; and
- support a foundation for continuous improvement in grading.
Dr. Nancy Jurik discusses how she uses video responses in her online classes to keep students motivated. Every Friday morning, Dr. Jurik creates a webcam video to supplement her readings, narrated PowerPoint lectures, videos, websites, etc. Her goals are to bring herself to life for her students and grab their attention to keep them engaged in the course content. She looks at the Discussion Boards to determine what concepts resonate with the students and what topics need additional commentary and then crafts her weekly video responses. She then uploads the videos, grabs the embed code and pastes it into her course for the students to view.