Dr. Sher Ratnabalasuriar shares her experiences using blogs in her online classes as a learning tool. She wanted an alternative to the traditional discussion boards that would encourage students to engage more, become more mindful about their writing, and to increase student engagement with course materials and with each other. Dr. Ratnabalasuriar has successfully used free blog services such as WordPress, Tumbler, and Blogger with her large and small classes.
Dr. Nancy Jurik wanted to encourage thoughtful reflection on course readings and discussions in her Justice Theory course. To do this, she sliced her 40+ student course into four groups of 10 asking them to post twice a week. The first post was to respond to an instructor question based upon the readings and narrated PowerPoint lectures; the second post was to summarize the key areas of agreement or disagreement among the students who responded to post one. Obviously, trying to summarize 40 student responses would be a monumental task, however, in groups of 10, it was very manageable.
Dr. Deborah Henderson uses her course Announcements to increase student engagement with the course content and herself and to reinforce and expand upon course concepts. She writes, “Taking in all the weekly posts at once, I can copy individual posts that I think are really insightful and incorporate them into my general comments – giving the students not only a model for good post content, but also a sense that the instructor is reading what they write and guiding their experience inside the course. This method also lets me focus my thinking and say things better and more articulately than I would have in a face-to-face class.”
Take a moment to enjoy Dr. Henderson’s unique use of Announcements.
Don Benjamin, Ph.D., from Religious Studies at ASU Online, shares his expertise and thoughts on using scaffolded assignments in online courses. He shares his insights on the following:
- Definition in regards to online assignments
- Providing scaffolding in assignments
- The kinds of questions students ask in discussion boards when learning to do research
- Moving students to a higher level of performance
- Plagiarism prevention
- Transfer of learning
- Advice to those who want to implement the use of scaffolding in their online courses
Please share your thoughts and experiences with scaffolding assignments.
This Scoop-It site (Yes, we like Scoop-it here at ASU Online!) is a quick and dirty attempt to bring you the latest and greatest educational gaming research. It is not exhaustive by any means as we don’t want you overwhelmed. A HA Gaming! is just a starting point!
Want to see some actual GAMES? Go to my Games in the Curriculum Scoop-it at http://www.scoop.it/t/games-in-the-curriculum.
The use of games in the curriculum is a popular topic currently with some instructors jumping in with both feet and others preferring to stick a toe in to test the water. The continuum of games and their use in a coherent curriculum does not need to be scary or all-consuming. Games and simulations can be immersive or they can simply be engaging ways to introduce, reinforce, and/or enhance curricular content and course learning objectives. Dr. Rhonda Phillips uses “Ayiti, The Cost of Life” to help students relate to the trade-offs between economic, environmental, and equity costs within sustainable communities.