Developing Effective Learning Goals in College Classes

Much of the literature about teaching and learning stresses that teachers should articulate their learning goals as well as their objectives and outcomes. Learning goals allow you and your students to focus on what they are supposed to learn. When learning goals are explicit, they will guide students’ decisions on where to focus effort as well as to illuminate what …

7 Steps to Help Students Care About Learning During a Time of Crisis

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 …

From PCK to TPACK: Essential Knowledge for Teaching Online

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 …

8 Time Management Tips for Online Teaching

There is a rhythm to teaching 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, often designated by the number of credit hours they are worth. Teaching online requires reconsidering …

4 Techniques to Encourage Active Learning Online

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 …

Creating an Engaging Teaching Persona Online

The concept of a teaching persona is an interesting one. A “persona” is an aspect of identity that individuals apply in different situations. A teaching persona is a signal of who we are as teachers to students. Carrol (2002) describes an online persona as the professional “self” put forth when we deal with students, personal style, and in-class presence. Clark …

What do We Know about Student Experiences of Online Learning?

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 …

Learning Assessment in Online Courses

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 …

6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses

Sometimes, a group of students in a given class just seems to gel. They connect, work well together, and encourage and support each other. Sometimes a group of students does not gel. They barely interact, they don’t work together, and while they may not actively discourage each other, encouragement is not exactly forthcoming either. It can be difficult to determine what causes …

5 Tips for Engaging Online Course Design

After years – even decades – of teaching onsite, many instructors are able to teach a traditional, classroom-based course without having laid out the entire course in advance. This approach doesn’t work well in the online classroom, however, as online course delivery requires more fully developing the course ahead of time. Thus, when teaching online, the process of course design …