This blog post is the second in a series about active learning course design. The first post provided an evidence-based perspective on how moving from a lecture paradigm design to an active learning design improves student learning. This second post explores how to design active learning for the face-to-face classroom.
As we seek to provide top-notch courses and programs in the online environment, we must remember that the experience of designing and implementing is only half of the equation. On the other side are the students – our partners in education. But we don’t always know much about what online looks like from the student perspective.
This is the first in a series of posts, intended to provide actionable Canvas strategies that instructors can easily implement to help improve motivation and engagement among online students. Students often feel isolated in online courses, and crave the connection with peers and instructors that occurs more naturally in the face-to-face environment. While students of course have a responsibility to take charge of their own learning strategies, there are certain strategies that you, the instructor, can implement to help students feel more engaged and motivated, and ultimately become more successful in their online learning.
If you’ve been looking for a course to help get yourself ready to teach online, learn more about best practices in digital pedagogy, or dig a little deeper in Canvas features, you’re in luck! Registration is now open for the September section of Online Skills Mastery (OSM, pronounced “awesome”).
When writing discussions, you'll want to ask yourself a few questions which will help define the types of prompts you'll prepare for your students: What level are my students at in this topic/field? (entry level, mid-level, mastery level, etc.) and At this point in the semester, what is the goal for my students? (foundational knowledge, critical thinking, application, etc.)
Are you ready to breathe new life into your online discussions? [Roles in group discussions] You might want to try out integrating roles into small discussion groups, which can provide more variety in the discussion forum and clearly define tasks. Roles can be assigned to students each week, or you can opt for self-selection using a variety of methods.