Course Design

Examine all the elements that help create a course.

Engage your Students with the 6 C’s of Motivation

Imagine you’re an online instructor in the middle of a semester. Every week at the 11:58 pm deadline, students submit assignments that barely meet the rubric minimums. The discussion boards and virtual office hours are ghost towns, and you’re not convinced anyone is reading your feedback. What can you do to motivate your online students to engage with the content and go the extra mile with their assignments and studies? Turner and Paris (1995) identified 6 factors to consider in your own course design to improve student motivation: Choice, Constructing Meaning, Control, Challenge, Consequence, and Collaboration. Continue reading

Fair Use Week – Fair Use in Online Instruction

This week is Fair Use Week, a dedicated time to promote and discuss the opportunities Fair Use gives us in our daily activities. Fair Use is probably the most powerful component of U.S. Copyright law, and the most misunderstood. Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act describes Fair Use as a limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright holders for purposes such as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.” Fair Use is often referred to as the breathing space for free speech, free inquiry, and the open exchange of ideas in copyright law – the Supreme Court has explicitly recognized this as a “First Amendment safeguard.” It’s what allows us to include quotations from published sources in our scholarship, share Youtube videos with our friends on Facebook, record episodes on our DVR for later, and read interesting fan fiction. And, it’s one of best tools to have in your pocket when designing an online course (see Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student).
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2016 Innovating Pedagogy Report

The 2016 Innovating Pedagogy Report proposes ten new innovations that explore ways of teaching, learning, and assessment for an interactive and engaged world. The report is 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. Which innovation might you tackle in the upcoming semester? Continue reading

My Favorite Indie Games for Education


In June, I was fortunate to again attend the Games for Change (G4C) festival in New York. As in past years, the highlight for me was hearing indie developers talk about how their game vision was realized by conscious selection of various storytelling techniques and game mechanic decisions. Designing games is like composing music, making movies, writing novels, building houses, or painting pictures because games provide the structure for interesting things to happen. Continue reading

Integrating Technology with Bloom’s Taxonomy

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. Continue reading

9 Ways to Make Your Course Easier to Navigate

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. Continue reading

Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER)

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: Continue reading