Does your course content use any Adobe Flash elements? This article will break down why Flash is a problem, how to know if you have Flash-based content, and how to replace the most commonly-found uses of Flash-based instructional materials. [Read more…]
Creating authentic learning experiences for students is an essential element in online course delivery. Through recent discussion instructors have inquired “How do we provide meaningful learning experiences for students using tools that are intrinsically motivating?” 2 Questions as such imply the need to provide instructors with “. . . innovative ways of integrating technology that encourage higher-order thinking skills.” 2 Research indicates that “Today’s students, regardless of demographics, have shown an interest in digital opportunities to learn, and the range of Web 2.0 tools that make collaboration, innovation, and individual exploration possible is incredible.” 2 Practitioners within the field of education have thought of unique ways to connect digital tools with the framework of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, which has led to the emergence of a Digital Bloom’s Taxonomy. [Read more…]
Easy course navigation is a critical component of a great online course. According to Quality Matters (QM), an organization dedicated to improving online course quality, one of the requirements for a QM certified course is that the, “Course navigation facilitates ease of use” (QM Standard 8.1), adding, “Navigation throughout the course [should be] consistent, logical, and efficient.” Reducing the amount of scrolling, clicking, and searching means your students can spend more time learning the content and they’ll miss fewer critical details like assignment requirements and due dates, resulting in a better overall experience for both students and instructors. Here are nine ways to improve your students’ ability to get where they need to go. [Read more…]
Defining appropriate behavior for interactions among online students helps to create a positive and respectful learning environment. [Read more…]
Please join the ASU Open Educational Resources Working Group as we celebrate ASU Open Education Week March 14-18, 2016. Details about two events at the end of this post!
In this post I’d like to introduce the concept of OER and describe some of the opportunities OER present for faculty members and higher education staff. It is certain there are faculty members already using OER, even if they have never heard them defined this way. If you would like to explore more about OER with me, please don’t hesitate to contact me at my email address: email@example.com. [Read more…]
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…]