Effective Practices

Regardless of course delivery format, we have found these to be effective course design practices:

Responding to Students’ Emails: “Three Before Me”

Managing students’ expectations about your responsiveness can be challenging, but this tip focuses on how students can and should help themselves — and each other — if you require they cite how they did so before they come to you as a last resort for all but personal questions.

Online Assessment

As more of a course moves online, students should take more responsibility for their own learning as well as the learning climate for the course itself. Consider these tools and techniques to help students become more responsible in face-to-face (F2F), hybrid and online classes:

Lecturing Online

For anyone considering some form of online lecture or presentation, the problem is trying to replicate the “presence” you take for granted in a face-to-face (F2F) setting. There are many options, but you need to understand their pros & cons to choose wisely.

Adaptive Learning with Blackboard

The little known, but powerful “adaptive release” tool in Blackboard allows faculty to control the release of content based on predefined rules students must meet. These include 1) date, 2) membership, and 3) grade on a prior assignment, which is one of the most effective ways to encourage student responsibility for learning.

Managing Online Discussions

If we assign online discussions, do we take a quantitative or qualitative approach to assess them? Using a best of both approach, students copy and paste their best 3-5 examples into a “participation portfolio” with a self-grade the instructor can raise, lower or accept, based on the quality of the evidence that students provide every 1-2 weeks. The key is defining (and sharing) a grading rubric of what constitutes a good post & reply. Now students (not the instructor) are responsible for hunting, gathering and initially evaluating their best work.