Integrating Games into the Curriculum

The use of games in the curriculum is a popular topic currently with some instructors jumping in with both feet and others preferring to stick a toe in to test the water.  The continuum of games and their use in a coherent curriculum does not need to be scary or all-consuming.  Games and simulations can be immersive  or they can simply be engaging ways to introduce, reinforce, and/or enhance curricular content and course learning objectives.  Dr. Rhonda Phillips uses “Ayiti, The Cost of Life” to help students relate to the trade-offs between economic, environmental, and equity costs within sustainable communities.

Using Voicethread

VoiceThread is a browser-based application that allows classrooms to have conversations asynchronously around images, videos, documents, presentations, and even lectures.  In the classroom, VoiceThread can be used for digital student-portfolios, language practice, lectures;  group presentations, community establishment, etc.

More educational applications can be found at  Additionally, VoiceThread is FREE for ASU instructors and students, is INTEGRATED into ASU Online’s Learning Management System and is INCREDIBLY easy to use.

Dr. Vanna Gonzales uses VoiceThread as an introductory activity in her online Research Methods course to build community.

Icebreakers: Engage learners with simple activities that foster openness and creativity!

According to the wiki, Teaching With Technology, icebreakers are techniques or strategies used during the beginning of class or a unit to reduce tension and involve the students in a light and effective way. Icebreakers are important for online learners, because the face-to-face interaction is not readily available.

I’ve compiled a list of icebreaker ideas using! You can view them here.

Using Twitter in Your Online Course

The TV show ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ provides a humorous view on the use of Twitter in the surgery room, how the senior leader is skeptical about its use as a learning tool and how the professional learning network participates and in this case provides a solution for a life-threatening situation.

There are numerous ways you can use Twitter in your online course including keeping students in the loop, instant feedback, and classroom notepad. My personal favorite is bringing a historical figure to life by using the voice of the historical figure and encouraging the students to interact using the same language and style.

The following articles will provide you with some ideas on how to use Twitter in your online courses: