Does your online course respect and encourage diversity? Here are some facts and questions to consider in order to maximize your course inclusivity. [Read more…]
How are today’s most innovative educators engaging with their students? The 2015 Innovating Pedagogy Report proposes ten innovations that explore ways of teaching, learning, and assessment for an interactive, engaged world. The report is the fourth of its kind, produced in collaboration with SRI International and The Open University. The full document details several examples and studies to support these innovations. Below is a summary of those innovations:
- Crossover Learning: Learning in informal settings, such as museums or meetups. Such settings can spark further interest and motivation to learn.
- Learning Through Argumentation: Learning by establishing and refuting claims, in ways similar to professional scientists and mathematicians.
- Incidental Learning: Unplanned or unintentional learning that contributes to longer term learning paths, often via technology, especially mobile.
- Context-based Learning: Learning from experience by interpreting new information and relating it to what we already know. For example, students interacting with surroundings other than a lecture hall, that relate to the given topic.
- Computational Thinking: Learning that breaks large problems down into smaller ones, uses pattern recognition, algorithms, abstraction, and debugging for problems that aren’t even related to math or science necessarily.
- Learning by Doing: Learning with authentic tools and practices. The traditional example is the science labratory. New, technology-enabled examples have emerged involving remote labs, and adaptive simulations.
- Embodied Learning: Learning that involves self-awareness of the body interacting with the real or simulated world, in a way that the mind and body work together so that physical feedback and actions reinforce the learning process. Think interactive surfaces with multi-touch screens or wearable devices like Google Glass.
- Adaptive Teaching: Uses data about a specific learner’s previous learning to create personalized paths.
- Analytics of Emotions: Understanding student mindsets in cognitive and non-cognitive aspects, including frustrations, distractions, even eye tracking.
- Stealth Assessment: Automatic data collection techniques (such as in games like World of Warcraft) in which actions are continually collected to make inferences about the particular student’s goals and strategies, to then present new, appropriate challenges.
Are any of these innovations present in your course? Which innovation might you tackle in the upcoming semester?
Sharples, M., Adams, A., Alozie, N., Ferguson, R., FitzGerald, E., Gaved, M., McAndrew, P., Means, B., Remold, J., Rienties, B., Roschelle, J., Vogt, K., Whitelock, D. & Yarnall, L. (2015). Innovating Pedagogy 2015: Open University Innovation Report 4. Milton Keynes: The Open University.
True or false?: College courses should never include true or false questions.
True or false questions are notoriously unreliable for student assessment, but used outside of an exam context, they can enhance student engagement.
Joana Girante, Professor of Economics with the W.P. Carey School of Business, discusses how she uses short introductory video announcements in her online courses to introduce weekly topics. Knowing that her largely non-economics majors’ audience is a bit apprehensive about the topic, she illustrates that economics is everywhere and relevant; it is in music and in everyday decisions.
Girante uses highly engaging video announcements based on narrated PowerPoints using a variety of animated graphs, pictures, and Youtube videos to contextualize her weekly online content. She discovered that her students used the videos as an additional study tool and that it gave her an opportunity to mimic the impromptu comments often made in the in-person environment.
“How do you prevent cheating in online courses?” Since 1995, when the ASU Online instructional design team first started working with faculty to develop online courses, this is one of the most common questions we’ve received.
At ASU Online, our aim is to preserve the integrity of our students, and the credibility and rigor of our degree programs, which requires keen attention to academic integrity.
We provide the following resources in an effort to minimize opportunities for cheating and promote academic integrity in online courses. [Read more…]
We have entered a generation in which technology has enabled students to have 24-hour access to information at their fingertips. With this ease of access also comes the opportunity for students to be able to quickly grab information from various sources, websites, and databases. This has caused the task of citation dictation to become difficult and more confusing than ever before. In most online courses, students will be required at some point to submit a writing assignment in which they are instructed to use a specified style of writing to properly cite their references. How can instructors more effectively assist their students with this daunting task and make the process of citation dictation effortless?
RefWorks! What is it and how does it work?
RefWorks is a “web-based bibliography and database manager that allows you to create your own personal database by importing references from text files or online databases and other various sources.” In conjunction with the use of RefWorks, students can use databases such as PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, and search engines such as Google Scholar to locate and import articles or journals directly to their RefWorks account. RefWorks also aligns with Write-n-Cite for in-text citations and acts as another method to create a bibliography.
How to Incorporate RefWorks into your online Course
As a best practice, it is encouraged to begin by providing students with information pertaining to the basics of research and citation style guides (ex: Purdue OWL: Online Writing Lab; 6th edition of the Publication Manual of American Psychological Association). Once students identify and understand the style required by their instructor, they can proceed by accessing their RefWorks account and begin adding articles, journals, and much more to their database.
To help get students started, course instructors should include clear directions and information on how to set up a RefWorks account for new student users and a link to the RefWorks login page for existing student users. If students have more detailed questions that are specific to their research, use of certain databases, or the import of articles and journals into their RefWorks accounts, instructors can direct students to contact their ASU Subject Librarian or send an email to RefWorks@asu.edu.
- ASU Student, Staff, and Faculty RefWorks Guides
- Basics of APA Style
- RefWorks Fact Sheet
- Resources for ASU Online Students: Citing Sources
- ASU Libraries: Overview of Citation Management Tools
- What Is RefWorks? (n.d.). Retrieved May 29, 2015, from http://www.refworks.com/refworks/help/Welcome.htm
- Welcome to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab). (n.d.). Retrieved July 9, 2015, from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2
Co-written by Obiageli Sneed and Jessica Cole
With accessibility to online education increasing, the retention of online students has become a concern of academic leaders in higher education (Allen & Seaman, 2015). As a result, many universities have launched initiatives to improve course completion, program completion, and student support services (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, & Freeman, 2015). Although many causes for students withdrawing from an online course are beyond the realm of instructor control, retention and attrition can be reduced through various means. [Read more…]
Defining the Term Accessible
1 in 5 people in the United States report having a disability (Brault, 2012) and approximately 1 in 10 undergraduates report having a disability according to the National Center for Educational Statistics (n.d.). Evaluating the design of your course for accessibility will help students with disabilities be successful in your course.
Instructional Designers support faculty throughout the development of their online course. Their goal is to make online course development easier for faculty as well as to assist in making knowledge acquisition more efficient, effective, and appealing for students. Below are 15 ways ASU Online Instructional Designers can assist faculty. [Read more…]
Finding unique ways to implement and deliver student activities within an online course can be quite challenging to many instructors. Most of the difficulty revolves around the concepts of translating on-ground course activities to the online environment and how to revitalize an old activity with new technologies. This article provides four essential tips that will help to shed light on these common instructor dilemmas and provide effective ways on how to incorporate new and innovative technologies into your online course.