Author: Jessica Mansbach

Nine Events of Learning

Robert Gagne is a well-known educational psychologist who developed a theory of instructional design that is widely recognized in both education and cognitive sciences literature. There are two major parts of the theory. First, Gagne explains, soundly designed educational experiences should reflect clear decisions about what you want the students to know and to be able to do. Delineating the types of goals (verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, attitudes, and motor skills) students should achieve is a crucial component of designing an educational experience (Gagné, Briggs, & Wager, 1992). Second, soundly designed educational experiences include ways to establish what

Rubrics: A Clear Pathway to Success, Part 2

In my recent blog post Rubrics: A Clear Pathway To Success, I discussed the purpose of a rubric and its value for students and instructors. In this post, I will discuss three key ingredients of rubrics, different types of rubrics, and  how to select a rubric. I will also explain how to create rubrics in Canvas. Three Key Ingredients Effective rubrics contain three essential features (Reddy & Andrade, 2010). Evaluation Criteria: Evaluation criteria are the set of indicators (e.g., knowledge and behaviors) that will be measured to gather evidence about students’ mastery of the task or assignment (Reddy & Andrade,

Rubrics: A Clear Pathway To Success

If you follow any higher education-related publication like Faculty Focus, The Chronicle of Higher Education, or Inside Higher Education you may have noticed that there has been ample discussion about rubrics. Topics like why use rubrics come up repeatedly in these publications, and in this blog post I will address some of these issues. A rubric, usually formatted as a table, is a set of standards students need to meet to achieve success on assignments. In her article Using Rubrics to Improve Online Teaching, Learning, and Retention, Rippe (2009) explains, “A well-designed rubric is an effective communication tool. It emphasizes

The Importance of a Syllabus

If you have designed or redesigned a course, then you have likely taken part in a conversation about the course syllabus. From these conversations, you know that the course has to have a syllabus prepared in advance, and that the syllabus will be one of the first items in the course that the students review. But what is a syllabus? What information does a syllabus communicate about you and your course? This post answers these frequently asked questions about syllabi. What Is A Syllabus? A syllabus is a document that contains important information about your class. Typically, for an online

The Value Of A Weekly Wrap Up

Helping Students Navigate Your Course Over the past few weeks, the Distance Learning Team has published multiple posts about items to include in your courses to help students navigate them successfully. In her post It’s Not Just A Reading List: Adding Context to the Resources In Your Course, Instructional Technologist Jackie Wickham discussed the importance of including information about the resources you are including in your course and why you are including them. A few weeks ago, I elaborated on Jackie’s discussion in my post How To Keep Students From Getting Lost In Your Course. In that post, I emphasized