Best Practices for Large-Enrollment Online Courses, Part I: Managing student expectations, leveraging quizzes, and reducing grading load

Whenever student enrollment capacity dramatically increases for an instructor, there are a number of common questions and concerns: How will the increased grading load be managed?  How can instructors facilitate a discussion among 100+ students? How will students receive meaningful feedback? Here are some best practices and considerations for managing high-enrollment courses that have been successful in our ASU Online courses. Continue reading

Using Common Blackboard Tools in Non-Traditional Ways

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. Continue reading

Organize Your Course and Students Using The New Blackboard Calendar Tool

To be successful in online courses, students must quickly learn to be organized. In fact, organization is the key to a successful learning environment. Without organization, students quickly become derailed from the course timeline and must spend their time playing catch-up. Typically, students are enrolled in more than one course and instructors are teaching more than one course. One organizational challenge that both instructors and students face is keeping track of all of the assignments and due dates in all of their courses. Continue reading