Recent Teaching Tips

Transitioning from on campus to online

Transitioning from on campus to online

Your use of Canvas can help you translate your face-to-face course into an enjoyable online experience for you and your students. Here are a few steps to get you started, including how to build a template to use for each week or module and how to add your lectures right inside the editor.

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Reimagining feedback to be feedforward

Reimagining feedback to be feedforward

Feedback can be a powerful influence on achievement, particularly when students are able to participate in the conversation. Find out how Canvas allows for quick, easy, personalized ‘feedforward’ collaboration in the gradebook.

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Building good instructions in Canvas

Building good instructions in Canvas

Clear, easy-to-follow instructions for quizzes, assignments and discussions within your course are key in guiding learners through the assessments you ask them to complete. Find tips for writing good instructions in this Teaching Tip.

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Why should we care about OER?

Why should we care about OER?

Around 65% of your students may not purchase your textbook due to cost. This can have a significant impact on their success in your course. Using free and open education resources (OER) can ameliorate expenses for students and help make higher education more equitable for all students.

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Skeuomorphism – How to use it or lose it

Skeuomorphism – How to use it or lose it

Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real-world counterpart. Learning Management Systems are riddled with skeuomorphism and this affects your course structure. Embracing the strength of online courses as learning environments requires the intentional use of skeuomorphism and modern web design.

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Ideas for inclusive teaching practice

Ideas for inclusive teaching practice

Inclusive teaching practice involves embracing diversity holistically throughout your course and activities. This Teaching Tip provides some ideas and resources for how to think about your course through an inclusive lens.

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The art of the welcome announcement

The art of the welcome announcement

Sending a welcoming message to students at the beginning of the semester is an important step in designing an effective online course. Intentional design and language choices in the announcement can create a lasting positive impression.

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Best Practices

Transitioning from on campus to online

Your use of Canvas can help you translate your face-to-face course into an enjoyable online experience for you and your students. Here are a few steps to get you started, including how to build a template to use for each week or module and how to add your lectures right inside the editor.

Reimagining feedback to be feedforward

Feedback can be a powerful influence on achievement, particularly when students are able to participate in the conversation. Find out how Canvas allows for quick, easy, personalized ‘feedforward’ collaboration in the gradebook.

Why should we care about OER?

Around 65% of your students may not purchase your textbook due to cost. This can have a significant impact on their success in your course. Using free and open education resources (OER) can ameliorate expenses for students and help make higher education more equitable for all students.

How to inspire success through student interaction

Get ready to inspire someone to do their personal best this semester. This Teaching Tip includes ideas for increasing interaction in your course. Start with one thing and be consistent. Your choices will impact student learning and achievement. Before the semester,...

Skeuomorphism – How to use it or lose it

Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real-world counterpart. Learning Management Systems are riddled with skeuomorphism and this affects your course structure. Embracing the strength of online courses as learning environments requires the intentional use of skeuomorphism and modern web design.

Ideas for inclusive teaching practice

Inclusive teaching practice involves embracing diversity holistically throughout your course and activities. This Teaching Tip provides some ideas and resources for how to think about your course through an inclusive lens.

The art of the welcome announcement

Sending a welcoming message to students at the beginning of the semester is an important step in designing an effective online course. Intentional design and language choices in the announcement can create a lasting positive impression.

Introducing the online course evaluation rubric

The Online Course Evaluation Rubric serves as a framework for making notes on and progress toward preparing your course for next semester. Several instructional designers worked together gathering important course elements into categories with evaluative statements to jumpstart your review.

Blackboard

Setting up your course in Blackboard

You may not have used Blackboard much in the past, but with the uncertainty of how COVID-19 will affect in-person classes, Blackboard can be a reliable tool to help you prepare. Here are some steps to get started.

Make use of Blackboard Test Tool

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...

To total or not to total – Blackboard Grade Center

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.

Blackboard adds new features

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.

Providing feedback in Blackboard two ways

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.’

Adapt your course for Blackboard Mobile Learn

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.

Build game badging options inside of Blackboard Learn

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.

Emerging ideas

Building student engagement with Zoom

We’ve all become Zoom experts in the last 10 months. But we’ve also gotten used to the platform and how we use it. Could we be more creative? What could we change about how we use this tool to create more meaningful synchronous experiences for our students?

Managing large online classes

With strategic course design, it is possible in large classes to provide a strong instructor presence, give expert-level feedback on subjective assignments, and maintain a quality learning experience for students.

Trauma-informed practices for finals

For some of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the deepest experiences of trauma we’ve had. Trauma can be defined as “any experience in which a person’s internal resources are not adequate to cope with external stressors” (Hoch et al., 2015). Between the...

Demystifying trauma-informed teaching

When students enter the classroom, they come with a backpack of experiences – some positive and some not so positive. Trauma-informed teaching helps us recognize the societal, systemic and family impacts on students, including various forms of societal oppression...

Building community in a virtual world

There is a common misconception that it’s harder for students to feel connected when they can’t meet in person, or that distance-based learning is inherently less impactful for students. Although this may apply in some cases, it’s up to the instructor or facilitator...

Where to find inspiration for course design

Course Showcase  We can learn a lot from each other.   You may be curious to see what other faculty are doing in their online class, like how they are organizing content and managing activities. Touring other courses can be a great way to get inspired about creating...

Fostering engagement in online discussion

Creating active discussions in a course can be challenging. In times of COVID-19, fostering that space for community exploration and making connections between content and the current world can become the anchor that keeps the momentum.

Pedagogy

Trauma-informed practices for finals

For some of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the deepest experiences of trauma we’ve had. Trauma can be defined as “any experience in which a person’s internal resources are not adequate to cope with external stressors” (Hoch et al., 2015). Between the...

Building community in a virtual world

There is a common misconception that it’s harder for students to feel connected when they can’t meet in person, or that distance-based learning is inherently less impactful for students. Although this may apply in some cases, it’s up to the instructor or facilitator...

We are more than floating heads

Trauma, anxiety, and depression impact us cognitively, emotionally, and physically. Trauma-informed approaches to pedagogy allow us to take a more holistic, embodied approach to the teaching and learning processes. Read more to learn strategies of embodied and trauma-informed pedagogy to better support students.

How to get students to read your feedback

The type of assessments you give will direct the nature and method of feedback you provide students. Feedback provided through the semester can be essential for guiding student learning. However, if students miss seeing your feedback or if they don't understand what...

STEAMy ideas for your course

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...

Let’s talk about digital literacy

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...

Facilitate active learning online

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...

Invite students to publish

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...

Examining hybrid designed course structures

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...

Explore hybrid course design

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.

Practice object-based teaching

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.

Tools & How to

Building good instructions in Canvas

Clear, easy-to-follow instructions for quizzes, assignments and discussions within your course are key in guiding learners through the assessments you ask them to complete. Find tips for writing good instructions in this Teaching Tip.

Community WordPress sites switching to block editor

eCampus is updating WordPress sites hosted on the community server to use the Gutenberg block editor on May 7, 2021. The Gutenberg block editor is a very different editing experience compared to the WordPress classic editor. Here’s how you can prepare.

Assessing Canvas as an alternative to Blackboard

This year, UAF has been involved in a UA-wide pilot program to assess the Canvas learning management system (LMS). More than 1,000 students and 45 faculty are currently using Canvas in 66 courses. Read their feedback regarding design and usability.

Personalizing communication with your students

Many students struggle with staying engaged in their online courses.  Others lose track of deadlines.  Some students feel that the lack of communication makes it hard for them to stay involved in their courses.  In some situations, students have been through online...

Fostering engagement in online discussion

Creating active discussions in a course can be challenging. In times of COVID-19, fostering that space for community exploration and making connections between content and the current world can become the anchor that keeps the momentum.

A Swiss Army knife for video

Kaltura MediaSpace provides a rich set of tools and features for staff, instructors and students to create video. Learn how to make the most out of what it offers.

Autocaptions are new in Kaltura

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,...