Learning and Assessing in a Virtual Reality

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, billed as E3, is abuzz in the technology and entertainment news at the moment. One of the more prominent themes this year? Virtual Reality. With that in mind, it feels pertinent to visit VR’s crossovers with the field of education, particularly with increasing interest around the idea of “gamification” as…

Teaching Online: 5 Tips for Concise Writing

In my last post, I discussed the importance of writing clear, concise instructions . Our online students are busy professionals, so we owe it to them to be as straightforward and unambiguous with our language as possible.   Nonetheless, writing concisely can be a challenge. Even the most seasoned Instructional Designers wrestle with the balance of delivering succinct but comprehensive content.  …

How to Read a Map of Education Levels Across America

One of the guiding aspirations of online education is to reach across geographical (and cultural) boundaries. I love my field because I work to help make higher education more widely available to those who have limited access to it. The  Educational Attainment in America map, developed by Kyle Walker at TCU, is a fascinating way to look at that challenge. He developed it…

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WEBINAR – Providing Effective Student Feedback

One of the keys to engaging online learners and facilitating critical thinking is providing students with timely, meaningful, and actionable feedback. Webinar: Providing Effective Student Feedback Good feedback is: Timely Instructional Consistent Good feedback also: Highlights a specific knowledge or skill Focuses on thinking (not writing mechanics) Moves a student’s work forward Provides a model…

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Writing Discussion Forum Prompts

Discussion forums are a hallmark of asynchronous online courses like those at UNE. Previous posts on this site have offered an excellent introduction to Best Practices for Discussion Board Facilitation , and an overview of current conversations around learning outcomes and instructional implications of online discussion forums. In this post, I aim to provide a closer look by offering practical tips for writing discussion forum prompts and instructor posts…

Looking at Student Privacy in 2017

For more reasons than I can count, the 2016 presidential election has amplified our country’s ongoing debate on web privacy. The topic can grow tiresome, but if we stop to consider that the issue goes far beyond someone’s email server, it becomes a little more interesting. Take student privacy, for example. We expect faculty and…

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A Second Wind for MOOCs?

Massive Open Online Courses have had a bumpy history. Their promise, when the idea was gaining full momentum a few years back, was that so long as a course was well designed it could scale infinitely to teach four thousand students as ably as it could teach twenty. Not only that, but some forward thinkers hypothesized that a MOOC would…

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Writing Great Assignment Instructions: Tips for Success

The development of creative, authentic assignments that align with course objectives is always an exciting process. However, guiding students with clearly written assignment instructions can be challenging. We owe it to our busy online students to provide clear, concise instructions that prepare them for success. This week’s blog will provide some tips to help you to do just…

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The Different Hats of Course Development: SMEs and IDs

Many factors result in new curriculum development processes in educational institutions. To name a few: Stricter regulations and legislation require institutions to exercise and document the effectiveness of the education they offer in different ways than in the past. The rise in online education and data analytics trends require that student learning outcomes are more…