Animate your course banner

The GIF format is ideal for creating animated images and they are commonly used to propagate memes, grab attention, succinctly explain a step-by-step process and otherwise communicate visual information quickly. We see them in news articles, our social media feeds and even in instruction. Is a GIF an element you would consider incorporating into the banner image of your online course?

Integrating disciplines to help students succeed

Two recent studies from the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the National Academy of Sciences highlight the need to address a more integrative curricular approach to improve competencies desired by employers. In this Teaching Tip, we take a brief look at these two reports and invite faculty to join the discussion on how integration of scientific, technical and liberal arts fields can work to enhance post-graduation success.

Students and learning in the “open”

Turning your course open with Open Education resources, practices, and pedagogy can have profound impacts on how students relate to the materials, to you, to their learning and their positioning relative to that learning. Ready to get started?

Finding and creating Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of media that is free and available for educators and students to use, reuse, repurpose, and sometimes modify for educational purposes. OER can help your students save money and can help you think about how you can teach outside typical textbook constraints. But how do you go about finding good OER? In this Teaching Tip, we will discuss methods for locating and evaluating resources.

Emerging trends in online STEM lab design

In the first four parts of our series on online STEM labs, we looked at why online faculty choose to develop an online lab course, the diversity of lab solutions faculty implemented to meet course objectives, how to engage online lab students, and special assessment considerations within the context of online STEM labs. In this fifth and final part of our series, we take a look at some cutting edge efforts to improve teaching and learning in terms of both technical solutions and pedagogical approaches.

Special assessment considerations with online labs

Do online STEM labs present unusually challenging circumstances for assessment? Yes, and no. In this fourth part of our five-part series discussing online STEM labs, we’re taking a look at the special assessment considerations inherent in online labs and how some faculty have tackled the challenge.

Taxonomy of online lab solutions

There are many choices to consider when selecting a particular approach to designing online labs. In this second part of our four-part series on online STEM lab courses, we’re going to take a look at four main categories of online lab experiences and consider their respective strengths and weaknesses. When making design decisions for your online labs, return to and refocus on your intended objectives before tackling the question of how to get there.

Use infographics to build community and critical thinking

Use data from an introductory activity to create an infographic to share cohort information and build community in a course. This can show students how they might use infographics as a method to demonstrate critical thinking skills based on the results of their own research.

Teaching as mentoring

How do you guide your students not only through course material, but through navigating the university, their professional ambitions, a balance between personal and academic lives? This is the work of the teacher-as-mentor.

An Introduction to Open Educational Practices

Open educational practices incorporate Wiley’s 5 Rs of open content – retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute – into ways of teaching that encourage co-creation and sharing amongst learners, teachers, and a community.

A Brief Guide to Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of media that is free and publicly available for educators and students to use, reuse, repurpose, and sometimes modify for educational purposes (1, 2). The idea of OER has been around for a while but in the last few years...

Instruction beyond the bounds of the semester

Without practice and application, students can rapidly forget course material between academic semesters. Instructors can counter this effect by pointing students to and creating their own, opportunities to engage with subject matter during the breaks.

Giving students choice

What happens when we put students in the director’s seat in terms of what, when, and how they learn and what might that look like in a course? There are many examples of democratizing the educational experience through a range of institutional and classroom levels and across the K-20 progression. There are likewise many opinions on this idea from steadfast proponents and those in opposition.  In this Teaching Tip, we’ll take a brief look at imparting more academic power to students — the benefits, practical considerations, and potential pitfalls.

iTeachU relaunches with more services for faculty

Are you working on a new course, an assignment, or a teaching idea and need a place to start? Start at iTeachU, UAF eCampus’s online headquarters for all your questions about course design. Learn on your own with our Pedagogy Resources, featuring tips and deep dives on course design, technology concepts, examples, links, and more.

Explore Digital Storytelling with Your Students

Storytelling, as an account of events in the evolution of something or one’s life, is something we humans participate in every day, but how often do you ask your students to  engage in the activity deliberately?  Many students will need to know how to tell good...

Get to the point using animated GIF instructions

Is it possible to distill instructions to mere seconds using an animated GIF? While reading the Google product blog, I noticed they use this strategy to illustrate new functionality within their apps. These short demonstrations helped me understand new functionality without requiring me to launch the actual application and click around.

Weave meaning and media with interactive maps

Maps are a natural and efficient way to communicate spatial information. More than serving as tools to help us think about physical space, they are useful for visualizing and organizing information within the context of a particular place. Maps provide a concrete landscape on which to present a story tied to a place that can provide visually compelling interpretation of data.

Google provides training for using apps in class

Google provides a variety of professional development pathways for those who want to become more adept at using Google Apps with students, including two certification programs. Even if you don’t finish the program, instructors will have a better understanding of how to use the different Google applications in a meaningful and purposeful manner that relates to activities you could actually do in a classroom.

Online education – part 2

Last week we discussed the gold standard of online learning experience design: Your course is complete prior to students ever sitting in their virtual seats. Your intended outcomes are firmly in your sights and you can now devote time during the semester to feedback, assessment, and mentoring. Your solid design and your consistent presence work together to achieve everyone’s educational dreams.

Online education part – 1

One of the most common questions I hear is, “how much time is it going to take to develop my online course?” This question reminds me of similar questions such as, “How long does it take to build a house?” and “How long does it take to make dinner?” The answers to these, of course, are, “it depends.”

Verbal feedback?

If your students are using Google Docs for any portion of their assignments, you can teach them how to provide peer feedback verbally using the Google Docs Add-on Kaizena Mini. You can also use this product yourself to guide your student through changes you would like to see in their written work.

PechaFlickr

Imagine 20 random photos that someone else chooses for you, each one projecting on a screen for 20 seconds, while you develop and deliver a presentation to a room of your peers. Doesn’t that sound like fun? What kind of learning does this improvisation encourage?

-confidence and understanding of material
-responsiveness to visual cues
-spontaneous thinking
-boasts creativity
-perfects presentation skills

3D printing

Have you been thinking about 3D printing something for your classroom, lab, or just for fun but don’t know how to get started? There are a plethora of easy to use and inexpensive online services to help with that! Here are some we have found to help send you on your way to 3D printing bliss.

QR codes

QR, or Quick Response codes, are specially designed barcodes that can be read by a camera-ready mobile device or computer. I like to think of them as URLs for print; by reading the “link” you get bonus information. You see them all over: food products, magazines, posters, signage, business cards. Almost anywhere you see information posted in two dimension, you might see a QR code.

Virtual worlds

Do you remember virtual worlds? They haven’t gone anywhere, but back in the middle of the last decade, 2006-2009, they were getting a good deal more attention than they are now. Names from the automotive industry, news agencies, music labels, and even universities jumped in to see what all of the hype was about. Worlds such as Second Life, Open Sim, Kaneva, and Blue Mars were just some of the virtual spaces people could walk into.