Recent Teaching Tips
Setting due dates for assessments in Blackboard can be a time-consuming task. Use the Grade Center Due Dates tool to manage this task faster.read more
The first six weeks are critical to student success (and UAF’s retention goals). Here are three small things you can do to help your students succeed this semester.read more
A new semester is starting in just a few days and there’s so much to do! Start here with these four step-by-step priorities.read more
Taking an online course can sometimes be like walking through an airport — distractions everywhere. Here are some simple and not-so-obvious ways to remove distractions from your course content.read more
A recent trend in higher education involves integrating arts, humanities, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum now known as STEAM. Large research studies (1) show that integration can broaden the student experience within highly...read more
As UAF eCampus launches its eCoaching program, it’s important to remember how our coaching role can lead to student success.read more
Accessibility is a topic appearing in mainstream conversation with increasing frequency. When it comes to making course materials inclusive and accessible, there are a variety of open tools available.read more
More than ever, faculty are being tasked with fostering digital literacy in order for students to be successful in class and ready for the workforce. Digital literacy as an important component of higher education is something that has become critical in higher...read more
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The first six weeks are critical to student success (and UAF’s retention goals). Here are three small things you can do to help your students succeed this semester.
A new semester is starting in just a few days and there’s so much to do! Start here with these four step-by-step priorities.
Taking an online course can sometimes be like walking through an airport — distractions everywhere. Here are some simple and not-so-obvious ways to remove distractions from your course content.
A default answer to ‘How are you?’ is often currently ‘Busy!’. In addition to forces beyond our control, we take on so much right now and sometimes feel overwhelmed as a result. This year has been unsettling for most of us on some level and many of our workloads have...
It’s probably old news to you that it matters what appears when people Google you. However, the pesky thing about managing your web presence is that it’s a continual practice. Here are tips to help you spruce up your online image.
A few ideas on how to easily increase your communication with students while possibly reducing your time performing course management.
As the semester settles into a rhythm, the more daunting but less urgent projects that we’ve put off are beginning to demand attention. But where to start? Make a plan, commit to a practice and voila, the only work you’ll have to do is the work, not the managing of the anxiety about the work.
In the online learning environment, instructional videos can go a long way in enhancing student understanding, building community, and creating lasting learning experiences. There is no shortage of research pointing to the impact of educational media...
If we learned anything this summer, it’s that working under conditions of uncertainty and crisis makes it hard to get the work done. This is equally true for students, and it is true at the macro-level of statewide budgeting as well as the micro-level of individual...
You may see an increase in the number of service members in your online courses, the result of a new UAF program for deploying military. Here are suggestions for supporting these students and their unique needs.
Come join us for a round-up of eCampus’s resources on accessibility and learn how to assess the accessibility of your course by considering three major categories.
Speaking in public can induce anxiety. Whether it’s an instructor lecturing or a student making a presentation, this teaching tip describes causes and remedies that can be used in your class.
Setting due dates for assessments in Blackboard can be a time-consuming task. Use the Grade Center Due Dates tool to manage this task faster.
In the UA Blackboard system, one of the most used tools is the Test Tool. It can be used to create quizzes, midterms, exams and pre- and post-assessments.Good and effective use of the Test Tool can be facilitated by carefully thinking about how to...
There are three methods for submitting assignments through Blackboard’s Assignment feature. This teaching tip will help you decide which works best for you and your grading process.
Here are three scenarios you might find yourself in — and three new-ish Blackboard features that could help you out.
Customizing notifications in Blackboard allows both instructors and students to better manage their online educational experiences.
Every teacher has goals to be effective and efficient. Knowing more about the tools and features in Blackboard’s Grade Center can help you reach your potential. This week’s tip concentrates on different kinds of Total columns you might use in your course to organize and compute final grades. There is a lot of capability and might be the perfect feature for you to implement in your course.
New features have been updated in Blackboard Learn relating to assignment submissions. Teachers and students are now able to add attachments via drag and drop. There are also new features that allow tracking of quiz attempts and assignment submissions. Read this week’s Teaching Tip to learn how the new features are giving both students and instructors more power in Blackboard Learn.
Building a rubric can help you determine how—or if—an assignment aligns to your course objectives. Once built, you may use it to frame your feedback. Sharing the specifics with students prior to task assignment helps focus their efforts. Your students may not know about the wealth of information provided by clicking on the link, “View Rubric.”
More and more students are using mobile devices and an app called Blackboard Mobile Learn to access course content on the go. While students shouldn’t solely rely on smartphones to complete course requirements, there are steps instructors can take to make it a better experience, such as using common file types (like PDFs), keeping titles short and testing links on a variety of devices.
We all spend time playing games. According to vertoanalytics.com, we spend more than a billion hours per month playing mobile games and that doesn’t include games played on laptops, desktops or with game consoles.1 According to the entertainment software association, in 2015, 65% of US households had at least one person who played online games, three hours or more per week.
Blackboard provides built-in mechanisms to ensure online content adheres to accessibility standards for its static structure. Once content or third party elements like multimedia and links to resources are added, there are steps you take to maintain accessibility. As you begin adding course content in Blackboard, be mindful of what the end result may look like using a screen reader.
The Blackboard Grade Center offers options for reviewing student performance on your tests and exams and can be a useful mechanism for evaluating the effectiveness of your test questions. A poorly worded question doesn’t mean your students aren’t mastering the content. Look for Attempts Statistics, Download Results, Item Analysis and Column Statistics as options in the column header for your test.
As UAF eCampus launches its eCoaching program, it’s important to remember how our coaching role can lead to student success.
Accessibility is a topic appearing in mainstream conversation with increasing frequency. When it comes to making course materials inclusive and accessible, there are a variety of open tools available.
Give everyone a break from the stress of traditional finals and infuse a new sense of purpose in your final assessment with these suggestions for alternative final assessments.
General Education Requirements (GER) for baccalaureate degrees describe required courses that students must complete in order to achieve a bachelor's degree. Here at UAF, GERs provide a common set of learning experiences for students and have outcomes that encapsulate...
In celebration of Research and Creative Activity Day on April 9, here are some ways to get online undergraduate students involved in research and creative projects, and how to involve yourself as a mentor.
An agenda creates transparency and welcomes inclusion in the classroom. If these are qualities you strive for in your teaching, consider these principles for creating open, inclusive class agendas.
The early immersion approach gets students involved in the research process as early as possible. Students are able to conceptualize, design, conduct and disseminate research faster when included from the beginning.
We tend to think of innovation as the creation of something brand new that completely revolutionizes the way we do or think of something but it can also be thought of as putting ideas into practice. When we think of innovation in these terms, it is easy to see how stepping back, re-thinking and trying something new can lead to discovery.
Teaching is a practice. We can look to the world of music for advice on how we as teachers can improve our performance in a focused, concentrated and effective way.
Ideas for collecting feedback from your students and how to get them to participate.
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?
Interactive video provides an opportunity to merge both instructional and exploratory elements of learning. By employing both visual and auditory elements, interactive video enhances both retention and reinforcement.
A recent trend in higher education involves integrating arts, humanities, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum now known as STEAM. Large research studies (1) show that integration can broaden the student experience within highly...
More than ever, faculty are being tasked with fostering digital literacy in order for students to be successful in class and ready for the workforce. Digital literacy as an important component of higher education is something that has become critical in higher...
We learn better when we are involved in constructing our own knowledge. Some of us know this from experience -- it’s why we do research, why we collaborate, why we ask our kids questions when we read to them. But this is also a finding backed by decades of research on...
Are you interested in encouraging your students to create work to share with others? Adding your voice to the domain knowledge--which shapes our education--is a strong motivator. As teachers, writers, designers, and artists we long to create and share. What is Open...
This is the second in a two-part series of Teaching Tips based on Hybrid Pedagogy. While the first teaching tip provided some background and definitions, this tip focuses more on specific changes instructors can make to their classes to cultivate...
Asynchronous online and face-to-face are the most familiar modes of course delivery but you may want to consider a hybrid delivery model to meet student or program needs.
Though I’ve long practiced the technique of Object-Based Teaching (OBT) in face-to-face and online classrooms alike, I’d never really looked into the scholarship behind it until recently. I’d also not really considered the pedagogical principles behind it, nor whether my pedagogy needed any scrutiny and modification. It turns out that there were some aspects of my practice I needed to modify.
This teaching tip touches upon alternatives to proctored exams and alignment between learning objectives and assessments.
We tend to think that lab courses must march students through a well-rehearsed set of steps. After the experiment is performed, and the data gathered and presented, students submit a lab report with an error analysis which provides an opportunity to explain why the results deviated from theoretical predictions. This gives you, the instructor plenty to assess. The real question is: Are you measuring what you want with your lab activity assessment?
Reflective writing can help us carry ourselves through processes of change. Learning is a process of change and research shows that journal writing can support students across disciplines in connecting with and making meaning of their learning.
As we discover, test and improve methods of online teaching, one category of courses, the science laboratory based class, has resisted many efforts to bring lab units to the online realm. But this need not be the case. There are several models, methods and ready made solutions available to instructors or departments who are contemplating this transition. In this Teaching Tip, we cover the range of options available.
Illustration: University of Munich Remotely Controlled Lab on Millikan’s Experiment web interface.
Let’s not be satisfied with the “feedback sandwich approach” in course discussion. Providing guidance and setting expectations for what good discussion feedback looks like can help move students beyond giving comments that do not prompt further discussion, build on an argument or rethink one’s own stance.
Tools & How to
Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ethical ramifications. IRB application. Supercontinent Pangaea.Sit in a few classes at UAF and these are terms you may hear. These are also terms that have been accurately transcribed by the new autocaptioning feature in Kaltura,...
Many UAF instructors rely on Google Hangouts or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to facilitate synchronous sessions in their courses. There’s a new tool on the block: Zoom Meetings. Let’s run through what can be accomplished by meeting in Zoom, the new videoconferencing...
Kaltura Personal Capture is a video creation tool that replaces Kaltura Capturespace. Learn how faculty, students and staff can use Personal Capture to quickly create professional video presentations.
Maybe you have a good idea, and you’ve even been working through topics for the first few episodes but what’s next?
You may have noticed the familiar Set Grade Center Due Dates tool has not been available recently. This handy tool has become incompatible with the current version of Blackboard. While we hope that it can return in the future, there is another way to edit...
The answer isn’t the same for all classes or for all faculty. Google Classroom lacks built-in integration with the Blackboard Grade Center but does integrate easily with other Google apps.
If you’re using WordPress as a tool in your class, now is a good time to think about a strategy for resetting your course materials for the fall semester.
Gradescope is a grading tool that can save instructors time. UAF instructors are already using it in their courses, including Professor of Mathematics Gordon Williams. Learn how to take advantage of this resource and how he is using it to streamline the grading process in his courses.
Adding interactivity has the potential to allow students to better understand your video content. PlayPosit is a tool that allows instructors and students to add quizzes, polls, discussions and extra information to an existing video.
Course materials need to be accessible. The Grackle add-ons assist you with making your materials more accessible even if you’re not a standard Google apps user.
UAF eCampus, in collaboration with OIT, is excited to announce the launch of a new auto-captioning service in Kaltura. It is faster and more accurate than Kaltura’s previous service and makes it easy to edit your captions once they’ve been created. Captions and searchable transcripts have big benefits for all your students, so if you use video content in your course, now is a great time to learn how it works.
As faculty, at some point you’ll have to rebuild and refresh your existing course or rebuild and rebrand one you inherit. If you’ve found yourself in this situation for the upcoming semester, read on. I’m right there with you and these are the steps I’ve taken: