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.
The Blackboard Learning Management system offers a variety of tools that help instructors manage the process of delivering instruction within an online course. Some of these functions are more commonly used such as discussion boards, groups, and the assignment feature, but what about the rest? What other functionality do some of the other Blackboard tools offer and what are some ways it which they can be used? Within this article we will explore the use of one of these tools, the Journal tool, and offer a few ways in which it can be used within your online course in non-traditional ways. [Read more…]
Vidra is a video-editing tool that enables you to produce a video from slides you create. You can record your voice through the iPad’s microphone, and the app animates your slides into a beautiful video to share to YouTube in minutes. There are thousands of pictograms to search from, or you can sketch your own. [Read more…]
1. Provide a Back-Up Plan For Books That Ship Late
Have you come across the student who ordered a textbook, and through no fault of his own did not receive it in time to complete the first assigned reading? This is an unfortunate way for students to begin a course, and it can usually be avoided. Utilize the library’s reserve services to make the first chapter of a book available electronically. Generally, the library can digitize one chapter or 10% of a book for your course. To learn more about which materials are eligible and to find the online request form, see Reserve Service Guidelines.
2. Introduce Students to Resources to Help Them Succeed
ASU provides services that help students succeed, and the library is just one of them. With thousands of electronic resources available to students from any location, the library is a rich source of information for online students. Research guides on various topics, such as History and Nutrition are available. There are also research guides for specific courses, such as ENG 102/105/108 First-Year Composition. You can explore different guides by topic here. Did you know there is also a library page devoted to ASU Online students?
The 2015 Horizon report identifies “improving digital literacy” as a significant but solvable challenge. “With the proliferation of the Internet, mobile devices, and other technologies that are now pervasive in education, the traditional view of literacy as the ability to read and write has expanded to encompass understanding digital tools and information.” Even in courses without research requirements or another obvious need for library services, introducing students to these resources is a nice way to support their overall academic endeavors. Work with your Instructional Designer to add the library link to a course menu, or consider mentioning it in your course introduction.
3. Embed Videos
Videos are a nice addition to other course materials in an online environment. ASU Libraries provide access to streaming videos through Academic Video Online Premium (aka Alexander Street Press) and Films on Demand. If your favorite YouTube or Vimeo content is no longer available, remember the library provides access to thousands of educational videos students can view online. For help adding videos to Blackboard, contact your Instructional Designer, or see Linking Videos in Course Management Shells.
4. Provide Instructional Materials on Citation Styles
Students are often required to use a citation style, such as APA or MLA, when writing course papers. Many first-year students are using a citation style for their first time, and the extra amount of time formatting takes can initially come as a big surprise. There is a growing consensus that online students need more self-discipline to succeed than those in on-ground courses. Help students early on with a tip: if this is their first time using a style guide, they should allow themselves time to learn about the citation style before writing the paper. Supply links to the library’s resources, such as the Citation Styles guide, which includes examples of various citation styles, plus links to additional help resources. If you prefer that students consult use a full, official style guide but are conscious of textbook expenses, the Chicago Manual of Style eBook is available fully online through ASU Libraries!
5. Fully Utilize ASU’s Resources to Promote Critical Thinking Skills
Findings of a recent study in which students and faculty ranked student preparedness on 58 e-learning competencies suggest that “while students may be reasonably prepared to deal with the technology of e-learning, for activities such as reading and writing, being clear and concise in responses, synthesizing ideas, planning strategies, making arguments, and working with others, students are not well prepared.” Librarians are knowledgeable about resources and teaching strategies that promote critical thinking skills, and they have ideas to share that are especially helpful for courses with a research component. They can direct you to tutorials to add to your course, or they may suggest collaborating to create new ones. Identify your subject librarian!
- Johnson L, Adams Becker S, Estrada V, Freeman A. NMC horizon report: 2015 higher education edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2015-higher-education-edition/. 2015. Accessed April 24, 2015.
- Allen IE, Seaman J. Grade Change: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradechange.pdf. 2014. Accessed April 23, 2015.
- Parkes M, Stein S, Reading C. Student preparedness for university e-learning environments. Internet and Higher Education. 2015, 25, 1–10.
As an online instructor, how can you know if your students are watching your lectures and videos? How can you create more interaction and engagement with your lectures without the luxury of being there in person? Research suggests that students only spend an average of six minutes watching a lecture or video (Guo, Kim & Rubin, 2014). [Read more…]
Arizona State University offers Google Apps for Education to all students, faculty and staff. Google Apps for Education is a suite of free, secure tools which include Gmail, Calendar, Documents and Sites. Recently, Google launched the “Add-ons” feature which brings very useful Apps Script based extensions to Docs and Sheets. Add-ons are very easy to discover and install and they become available across both Docs and Sheets after installation.
Two in every three students admit to having cheated in their courses, and students in online courses are more likely to cheat than in students in face-to-face courses. Academic integrity is an issue in education and besides pedagogical and community building solutions, instructors may use technology tools built to check and prevent academic integrity violations in online courses. In this post I will briefly introduce three technologies you can use today to improve academic integrity in your online course.
Blackboard is the learning management system used at Arizona State University. A learning management system is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of face to face, blended, and completely online education courses.
Embedding video in a course can be a messy process. There are a lot of steps and if you use videos from multiple platforms, there is little consistency in size and format. This can quickly make a course media page look like it was put together by Dr. Frankenstein. [Read more…]
“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!