My journey teaching an online course

I have been teaching Principles of Genetics (BIOL F260) face-to-face at UAF for the past 15 years. It’s a required course for biology majors and a prerequisite for medical school. In 2019, my department chair asked if I would consider developing the course for online...

An Interview with Gordon Williams

In this interview with Gordon Williams, we found out how he developed Calculus III (MATH F253X) for online students and why video became an important tool.

Q: What was important to have ready before the class started?
It would have been nice to have everything ready, but I had to settle with just having two weeks worked out in advance given the time constraints.

Q: Explain some of the pedagogical decisions you’ve made while building a course as it’s running.
A lot of the techniques I’m using in the course came from the suggestions and practices of my colleagues. For example, using worksheets in combination with (preferably brief) lecture videos using the same template, having students complete those worksheets by following along on the video, and having students submit them weekly is a reasonably handy way of ensuring students view and follow the content of the videos.

Designing your effective library resources assignment

Most faculty would like their students to use reliable, scholarly journal articles and high quality book chapters as sources when writing term papers, but some students don’t know how to find them. Even after successfully passing the required LS101 course, if students don’t regularly practice searching library databases and using quality sources, they forget how and where to search for peer-reviewed articles. By including some fundamental information and specific requirements in your term paper assignment, you can help students improve the quality of their written work. The following 4 suggestions can ensure that students select better quality content for your term paper or other written assignment.

1. Determine which skills you want your student to learn

Stating the purpose of your research paper, including the specific activities you want students to perform, helps students understand why you are requiring certain types of resources. For example, if you don’t allow popular magazines or books as sources, give them a short explanation of why.