Recent Posts

All You Need is an Oven and a Knife

A few holiday seasons ago, I received a great gift – the Pizzazz Rotating Pizza Oven! I came back to work after the holiday singing its praises and immediately began convincing all of my coworkers to purchase one.  My spirits were quickly dampened when one of my coworkers asked, “Does it do the same thing as my oven?” I stared blankly at him as he continued, “all of these different kitchen gadgets…they all do the same thing as an oven or a knife. All you need is an oven and a knife. Everything else just takes up too much room

Student Video Assignments

In our recent blog entry Make It Stick!, we discussed strategies for helping students move newly learned information into long-term memory. Of the strategies discussed, Practice Getting It Out vs. Getting It In stands out as an opportunity not only for students to generate knowledge by teaching concepts to peers that demonstrate their understanding of learned content, but also as a vehicle for creating variety in the types of assignments we design. In a typical course design, faculty will have their students participate in traditional assignments, which can include quizzes, paper writing, and discussions, to demonstrate their knowledge of concepts,

Focus on Teaching and Learning Highlights Active Learning

Several members of the Distance Learning Team at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies attended Loyola’s Focus on Teaching and Learning (FOTL), a one day conference on January 10, 2018 at Schreiber Hall in Chicago. The Keynote address, delivered by Dr. Therese Hutton of Seattle University, was entitled, “If I Could Only Fit in More Learning:” Making the Most of Your Classroom Time. According to Dr. Hutton, teaching is akin to storytelling in many ways, and the traditional lecture, whether online or on-ground, is often more storytelling than lecture. In fact, according to Hutton, lectures have been making something of a

Involving Teaching Assistants in the Online Classroom

Introduction Have you been thinking about involving a teaching assistant (TA) in your online course? TAs are a great way to provide supplemental instruction opportunities for students, as well as help instructors manage a demanding online class. Take it from me–I’ve been a TA in an online course! With a little creativity and trust, we can be involved in most components of online courses to your benefit and ours. Start with the Pragmatics Once you’ve identified a TA for your online course, talk through the pragmatics, the way you might with a TA in a face-to-face course. Meet before the

Instructor Bio Tips & Tricks

The instructor bio is such a simple, basic part of the course that it can be easy to overlook its importance. When so much time is taken up with assignment rubrics, video scripts, and discussion prompts, thinking of how to describe yourself to students can seem pretty minor. But it is worth thinking about. The instructor bio is often the first introduction that students will have to you–as an educator, as a subject matter expert, and as a person. So it’s key to make a good first impression with an instructor bio that students will want to read. Quality Matters