Online learning can be a solitary experience. Students can feel somewhat disconnected when they take an online course and many instructors find it challenging to establish an instructional relationship with their students. Creating an engaging introduction video can solve these concerns.
This is the second article in a series on Active Learning. Click here to read an earlier TeachOnline blog post on how active learning promotes student success.
Videos are considered an especially effective way to present information while also addressing multiple learning styles. However, today’s students are often viewed as passive consumers of content. It is reported that a typical high school or college-age student spends, on the average, about five hours a day watching television, movies, and other online content. (Nielsen, 2013) To address this trend and encourage increased student engagement, instructors have begun to incorporate active learning strategies into face-to-face classroom and online instruction.
“Synchronous video interaction can make learning more personal by providing a close approximation of the human, one-on-one experience…” (Educause, 2013)
One of the most exciting aspects of video conferencing technology is the ability to conduct your class in real-time, regardless of location. Imagine the possibilities when students from around the country or even the world can learn as if they were in the same classroom. Like all new technologies however, there are some important considerations an instructor should take into account before jumping off the deep end. Some basic preparation will allow the magic to happen without the headaches that can come with it!
A hybrid course is much more than just an online course with a face-to-face class session thrown in for good measure. It involves asking, “What is the best way for students to interact with course content, construct knowledge, engage in critical thinking and problem solving?” Purposeful decisions are made by the instructor as to what activities are best included in face-to-face class sessions, and which activities would work well in a virtual environment. The term hybrid, or blended course, signifies a new way of thinking about how to harness the power of technology to promote learning and identify the best strategies to help students master important course concepts. However, it is about more than just teaching an existing course in a new format.
As the paradigm shifts towards learner-centered approaches to instruction, active learning has gained increased attention in higher education circles. You may have even seen images of classrooms that have undergone extensive renovation to become “active learning classrooms.” But what is active learning and how does it support student success?
When you begin creating a course, you want to design with the end in mind. The best way to approach this is to start by writing measurable, learning objectives. Effective learning objectives use action verbs to describe what you want your students to be able to do by the end of the course or unit. Aligning assessments with course expectations is much easier when you have written measurable objectives from the beginning.