CrossCurrents is an electronic publication that offers articles on a wide range of topics related to teaching and learning in higher education. Through engaging content that encourages exploration and reflection on best practices, innovative pedagogies, and emerging trends in higher education, we try to help college teachers successfully navigate the challenges they face in today’s complex classroom.
Designing effective online discussion boards can be a challenge. While some discussion boards can be fruitful grounds for conversation, others fall flat and feel forced and stale. The design of the board is critical to ensuring a successful online conversation. During the design process, we encourage you to consider the following questions. 1. What learning goal do you want students
For years we have acknowledged that college teaching has gotten tougher, but the abrupt shift to remote teaching in response to the COVID-19 pandemic presented instructors with even more challenges. As colleges and universities struggled to deal with the crisis in the spring of 2020, some professors had only a week’s or even a weekends’ notice to restructure their classes
It’s common knowledge for any educator who has taught online that it can be a significant challenge for students who are learning online to develop feelings of connection with their peers and teacher. Instead, students can easily feel isolated and alone in online learning spaces (Blackmon & Major, 2012). This sense of isolation can add new challenges to students’ engagement
As colleges and universities look for new ways to improve both student learning and the student experience, blended courses are becoming increasingly common. A combination of onsite and online instruction, there is no single approach to blended learning. With any definition, the key to blended learning is the combination of onsite and online instruction. Educators in different geographic regions have
At the K. Patricia Cross Academy, our mission is to support faculty with easily accessible online teaching resources. As instruction is increasingly accomplished in an online environment, this edition of CrossCurrents is focused on highlighting some of the previous resources we’ve made available to instructors to aid in their development of successful, high-impact approaches to online teaching.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its surrounding political climate find us all in a time of crisis. Teachers and students alike are often caring for family members, friends, and themselves. That students are doing so while continuing their studies demonstrates that they do care, and they likely care deeply, for the people in their lives. But with the distractions brought about during this time of
Few of us have had formal opportunities to learn about teaching online. As a result, we often lack a full understanding, or even a good practical sense, of the look, pacing, and feel of an online course. But to teach online well, we need such knowledge. Lee Shulman, educational psychologist and former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement
In higher education, we work within semesters, quarters, or terms that last a set number of weeks. Within a given term, we teach in chunks of time, with classes lasting 50 minutes, 3 hrs, 8 hrs, or other increments. But when we teach online, no longer does teaching have to occur synchronously at a fixed time and location. The online teaching environment requires reconsidering traditional notions of time
Active learning has come of age in higher education, with many educators adopting this method of teaching in their courses and with many studies documenting its effectiveness as an instructional approach. But what is active learning anyway? And given the fact that so many of us are teaching online, what does it look like in an online course? Descriptions of
When we teach online, we have to be more intentional about sharing information about ourselves and about which information we will share. We decide, for example, whether to display a picture of ourselves or an avatar and if so, which. We have to make decisions about what personal information to put out there for students. We have to choose whether or not we want them to see and hear us. How can we make deliberate choices when creating our personas?
Higher education institutions have been scrambling to meet the demand for remote and online courses. This has been due in part to general growth trends in online enrollment, but it has also been accelerated out of response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of this, we have focused on helping faculty teach more effectively online. In this blog, we turn our
Faculty who have recently begun teaching online often ask: “How will I know that my online students are learning when I can’t see them?” The short answer to this question is assessment. At its most fundamental level, assessment is the action of appraising the quality of something. In teaching, assessment is used to appraise the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs