First Impressions

Jill Schiefelbein has been an instructor in the Hugh Downs School of Communication at Arizona State University since 2004

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.

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From the Trenches – An ASU Online Student Perspective

Kenzie Horn, ASU Online student.
Kenzie Horn, ASU Online student.

Full disclosure: my daughter is an ASU Online freshman – she has 25 credits under her belt as of now.  She has taken required courses and electives and thus far she is loving the convenience of getting her bachelor’s degree online through ASU while attending a two year professional acting studio in New York full-time.  Her dream is to act on Broadway; my requirement is that she earn a four year degree at the same time. 

As a seasoned online student, I thought it would be useful to pass on some of her ideas about what makes a great online course.

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Videos in the Classroom: Is That Really Active Learning?

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.

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Assessments with Rubrics

Assessing students’ work is a common activity in the life of any instructor, and depending on the number of students and type of assignment, can be a long and tedious process. Even after sharing grades and posting feedback, students are often interested in how the instructor arrived at a certain point value or score. Consequently, instructors often spend additional time answering students’ questions to “justify” their assessments.

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Video Conferencing for Synchronous Sessions – Food for Thought

“Synchronous video interaction can make learning more personal by providing a close approximation of the human, one-on-one experience…” (Educause, 2013)

people-in-a-roomOne 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!

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Games 4 Change 2013

This is my third year of attending the Games 4 Change conference* and I am excited about the growth of the serious/social impact/persuasive game genres.  I love to infuse games in the curriculum I teach AND the curriculum I help design with ASU Online faculty.  I’ve seen and experienced the power of games — immersive and tiny (non-immersive).  Simply, good games enhance learning. Continue reading

The Value of Group Work

Although most educators now recognize that the instructional paradigm has transitioned from an instructor-centered model featuring lecture as the primary means of delivering content, to a more student-center model featuring active learning to promote increased student engagement; old habits are hard to break. While we may intuitively understand why it is important for students to work collaboratively, it is often hard to find time and space in a course where students can collaborate or work in groups. Continue reading