Tag: online teaching strategies

Best Practices for Communicating With Students in Online Classes

Introduction A recent SPS student satisfaction study asked students to identify ways their academic program could be enhanced. Numerous students suggested making improvements to instructor-student communication and engagement. I know what you’re thinking. Communication should be easy! With digital tools to connect students and instructors, shouldn’t this come naturally? Actually, communication with students in online classes needs to be frequent, intentional, and multifaceted. As an online instructor, you will need to actively combat distance and silence to make meaningful connections with your students. Read on to discover tools and strategies that can make the process easier. Make sure your contact


Inclusive Language

Online education allows universities and faculty to open their doors to a wider audience of students than ever before. Students can earn a Northwestern degree without ever setting foot in Chicago, Illinois, or even the United States. This openness in education creates great opportunities, for students and faculty alike. The nature of online education, however, has also created a unique dynamic for students: they have near-total control over how much anyone knows about them. Students can choose whether or not to reveal their ethnicity, religion, disability status, location, and even appearance. Some students find this option to be freeing: they


Current Events Activities in the Online Classroom

As members of an evolving and diverse learning community, it’s our responsibility to pay attention, stay informed, build cultural competency, and hone our digital literacy skills. It’s our responsibility to know and understand the implications of local, national, and world-wide events. What better place to practice those skills than in the classroom, where ideas are meant to be explored, challenged, and refined. Current events activities are a great way to get students thinking about and engaging with what’s going on in their field of study right now, while also bridging abstract theoretical concepts with application in the real world. The


How to Ignite Students’ Learning Using Brain-Based Principles

What is brain-based learning and why do we care about it? With advances in brain imaging technologies and ongoing developments in cognitive research, there is a great deal of information available about how the brain works (Davis, 2008). Knowledge about how the brain integrates new information enables instructors to design courses that incorporate principles of brain-based learning (Clemons, 2005). Brain-based learning involves the use of  “instructional strategies designed for compatibility with the brain’s propensities for seeking, processing, and organizing information”  (Kelly, 2013, para. 3). The handy acronym IGNITE (intervals, grouping, novelty, interconnectedness, technology and time, environment) describes how to activate


5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adding Images to Your Online Course

Introduction We are always looking for ways to make our courses more engaging for students. That might mean more opportunities for students to interact with each other in small groups, developing short videos with in-video quizzing, or creating an interactive map. One way that faculty often try to make an online course more visually interesting is by adding images to slideshows, videos, and pages in the course site. But even with the best intentions, online courses can become crammed with images: clip art that adds little value, photos used without permission and in violation of copyright law, low-resolution images that