In online learning it is easy to get distracted by the latest technology. Don’t build your assignments around a tool. Instead, start with the student!
Consider how you can implement small changes in your courses to help improve accessibility and remove learning barriers for all students.
If major portions of your digital courses will take place synchronously, check out these student-focused tips for your course planning.
The last few weeks have been a blur for all of us with the sudden but necessary shift from teaching classes face-to-face to moving everything to remote or online teaching. Hopefully you have had a chance to take a look at the many resources available on the Remote Teaching website that have been compiled and created to help you navigate this unprecedented and overnight migration to online and remote learning.
Life happens. It’s always happened. People get sick. Family members pass. Spouses get divorced. Babies are born. Cars break down. Jobs are lost and gained. Personal and professional lives have always had ups and downs in terms of stressful events.
Reflective practice is a well-known concept within education, and I believe it should be integrated into all courses and programs, regardless of discipline. It has theoretical foundations in promoting lifelong learning and professional development, and readily links with metacognition.
A quick perusal of the internet will turn up an unlimited number of extremely complicated rubrics for discussion boards. They can be overwhelming and scary. They can make you feel like you are nickel and diming your students for every aspect of their participation. Also, a callback to my previous post: discussions are not meant to serve as a platform for long-winded, one-sided speeches, but this is how it often translates online. Banal, wordy “discussions” can also translate into assessment burden and burnout for instructors.
As part of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Innovate 2019 conference, our team of instructional designers, Sarah North, Lynée Sanute, and myself, led an emerging ideas session around our work in diversifying design partnership options for faculty who are teaching online. Our presentation represents the first milestone in our process, and I want to share some background on what we’re doing.
Oh discussions, the often-dreaded exercise of the online experience. The design of a discussion can turn an exciting topic into a banal exercise where students are drafting large, online speeches and grasping at straws to provide two “meaningful” (hello subjectivity!) responses to other colleagues’ long speeches to meet the requirements in time.

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