This is an awesome opportunity to provide a resource that alleviates the “trial by fire” initiation that new teachers face. It is great to have an organized, detailed, and accessible toolbox of techniques like this.

Testimonials
Creating an Engaging Teaching Persona Online
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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 (2012) suggests that online personas “are the social identities that people create for themselves in online communities and on websites" (para. 1). Thus, an online teaching persona can be thought of as the social identity or presence we create when we teach students in online environments.

Some educators believe that we “put on” our personas as teachers, while others believe that we should avoid doing so and instead be our natural selves in the classroom. At the K Patricia Cross Academy, we think it is most likely that there are both intentional and unintentional aspects of our teaching personas.

There are some things about ourselves that we don’t change, for example, our ages or physiques. We do, however, make decisions about the level of formality we will use, how we will ask students to address us, and so forth that signal our personalities in many ways. We also convey our personas based upon the choices we make, even prior to entering the classroom, for example by our decisions about what to wear, what we carry with us, and so forth. Our choices send a message to students about who we are as teachers and about how they are to engage with us.



When we teach online, conveying our personas requires additional thought and effort. We no longer have built-in physical markers, such as appearance, dress, and non-verbal gestures so we have to find new ways of communicating persona. We choose the “virtual” person that the students will know and respond to. There are both philosophical and practical choices we make when developing an online teaching persona, and these differ from the ones we make when we teach onsite.

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? How can we share who we are or want to be as teachers? How can we appear “natural” in a virtual environment?
Make Information about Yourself Available within the Course
Many Learning Management Systems offer the ability to create a profile. They provide ways to include the selected teacher name, a short bio, a description of interests, upload pictures, favorite links, and so forth. These features can be useful for allowing instructors to present information about ourselves to students. It also can be useful for instructors to create an electronic portfolio/personal website to accompany the course site, which can prove efficient when teaching multiple courses. Sharing information can allow us to showcase what we believe is important as well as to highlight our accomplishments. Following are suggestions that you can use to develop and deliver your online teaching persona.  
Build in Information about You into the Course Site
In an online course, you choose what information students see and what information they don’t see. Consider including the following information into your Learning Management System or other course site:
  • Instructor photograph and contact information
  • Instructor bio
  • Instructor avatar—photo or graphic representation
  • Teaching philosophy or description of your rationale for the instructional methods in the course
Communicate with Students in the Course Regularly
Instructors have to make a conscious effort toward instructor presence, which is the visibility of the instructor as perceived by the learners. It is the learner’s sense that the instructor is “there,” that there is a real person with whom they are interacting. Instructor immediacy appears directly related to interaction, e.g. the amount of contact through email, discussion, postings, or other. Entering the course regularly and communicating with students frequently is essential to establishing a sense of being there. Making connections with a faculty member can help students understand that there’s a real person there and can also make interactions more personal. Following are suggestions that you can use to communicate your online teaching persona:
  • Welcome e-mail
  • Discussion facilitation
  • Virtual office hours
  • Module intro or content videos
  • Daily or weekly announcements
  • Optional synchronous meetings
  • Feedback on assignments or assessments
Choose Instructional Activities Where You are Visible and Involved
While many educators argue that the teacher should step away from the role of “sage on the stage,” and we agree with this, we also note that it is easy to become invisible as a teacher in an online course. Even if you designed the course, it can feel like you are absent and that you have put the course into “set it and forget it” mode if you don’t figure out how to be actively involved in the students’ learning activities. Simply choosing methods where you are involved in facilitating can help students feel your presence. Consider the following techniques:
Translate That!
In Translate That!, you pause your lecture and call on a student at random to “translate” the information you just provided into plain English for an imagined audience that you specify.

View main video here: View Technique →

View online adaptation here:

Team Jeopardy
Team Jeopardy is a game in which student teams take turns selecting a square from a grid that is organized vertically by category and horizontally by difficulty. Each square shows the number of points the team can earn if they answer a question correctly, and more challenging questions have the potential to earn more points.

View main video here: View Technique →

View example slides here: Google Slides | PowerPoint

View online adaptation here:

Developing and maintaining a recognizable and consistent virtual persona is not an easy task. It requires on-going effort and attention in any given course. In short, we have to continually “be there” in order to establish and communicate persona. To sign up for our newsletter, where you will receive information about new blog posts, click here:

    Reference:
    Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(44) "Creating an Engaging Teaching Persona Online" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(34) "creating-a-teaching-persona-online" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2683" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#9668 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1293) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_content"]=> string(2740) "“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~Albert Einstein Instructors have many important decisions to make about what to teach, how to teach it, when to review, when to move on, and so forth. We are better able to make important instructional decisions when we have good information about whether and how well students have learned to base these decisions on. It’s even better when the data gathering process can also help to improve student learning. Researchers and educators alike have lauded the beneficial outcomes of formative assessment, a type of assessment aimed at gathering data on student learning to provide prompt and frequent feedback during the learning process. Instructors can use the information they glean from formative assessment to improve their teaching because they can see where students are struggling and address the problem immediately. Following are some suggestions for implementing formative assessment:
    Emphasize learning over grading
    It’s important to help students focus on the content and skills to be learned, rather than on collecting a grade.
    Create a cooperative, rather than a competitive, atmosphere
    Help students understand that you are all working together as a team to learn. If a peer offers constructive criticism, it is an effort to help, not hinder.
    Focus on quality rather than quantity of work
    Amount of work is not the same as quality of work, and if students can show they are mastering a skill or concept through a short task, then assign that rather of a longer more complicated one. 
    Focus your feedback on the process and product
    Your comments and questions should help students feel confident that they can improve and acknowledge that learning is a process.
    Keep a running record of how your students are doing
    Students will appreciate seeing gains over time.
    Give students second chances to demonstrate success
    Just because students didn’t demonstrate understanding in the first attempt, it doesn’t mean that they can’t. If you give them multiple chances to document understanding, their confidence will go up, which should help improve their engagement. See the following Cross Academy videos for techniques to check student understanding. " ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Formative Assessment: Checking for Understanding" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "formative-assessment-checking-for-understanding" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1293" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#9667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2195) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_content"]=> string(10758) "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 a group to respond one way or the other, but at least some of it can be attributed to the concept of community. Establishing community helps a group of learners bond and work well together. Community is particularly important in online courses given the potential for students to feel isolated and alone. When we teach online, community forms and happens differently than when we teach onsite because the connection is mediated by technology. For example, interactions happen predominantly by text rather than physical presence and there are different markers of who has more or less influence in the group. Online, community is not worse than onsite - indeed, some educators argue that connections can be deeper online than onsite – but it is different. The manner in which online community develops, however, has implications for our roles and responsibilities as teachers. It can be challenging to achieve community in an online course and to know whether it has developed, in part because we do not yet have a good sense of what a strong group dynamic looks like in online courses. After all, it can happen under the radar of the course, through private texting and email, for example. If we are not included in the communication loop, we can feel that an online course does not have the same level of community as an onsite one does, even though there may be a vibrant one forming in backchannels. Community is more than participation; it requires moving from participation to engagement, involvement, and action. Thinking through what appeals to us about other communities, whether onsite or online, can provide us with important clues about how to establish community online. There are several strategies we can use to promote community in an online course. 1. Create a Plan for Communication Communication is essential to community, and it is a good idea to model effective communication from the very start of the course. Create a calendar of when you will contact students, individually or as a group. Communicating at the start of each module with announcements or texts can also be beneficial. Touching base before high stakes assignments is also important. A framework of frequent and effective communication is the first step in encouraging community. 2. Establish Social Presence Social presence, or the sense that individuals have that they are interacting with real people, is an important concept for developing community. Several related factors influence social presence. These include immediacy - the psychological distance between communicators; interaction - when actions affect each other; and intimacy - the notion that individuals will adjust their behaviors to maintain equilibrium. To develop and foster social presence, consider the following:
    • Creating an introductory video and having students do the same; these can be simple smartphone videos where everyone introduces themselves and shares 2-3 facts about themselves.
    • Giving students reason to come to the course site often.
    • Letting them share work that represents them.
    3. Meet in Real-Time  It’s not always possible (or even desirable) to schedule synchronous meetings, but interacting at the same time can encourage community. Students get to know each other, recognize faces and names, and share information. Consider having several synchronous sessions on the same topic, all at different times of the day and week so everyone can schedule one. Alternatively, make the sessions optional. 4. Create Opportunities for Information and Expertise Sharing One thing that draws us to communities is the rich resources that individuals provide. Providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful strategy for helping to develop community. A few options include:
    • Create study groups for the course. Assign students to small groups. Suggest that they use the learning management system to work together. Doing so can help them learn to work in groups and to make connections with their fellow students.
    • Include a “relevant resource” section for the course.  Ask students to post information that’s happening in the world that is related to the course content. If students see the importance of the content, they will be more engaged with it. Online articles, essays, YouTube clips, and so forth can add additional value. You can post in this section as well. Consider trying out Contemporary Issues Journals. In Contemporary Issues Journals, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal. Ask students to share their ideas in a central forum.
    • Create a common space. Instructors can encourage informal interactions by creating a common space such as a student lounge for discussion.
    5. Use Collaborative Learning Techniques Collaborative learning requires students to work with each other, which can help reduce feelings of isolation. In addition to simply being glad to know that others are in the same boat, many online students appear to value interacting and forming relationships with peers. Getting to know their peers in an online environment can improve students’ overall experience. Online collaborative learning provides a solid foundation on which such relationships may be founded. Consider collaborative learning techniques such as the following: Jigsaw In Jigsaw, students work in small groups to develop knowledge about a given topic before teaching what they have learned to another group. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
    Paper Seminar Paper Seminar provides a framework for meaningful discussion centered on student work. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
    TAPPS In Think Aloud Pair Problem Solving, students solve problems aloud to try out their reasoning on a listening peer. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
    6. Develop Sub-Communities Some online learners may be hesitant to participate or share if there are too many members. Developing sub-communities can help. These smaller groups can provide a more personal experience and connect individuals with similar interests. Separate discussion forums or small groups meeting in break out rooms within videoconference sessions can help. In conclusion, community can be critical to student success and satisfaction in online courses. Instructors can create opportunities for community in the design of the course, the communication, and the activities they include. Creating these opportunities is likely to prove well worth the effort.
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      Reference: Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(53) "6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "building-community-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2195" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#9666 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2257) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_content"]=> string(12284) "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 that students have acquired as the result of learning in their courses. When talking about assessment at the course level, we use the term “learning assessment.” When we speak of learning assessment, we mean the actions undertaken by teachers and by students to document student learning in a given course. We recognize that the term “learning assessment” has the potential to be read in different ways. Indeed, the ambiguous modifier was one of the very reasons we selected the term. For us, when we use the phrase “learning assessment,” we mean to comprise the following two meanings as one:
      • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates that the assessment is part and parcel of the learning process. That is, participating in the assessment also helps the learning itself. This view of assessment is akin to what Wiggins (1998) calls “educative assessment.”
      • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates an appraisal of the quality of learning. Such an appraisal can happen because the learner produces a product that may be appraised and probably graded. Results of the assessment can, therefore, be communicated to students or a host of other stakeholders or interested parties.
      Thus, the goal of Learning Assessment is to determine whether actual learning outcomes match desired learning outcomes while also improving student learning in the process. Crafting an assessment strategy that informs your teaching, fosters student learning, and provides accurate feedback and measure of student success can be a challenge. When thinking about how to assess student learning in online courses, it is important to consider two main types of assessments: formative assessments and summative assessments, both of which can be learning assessments.
      Formative Assessments
      Formative assessments are intended to provide students with an indication of their performance and to give them an opportunity to improve their performance prior to receiving a final grade, either on an assignment or in a course. Formative assessment, then, is done primarily for the purpose of improving teaching and learning. Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross (1993) is a good resource of formative assessment techniques. Famous examples from their book are the “minute paper” and “muddiest point” techniques, which involve collecting information during or just after an instructional activity to gather insight on what students did or did not understand. Defining characteristics of Cross and Angelo’s approach to formative assessment is that the purpose for collecting data is to gain insight on what adjustments in instruction need to be made in order “to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students” (Angelo & Cross, p. 5). Some educators refer to this form of assessment as non-graded assessment or, if it is graded, it is low-stakes grading. This type of assessment can include classroom polls, discussion board responses, homework assignments, and even regular quizzes. Another source of formative assessment activities is our Learning Assessment Techniques book. Sample techniques from this work include the following:
      • Background Knowledge ProbeA Background Knowledge Probe is a short, simple, focused questionnaire that students fill out at the beginning of a course or start of a new unit that helps teachers identify the best starting point for the class as a whole.

      View main video here:View Technique →

      View online adaptation here:

      • Individual Readiness Assurance Tests (IRATs): Individual Readiness Assurance Tests are closed-book quizzes that students complete after an out-of-class reading, video, or other homework assignments.

      View main video here:View Technique →

      View online adaptation here:

      • Quick Write:Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

      View main video here: View Technique →

      View online adaptation here:

      • Contemporary Issues Journal: In a Contemporary Issues Journal, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal.

      View main video here: View Technique →

      View online adaptation here:

      Summative Assessments
      Summative assessments are intended to measure learning, typically at the end of an instructional module, unit, or course and often involving comparing results against some standard or benchmark. The purpose is to gather evidence that ensures students have accomplished the desired learning. Summative assessments are often higher stakes than formative assessments, meaning that they have a relatively high point or weight value. Examples of summative assessments include a final exam, a final course project, a research paper, or a course portfolio. Following are examples of summative assessments from our Learning Assessment Techniques book:
      • Triple Jump: A Triple-Jump is a three-step technique that requires students to think through and attempt to solve a real-world problem.
      • Case Studies: With Case Studies, student teams review a real-life problem scenario in depth. Team members apply course concepts to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to solving the problem.
      • Class Book: For a Class Book, individual students work together to plan and ultimately submit a scholarly essay or research paper. Then all students’ papers are published together.
      There are several key elements to consider as you choose a learning assessment technique, including:
      1.   What is your purpose for assessing student learning? It is important to consider why and for whom you are collecting the data. For example, if you are conducting formative assessment to provide yourself and students with a sense of their progress, then you will want to choose a technique designed for this purpose.
      2.   How complex of an activity you want to implement? Assessment techniques can vary from simple techniques that require minimum preparation and little effort to implement and evaluate complex techniques that involve considerable effort to employ and evaluate effectively.
      3.   What kind of product do you want students to produce? Techniques like CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) or LATs (Learning Assessment Techniques) link the learning activity to the production of a learning artifact such as writing, presenting, or creating a product. The technique you select should produce the form or product that you believe will best demonstrate student learning for your course and then your discipline, as this is the product you will ultimately assess and likely grade.
      Assessment is the way we college teachers can determine the effectiveness of our teaching and the quality of student learning. Our focus is on learning assessment, that is, assessment for and of learningWe can use the information we glean from our assessment efforts for a variety of purposes, including to determine for ourselves how well students in our courses are learning, to provide learners with feedback on their progress, to improve our profession through the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and to provide information to institutional and external stakeholders, but most of all to improve student learning.
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        Reference: Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Wiley." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Learning Assessment in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "learning-assessment-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2257" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#9665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2179) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_content"]=> string(11234) "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 is essential. Online course design requires a wide range of skills and tools and managing both the design and the technical aspects of the course. A Brief Overview of Online Course Design When engaging in course design, the concept of instructional alignment is useful to consider. Instructional alignment begins with the identification of learning goals. Those goals then direct other decisions, including how you will help students achieve these goals (materials and methods), what tools can best help you help students achieve them (technologies), and how you will know if the goals have been met (assessment). We illustrate the idea of instructional alignment in online courses in the following figure: In this model, one element leads to the next. For example, if you are teaching an English class, you might have a learning goal of critical thinking, with a specific objective that learners will critically evaluate a play. Your learning materials might include the specific play to be evaluated as well as an article or chapter describing a model of critical evaluation. For your learning activities, you might ask learners to read the materials and then practice critical evaluation through Active Reading Documents in which your questions lead students through a critical analysis that prepares them to then write a report on their own. For the technology, you might use a Learning Management System (LMS) and have the materials available within it as well as a downloadable template for the Active Reading Documents. For the assessment, students might write a formal report using the evaluation model to critically evaluate the play. All of these key elements in the instructional alignment model should be determined before an online course goes live. The following are tips related to instructional alignment during course design. 1. Develop Course and Module Learning Goals and Objectives Most of us are familiar with the idea of developing course goals and objectives; after all, we usually have to include course level goals and objectives in every syllabus we create. But not all of us are as familiar with developing goals for specific learning modules. When we teach online, developing, and then displaying more targeted micro-goals for specific modules helps make our learning expectations clear. 2. Use Multiple Media for Learning Materials Traditionally, many of us share content by asking students to read a chapter or article and then we elaborate by presenting additional content through lectures. We can accomplish these forms of sharing content in similar ways online. Many resources are available to present text versions of lectures, and we can also present either synchronous lectures through video conferencing or asynchronous pre-recorded video lectures online. In addition, there are a range of free resources available online, such as pre-recorded videos and free open educational resources (OERs). A mix of media (text, video, audio, graphics) is typically more effective than using only one type because the variety can help keep students more engaged. 3. Choose Appropriate Learning Tasks It is important to think through what students will do in your online course. Common instructional tasks in online courses include the following:
        • Connect—Activate students’ prior knowledge of the content so that learners can make better connections to new content through an activity such as a Background Knowledge Probe.
        • Learn/Watch/Read— Provide learners with the new content.
        • Practice—Implement activities that reinforce their new learning.
        • Share/Discuss—Enable students to find personal relevance and share their experiences with their peers, perhaps through a discussion thread. Consider for example using a Think-Pair-Share.
        • Assess—Ask students to demonstrate learning, whether through a quiz, assignment, project, or other.
        • Reflect— Challenge students to reflect on what they have learned.
        Aim for having the same kinds of activities due on the same days of the week. If for example, you do a discussion board each week, choose the day when students will post (for example have discussions due on Wednesday and responses due on Friday). If they have an assessment to complete each week, choose a different due day for that activity (for example, have the assessment due on Thursday), and so forth. 4. Humanize the Technology Technology can serve as a mediator between people. A few suggestions for accomplishing this are as follows:
        • Simplify the NavigationMany Learning Management Systems make choices for you, including what will be in the navigation bar. Think through how students will work their way through the course and what students really need to see in the navigation menu. Unnecessary items can result in overwhelmed students. Providing clarity and ensuring intuitive organization of materials can improve learner satisfaction as well as promoting deeper learning.
        • Strive for a Humanized Look and FeelThere is a tendency in online courses to use built-in icons and heavy text. Graphics, images, and short videos can create a warmer look and a more human-friendly feel to the course.
        • Ensure Accessibility—Effective online courses should be accessible to all learners. One way to do this is to make sure courses are “universally designed.” Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is built on the idea that all learning experiences should be purposefully constructed to be “barrier free” and accessible by providing multiple and flexible methods of the following elements:
          • Presentation of content (e.g., voice-to-text applications, screen readers, digital books).
          • Alternatives for students to demonstrate what they have learned (e.g., concept mapping).
          • Engagement to tap into diverse learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn (choices among various scenarios for learning the same competency).
        5. Include Multiple Learning Assessments While one assessment alone can generate evidence to make decisions about student learning and development, multiple measures encourage more comprehensive and accurate assessment. This benefits not only the students who are learning but also the instructors who are doing the teaching. Consider the following learning artifacts commonly used to assess student learning in online courses.
        • Discussion Posts
        • Groupwork Products
        • Quizzes
        • Exams
        • Written or Video Assignments
        • Digital Projects or Portfolios
        Consider providing students with choices for assignments, such as what to write about for the assignment or how to respond to a discussion post or even which assignments they will complete. In conclusion, online course design requires concerted time and attention. To summarize some of the key points we have described, we have further developed our instructional alignment figure for online courses as follows: Try incorporating these teaching techniques into your online course design.

        Background Knowledge Probe

        View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

        Think Pair Share

        View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

        Active Reading Documents

        View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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          " ["post_title"]=> string(40) "5 Tips for Engaging Online Course Design" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(29) "engaging-online-course-design" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-10 00:53:56" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-10 00:53:56" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2179" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#9664 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7157) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 05:26:38" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 13:26:38" ["post_content"]=> string(9238) "

          Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and sharing knowledge to solve a  problem.  The defining characteristics of a good brainstorming session are when participants are encouraged to gather ideas spontaneously and to think without interruption.  When done as a group, people typically collectively agree upon a solution after all the ideas are brought forth and discussed, but it can also be done individually. The technique of brainstorming has been around for over 70 years and is often used today to engage students in problem solving.

          Brainstorming allows students to think critically about ideas and solutions, form connections, and share ideas with peers. The activity allows exploring and expanding a student’s ability to think critically and laterally. As students get actively involved, brainstorming aids the process of learning and improves academic performance.

          Often, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming; students can freely express their thoughts without fear of failure. Tools used for brainstorming and sharing include: 

          • Physical writing or drawing tools like paper, posterboard, or whiteboard
          • Digital writing or drawing tools like Word, Photoshop, or any idea-mapping software
          • Collaborative tools like Google Hangouts, Google Docs, or Zoom

          Techniques vary, but there is a general structure to follow when developing brainstorming sessions. After the problem or issue is presented, students are organized into groups to brainstorm all possible ideas that could solve the problem. Discussion of these ideas takes place after the brainstorming session ends, usually after a defined time. Each idea is discussed and considered, some ideas are eliminated, and a final list is ranked for possible use as a solution toward solving the problem.

          Benefits of Brainstorming

          Brainstorming in the classroom can motivate students to spontaneously express their ideas and thoughts on a subject. As there are no wrong and right answers, the activity provides students with a platform where they can voice their thoughts without fear of failure. Brainstorming gives the class a chance to tap into their previous knowledge and form connections between the current topic and what they have already learned. It also encourages them to listen and consider others’ ideas, thereby showing respect for their fellow classmates. In addition, brainstorming:

          • Provides a quick and easy class activity. Brainstorming sessions can be effectively used in the classroom. However, they do require meaningful planning time for ultimate success.
          • Contributes to classroom collective power. Brainstorming sessions allow individual students’ voices to become one with the group’s voice. The final ideas are generally identified through consensus.
          • Creates a student-centered activity. Students direct the group in which they generate their own ideas, develop rating criteria, and are responsible for group dynamics.
          • Supports learning in a relaxed environment. Students can collaborate in a comfortable, informal learning environment.
          • Strengthens problem-based learning. Brainstorming is a problem-solving activity where students build on or develop higher order thinking skills.
          • Encourages creative thought. Brainstorming encourages students to think creatively (out of the box), encouraging all students to share their ideas, no matter how far “out there” they may seem.
           
          Challenges of Brainstorming

          While brainstorming has many advantages, it also has some challenges. Following are some challenges with suggestions for mitigating them.

          • Becoming just a chat session. The instructor should direct the session to keep students on task.
          • Students in a group setting compete with one another rather than collaborate when generating ideas. The instructor can walk around the room and listen for inappropriate group behavior.
          • Staying surface-level. The instructor can prompt for deeper, higher order thinking.
          • Getting “buy-in” or acceptance from those who have participated in brainstorming who have never seen their ideas brought forth and acted upon. The instructor can work with any student who may be in this category and remark on their contribution to them personally, their group, and to the whole class.
          • Getting quiet or independent students to actively participate. The instructor can explain that as part of this course all students are expected to bend a little which may have them participating in activities that might make them uncomfortable. It is best to avoid forcing.
          • Helping groups to move forward if they are “stuck” and not able to generate ideas. The instructor can reconvene the group to review the problem or issue or provide an example of a possible solution.
          • Reaching consensus. Getting students to reach consensus becomes less of a problem if all students are given equal time to provide input, feel like they are a valued member of the group, and are respected for their points-of-view.

          Brainstorming sessions can be a useful strategy to encourage genuine collaboration and interaction in the classroom. Putting together a well-stated problem and careful planning strategies can lead to meaningful idea generation and idea building which can be used in solving problems or addressing specific course-related issues.

          Cross Academy Techniques

          To use brainstorming in your class, try the following techniques:

          Image

          Comprehensive Factors List
          In Comprehensive Factors List, students write all the relevant factors they can think of about a specific topic, drawing from course content and personal experiences.

          View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
          Image

          Quick Write
          Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

          View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
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            References

            Baumgartner, J. (2005). Key factors to successful brainstorming. http://www.jpb.com/creative/keyfactors.php

            Baumgartner, J. (n.d.). The complete guide to managing traditional brainstorming events. http://www.jpb.com/creative/brainstorming.pdf

            Elkenberry, K. (2007). Brainstorming strategies: Seven questions that spur better solutions. https://www.sideroad.com/Meetings/brainstorming-strategies.html

            Maricopa Community Colleges (2001). Brainstorming. http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/authoring/studio/guidebook/brain.html 

            Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Brainstorming. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide

            Storm, J. (2004). 10 deadly brainstorming ruts that kill innovation. https://www.brainstormnetwork.org/articles/10-BrainStorming-Ruts.pdf

            " ["post_title"]=> string(44) "The Benefits and Challenges of Brainstorming" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(44) "the-benefits-and-challenges-of-brainstorming" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 17:38:09" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-08 01:38:09" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7157" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#9663 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3677) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 07:00:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 15:00:03" ["post_content"]=> string(8959) "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 crisis, it can be a challenge for them to focus their care additionally on their studies. As educators, we know there is a strong relationship between caring about learning and quality of learning. As Fink argues, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens” (2013, p. 360). It seems simple common sense that students who really care about what they are learning will invest the time and effort required to learn it well and remember it longer. So how do we help students focus their care on learning, during a crisis, during an age of significant distraction?
            What Does Caring Mean During a Crisis?
            When we care about something, we have acquired an affective disposition toward it that combines concern and perhaps even affection: we value it, appreciate it, and anticipate opportunities to encounter it.  “Caring” in education refers to the degree to which students are interested in, or have feelings about, various aspects of their learning, and it can apply to an array of foci that include topic-specific phenomena and ideas, human beings, and the process of learning itself. It means the focusing of consciousness and the narrowing of attention on learning We often know when students care about their learning. If students care about a course, they will show up for it and will invest appropriate time and energy into the learning activities.  If students care about their peers, they will listen actively when others speak and demonstrate compassion and empathy as they develop deeper understanding of another’s perspectives or experiences. If students care about the topic, they will ask pertinent questions and be sufficiently curious to go beyond the minimum class requirements. How does all this work when they simply don’t have the physical stamina, time, cognitive bandwidth, or emotional energy for the learning?
            How Do We Get Students to Care about Learning during a Crisis?
            Following are suggestions for promoting caring in college and university courses during a crisis: 1. Acknowledge the Crisis and How You are Addressing It. It will help students to care if they know that you care, too, and that you understand where they are coming from. Tell them how you have adapted the course or activities and explain how you hope they will adapt in turn. 2. Humanize the Course. Particularly if you are teaching online, make sure that you have a warm and inviting space for students. You also need to be there and show your personality. Helping students to make connections with you and with each other builds community in the class and can help students to care more about their own work. Being there and forming that community is likely the most essential element of caring in a time of crisis. 3. Reconsider Rigor. Rigor is important, but be sure that you aren’t focusing excessively on it. It’s important to balance rigor with being supportive of students and their learning during this time. Think through how you can provide a quality learning experience during these unique circumstances. Students are more likely to care if they believe that you aren’t out to prove how tough you and the course are, but instead are doing your best to ensure they learn. 4. Make it Manageable. Provide a clear structure and a clear schedule. Give students challenges that increase in difficulty incrementally. One reason that students fail to care is that they believe that they can't or won’t be successful. One way to negate that is to give them small challenges so they can be successful in completing them and then build difficulty and complexity over time. 5. Stay Positive. There are many things to be negative about right now, but your course, content, and student learning aren’t part of that. You can help ensure that students care by staying positive about the learning. Consider using positive language, for example, talking about what they will gain from the course and how they will use it in the future or when we return to the “new normal.” 6. Provide Students with Choice and Autonomy. Provide students with choices so that they feel more invested. For example, you might let students choose which discussions to participate in, or you might give them options about how to participate, for example by sharing something they have created or by responding to a prompt with an essay. 7. Make sure Tasks are Relevant, Appropriate, and Worthy of Their Attention. Characteristics of a learning task can increase or decrease student caring. For example, consider the following questions: Is the task inherently interesting? Is it important to the students on a personal level? Can they make a connection between the task and their own lived experiences? Is there some novelty to it? Is the purpose clear? Is it important to them? Is it a creative activity? Is there enough time to successfully complete the task?
            Cross Academy Techniques to Promote Caring
            Consider the following techniques that promote caring and also provide students with ways to demonstrate caring about the topic or their learning: Three-Minute Message: 3-Minute Messages are modeled on the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) academic competition, in which students have three minutes to present a compelling argument and to support it with convincing details and examples. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
            Briefing Paper: In a Briefing Paper, students research a current problem of their choice, summarize the main issues, and present solutions to a specific audience. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
            What? So What? Now What? Journals: In What? So What? Now What? Journals, students reflect on their recent course-related activities as they respond to each prompt in a journal entry. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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              Humans are more likely to remember information that is patterned in a logical and familiar way. Furthermore, the act of organizing information is a helpful aid to human memory (Bailey & Pransky, 2014; Sprenger, 2002; Tileston, 2004). It is no surprise, then, that organizing information is a useful skill for students as well as an activity that can help to deepen learning. Finding and understanding patterns is crucial to critical thinking and problem solving. Struggling students may find it helpful to organize information in a problem because it requires them to think more deeply about each piece of information and how those pieces fit together.

              Instructional strategies that involve organizing information have been used in higher education to promote learning for decades. They were brought to the fore of teaching and learning primarily through the cognitive theories of American psychologist David Ausubel. Ausubel (1968) argued that the human mind organizes ideas and information in a logical schema, and that people learn when they integrate new information into their existing schemata. Ausubel advised that teachers can help students arrange new information in meaningful ways by providing them with an organizing structure. Interest in information organizers has gained popularity recently, as they help direct students’ attention to important information by recalling relevant prior knowledge and highlighting relationships (Woolfolk et al., 2010).

              How Does Organization Improve Learning?

              Careful design, creation, and implementation of activities that require students to organize information can provide important intellectual guardrails to guide students toward deeper understanding and learning. When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start. Instead of the brain having to make sense of and organize content, it can focus on memory retention (Tileston, 2004). Such activities provide students with a means to categorize cumbersome amounts of information, introduce a more refined lens to analyze a complex text, and enable students to recognize patterns and compare perspectives. However, organizing activities, depending on how they are structured, can have the unintended consequence of limiting students’ thinking to just filling in the boxes. They may allow students to avoid the messy but important work of surfacing key insights or conceptual understanding.

              When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start.

              Good teachers help students organize information and make connections among concepts they are learning. When students organize information and think about how ideas are related, they process information deeply and engage in elaboration. Understanding and retaining content are facilitated. Organizing information increases the likelihood that students will make sense of it and that it will transfer from working memory to permanent memory, where it can be used by students in the present and in the future. Students arrange information hierarchically, categorically, sequentially, or in other ways. They discover and depict the overall structure of the material as well as identify how discrete pieces of information fit together. They organize and reorganize generalizations, principles, concepts, and facts. They explain their thinking to partners or groups and listen to alternative perspectives.

              Many of the strategies can also be used as pre- and post-assessments to determine what students already know and what they have learned. However, in our view, their primary purposes are to help students understand and remember the content, and so we describe them with those purposes in mind. When students organize information, they:

              • Distinguish between major ideas and important details.
              • Identify superordinate, subordinate, and parallel ideas.
              • Consider similarities and differences.
              • Analyze critical features.
              • Categorize information.
              • Discuss their thinking about how information is organized with peers.
              Strategies for Facilitating Organization

              Four strategies in particular help students organize and pattern information. They include:

              • Previewing Content: This helps students mentally prepare for what will be coming next in the instruction.
              • Connecting Prior Knowledge: This helps create neural connections between new and previously learned content.
              • Using graphic Organizers: This provides students with a visual, organized representation of the content.
              • Sequencing Logically: This helps break up content into amounts that the brain can manage.

              Teachers need to strive to change their thinking from planning lessons, to planning for learning (Jensen, 1995; Tileston, 2004). Being a content and strategy expert is important, but is of little worth if students can’t remember anything from a lesson. A teacher who effectively organizes information for students helps them improve their memory retention.

              Cross Academy Techniques

              To help students organize information in your courses, consider the following Cross Academy Techniques:

              Image

              Advance Organizers
              An Advance Organizer is a tool that professors can present to students prior to a lecture to help them structure the information they are about to learn.

              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
              Image

              Group Grid
              In Group Grid, group members are given pieces of information and asked to place them in the blank cells of a grid according to category rubrics, which helps them clarify conceptual categories and develop sorting skills.

              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
              Teaching Technique 38 - Affinity Grouping

              Affinity Grouping
              In Affinity Grouping, individual students generate ideas and identify common themes. Then, students form groups to sort and organize the ideas accordingly.

              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
               
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                References

                Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational psychology:  A cognitive view. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

                Bailey, F. & Pransky, K. (2014). Memory at work in the classroom: Strategies to help underachieving students. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                Sprenger, R. (2004). Trust: The best way to manage. Cyan Books.

                Tileston, D. W. (2004). What every teacher should know about learning, memory, and the brain. Corwin Press.

                Woolfolk, A. (2010). Educational psychology (11th ed.). Merrill.

                " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "4 Strategies to Help Students Organize Information" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "4-strategies-to-help-students-organize-information" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-28 16:45:39" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-03-01 00:45:39" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7564" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#9661 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1286) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_content"]=> string(3855) "“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Anonymous Most of us chose careers in academia because we care deeply about our disciplines or fields. It can be discouraging, therefore, to face students whose indifference to our courses is palpable. Yet caring is an essential element of their learning. As Fink suggests, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens.” Certainly, common sense and our own experience as teachers suggest that students who really care about what they are learning to invest the time and effort to learn it well and remember it longer. There is no easy way to get students to care. We offer some suggestions for your consideration:
                Be a Role Model For Caring
                Students tend to respond to the level of energy and enthusiasm that you generate in kind. If you demonstrate that you are passionate about your subject and about teaching, as well as their learning, your students are more likely to connect with you and with the content and to strive to do their best.
                Care About the Students
                Most students will be motivated if they believe you care about them. Indeed, caring about the students as individuals is critical to their success as well as to their satisfaction with the course and with your teaching. Getting to know them is helpful on this front, as you can then target instruction to student background and interests.
                Set High Expectations
                Research is fairly clear that students appreciate it when a teacher has high expectations for them and hold them to it. In short, when they are expected to learn more and perform better, they often do. Students often perform in ways that their teachers expect.
                Give Students Ownership in the Content and Process
                If students have some flexibility in what they study and how they study it, they are more likely to care about both aspects. For example, if they choose paper and project topics that most interest them, and if they have some decision about the assessment (tests, papers, projects, posters, presentations), they have more control over how they develop understanding and how they demonstrate it to you. Control often leads to caring in this circumstance.
                Encourage Students to Connect Content to Their Lives/the Outside World
                Oftentimes to students, our courses can seem completely disconnected from their lived experiences. We can find ways to make connections more transparent. When they have the opportunity to see that content is important and relevant to them, they tend to care more.
                Choose Assignments That are at the Appropriate Target Level
                Students need to have assignments that are challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult that they feel dazed, confused, and helpless. You can design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class.
                Place Appropriate Emphasis on Testing and Grading
                Graded items can create incentives or disincentives. You can strive for assessments that show students what they have mastered, rather than what they have not. College teachers can help promote students caring. For information about active learning techniques that promote caring, see our videos for the following techniques: " ["post_title"]=> string(45) "Getting Students to Care About Their Learning" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "getting-students-to-care-about-their-learning" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1286" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#9314 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5711) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 04:30:55" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 12:30:55" ["post_content"]=> string(9955) "

                “Is this going to be on the test?” 

                Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?

                Simply jotting down stray data points that may nor may not be included on an upcoming exam may help with rote memorization and review but may not lead to long-term retention.

                The importance of note-taking is generally recognized by higher-education faculty. It keeps students engaged and focused, helping them to translate and adapt new information in their own words. Good note-taking is a skill that we must nurture and develop in our students, however.

                There is nearly a century’s worth of research regarding the relationship between student learning and student note-taking during lectures.  It indicates that students who understand how to take good notes benefit from doing so, and those who do not take notes are disadvantaged. A few of the key takeaways from the existing research are outlined below. 

                 

                Note-Taking Works

                The benefits of note-taking were realized nearly 100 years ago.  Crawford studied in 1925 whether note-taking improved college students’ performance on quizzes.  He determined that students who took notes performed better, that reviewing notes before a quiz was essential for success, and that effective organization of notes improved students’ test scores.

                In the years since, other studies have corroborated Crawford’s conclusions in a number of ways. For instance, studies indicate that note-taking improves student learning during lectures and while reading (Kiewra, 2002; Chang & Ku, 2014).

                Students learn more when they take notes than when they do not. The effort required to make notes encodes the information into terms or images that create new pathways to store the information in the brain’s long-term memory. Additionally, having a physical or digital copy of the information provides students an opportunity to revisit and review the content later. 

                Teaching Students Specific Note-Taking Strategies Can Improve Their Learning

                Some students enter the classroom with a sense of what material should be included in notes,  but for most students, taking time to teach them how to take notes – particularly using appropriate teaching techniques – can greatly enhance the quality of students’ notes and how much students learn and retain from their efforts (Boyle, 2013; Rahmani & Sadeghi, 2011). This is true for all students, but particularly those with learning disabilities. 

                The Use of Visuals in Notes Improves Student Learning

                Wammes, Meade, & Fernandes (2016) examined the use of drawing and illustrations in note-taking and found that, compared to writing alone, the act of drawing and diagramming key information and ideas can influence student learning and retention. 

                Revising, Collaborating with Peers, And Pausing During Note-Taking Positively Affects Learning

                Students who are offered the chance to revise, rewrite, or add to their notes retain more material. If educators integrate specific pauses into their lectures or class activities for students to make revisions and updates to their notes, the students better retain the material and have better notes to revisit at a later time. And if students collaborate on revising their notes with classmates, they develop a more complete set of notes and perform better on tests (Luo, Kiewra, & Samuelson, 2016). 

                Scaffolding Note-Taking Helps Students Learn

                Haydon, Mancil, Kroeger, McLeskey, & Lin (2011) determined that teachers can help their students take better notes by building note-taking scaffolds into their lesson plans. For instance, providing students with a partially completed guided note document or writing visual cues on the board can help students determine what should be retained in notes. 

                Taking Notes on Laptops May Require Different Strategies from Handwritten Notes

                While some research indicates that handwritten notes better serve students than notes taken on a laptop (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014; Carter, Greenberg, & Walker, 2017), other studies have suggested there’s no substantive difference between students taking notes on paper or their computers (Artz, Johnson, Robson, & Taengnoi, 2017). However, one study suggests that digital note-taking may require different strategies. Wu & Xie (2018) found that, when completing online research, students who took notes using a matrix and who had enforced time limits were less distracted by irrelevant online content than their peers.

                Instructor-Provided Notes Improve Learning

                Kiewra (1985) found that when teachers provide students with complete, well-written notes to supplement their own notes, they learn much more than they do based on their notes alone. 

                In sum, the research suggests that we can do much more to help our students take effective notes than simply answering their “Is this going to be on the test?” question. Effective teachers can help students stay engaged and attentive, while taking notes and can ease the cognitive load on their working memory so that students better understand the material.

                Cross Academy Techniques

                Consider the following Cross Academy Techniques to help your students improve their note-taking skills:

                Image

                Guided Notes
                Provide students with a partially completed set of notes that they will fill out during a class lecture, drawing their focus to key topics. 

                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                Image

                Cued Notes
                Offer students a note-taking template to prompt them to listen for a cue that you provide and then take notes during the segment related to the cue. Then ask your students to summarize the full lecture.

                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                Image

                Note-Taking Pairs
                Divide students into partners who will work together to improve their notes.

                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                Image

                Sketch Notes
                Ask students to supplement their handwritten notes with illustrative elements such as lines, arrows, drawings, stars, and boxes to show how concepts relate to each other.

                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation

                References

                Artz, B., Johnson, M., Robson, D., & Taengnoi, S. (2017). Note-taking in the digital age: Evidence from classroom random control trials. The Journal of Economic Education, 51(20), 103-115.  

                Boyle, J. R. (2013). Strategic note-taking for inclusive middle school science classrooms. Remedial and Special Education, 34(2), 78-90. 

                Carter, S. P., Greenberg, K., & Walker, M. S. (2017). The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy. Economics of Education Review, 56, 118-132.

                Chang, W., & Ku, Y. (2014). The effects of note-taking skills instruction on elementary students’ reading. The Journal of Educational Research, 108(4), 278–291. 

                Crawford, C. C. (1925). The correlation between college lecture notes and quiz papers. Journal of Educational Research, 12, 282-291.

                Haydon, T., Mancil, G.R.,  Kroeger, S.D., McLeskey, J., & Lin, W.J. (2011). A review of the effectiveness of guided notes for students who struggle learning academic content. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 55(4), 226-231. 

                Kiewra, K.A. (1985). Providing the instructor’s notes: an effective addition to student note-taking. Educational Psychologist, 20(1), 33-39. 

                Kiewra, K.A. (2002). How classroom teachers can help students learn and teach them how to learn. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 71-80. 

                Luo, L., Kiewra, K.A. & Samuelson, L. (2016). Revising lecture notes: how revision, pauses, and partners affect note taking and achievement. Instructional Science, 44(1). 45-67. 

                Mueller, P.A., & Oppenheimer, D.M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159-1168. 

                Wammes, J.D., Meade, M.E., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(9). 

                Wu, J. Y., & Xie, C. (2018). Using time pressure and note-taking to prevent digital distraction behavior and enhance online search performance: Perspectives from the load theory of attention and cognitive control. Computers in Human Behavior, 88, 244-254. 

                " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "Tips to Encourage Better Note-Taking in Your Class" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(207) "“Is this going to be on the test?”  Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "tips-to-encourage-better-note-taking-in-your-class" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 00:18:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 08:18:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=5711" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(10) ["current_post"]=> int(0) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(true) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#9671 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2683) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-10-06 10:30:15" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-10-06 10:30:15" ["post_content"]=> string(10303) " 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 (2012) suggests that online personas “are the social identities that people create for themselves in online communities and on websites" (para. 1). Thus, an online teaching persona can be thought of as the social identity or presence we create when we teach students in online environments. Some educators believe that we “put on” our personas as teachers, while others believe that we should avoid doing so and instead be our natural selves in the classroom. At the K Patricia Cross Academy, we think it is most likely that there are both intentional and unintentional aspects of our teaching personas. There are some things about ourselves that we don’t change, for example, our ages or physiques. We do, however, make decisions about the level of formality we will use, how we will ask students to address us, and so forth that signal our personalities in many ways. We also convey our personas based upon the choices we make, even prior to entering the classroom, for example by our decisions about what to wear, what we carry with us, and so forth. Our choices send a message to students about who we are as teachers and about how they are to engage with us. When we teach online, conveying our personas requires additional thought and effort. We no longer have built-in physical markers, such as appearance, dress, and non-verbal gestures so we have to find new ways of communicating persona. We choose the “virtual” person that the students will know and respond to. There are both philosophical and practical choices we make when developing an online teaching persona, and these differ from the ones we make when we teach onsite. 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? How can we share who we are or want to be as teachers? How can we appear “natural” in a virtual environment?
                Make Information about Yourself Available within the Course
                Many Learning Management Systems offer the ability to create a profile. They provide ways to include the selected teacher name, a short bio, a description of interests, upload pictures, favorite links, and so forth. These features can be useful for allowing instructors to present information about ourselves to students. It also can be useful for instructors to create an electronic portfolio/personal website to accompany the course site, which can prove efficient when teaching multiple courses. Sharing information can allow us to showcase what we believe is important as well as to highlight our accomplishments. Following are suggestions that you can use to develop and deliver your online teaching persona.  
                Build in Information about You into the Course Site
                In an online course, you choose what information students see and what information they don’t see. Consider including the following information into your Learning Management System or other course site:
                • Instructor photograph and contact information
                • Instructor bio
                • Instructor avatar—photo or graphic representation
                • Teaching philosophy or description of your rationale for the instructional methods in the course
                Communicate with Students in the Course Regularly
                Instructors have to make a conscious effort toward instructor presence, which is the visibility of the instructor as perceived by the learners. It is the learner’s sense that the instructor is “there,” that there is a real person with whom they are interacting. Instructor immediacy appears directly related to interaction, e.g. the amount of contact through email, discussion, postings, or other. Entering the course regularly and communicating with students frequently is essential to establishing a sense of being there. Making connections with a faculty member can help students understand that there’s a real person there and can also make interactions more personal. Following are suggestions that you can use to communicate your online teaching persona:
                • Welcome e-mail
                • Discussion facilitation
                • Virtual office hours
                • Module intro or content videos
                • Daily or weekly announcements
                • Optional synchronous meetings
                • Feedback on assignments or assessments
                Choose Instructional Activities Where You are Visible and Involved
                While many educators argue that the teacher should step away from the role of “sage on the stage,” and we agree with this, we also note that it is easy to become invisible as a teacher in an online course. Even if you designed the course, it can feel like you are absent and that you have put the course into “set it and forget it” mode if you don’t figure out how to be actively involved in the students’ learning activities. Simply choosing methods where you are involved in facilitating can help students feel your presence. Consider the following techniques:
                Translate That!
                In Translate That!, you pause your lecture and call on a student at random to “translate” the information you just provided into plain English for an imagined audience that you specify.

                View main video here: View Technique →

                View online adaptation here:

                Team Jeopardy
                Team Jeopardy is a game in which student teams take turns selecting a square from a grid that is organized vertically by category and horizontally by difficulty. Each square shows the number of points the team can earn if they answer a question correctly, and more challenging questions have the potential to earn more points.

                View main video here: View Technique →

                View example slides here: Google Slides | PowerPoint

                View online adaptation here:

                Developing and maintaining a recognizable and consistent virtual persona is not an easy task. It requires on-going effort and attention in any given course. In short, we have to continually “be there” in order to establish and communicate persona. To sign up for our newsletter, where you will receive information about new blog posts, click here:

                  Reference:
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                  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 (2012) suggests that online personas “are the social identities that people create for themselves in online communities and on websites" (para. 1). Thus, an online teaching persona can be thought of as the social identity or presence we create when we teach students in online environments.
                  
                  Some educators believe that we “put on” our personas as teachers, while others believe that we should avoid doing so and instead be our natural selves in the classroom. At the K Patricia Cross Academy, we think it is most likely that there are both intentional and unintentional aspects of our teaching personas.
                  
                  There are some things about ourselves that we don’t change, for example, our ages or physiques. We do, however, make decisions about the level of formality we will use, how we will ask students to address us, and so forth that signal our personalities in many ways. We also convey our personas based upon the choices we make, even prior to entering the classroom, for example by our decisions about what to wear, what we carry with us, and so forth. Our choices send a message to students about who we are as teachers and about how they are to engage with us.
                  
                  
                  
                  When we teach online, conveying our personas requires additional thought and effort. We no longer have built-in physical markers, such as appearance, dress, and non-verbal gestures so we have to find new ways of communicating persona. We choose the “virtual” person that the students will know and respond to. There are both philosophical and practical choices we make when developing an online teaching persona, and these differ from the ones we make when we teach onsite.
                  
                  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? How can we share who we are or want to be as teachers? How can we appear “natural” in a virtual environment?
                  
                  Make Information about Yourself Available within the Course
                  Many Learning Management Systems offer the ability to create a profile. They provide ways to include the selected teacher name, a short bio, a description of interests, upload pictures, favorite links, and so forth. These features can be useful for allowing instructors to present information about ourselves to students. It also can be useful for instructors to create an electronic portfolio/personal website to accompany the course site, which can prove efficient when teaching multiple courses. Sharing information can allow us to showcase what we believe is important as well as to highlight our accomplishments. Following are suggestions that you can use to develop and deliver your online teaching persona.  
                  Build in Information about You into the Course Site
                  In an online course, you choose what information students see and what information they don’t see. Consider including the following information into your Learning Management System or other course site:
                  • Instructor photograph and contact information
                  • Instructor bio
                  • Instructor avatar—photo or graphic representation
                  • Teaching philosophy or description of your rationale for the instructional methods in the course
                  Communicate with Students in the Course Regularly
                  Instructors have to make a conscious effort toward instructor presence, which is the visibility of the instructor as perceived by the learners. It is the learner’s sense that the instructor is “there,” that there is a real person with whom they are interacting. Instructor immediacy appears directly related to interaction, e.g. the amount of contact through email, discussion, postings, or other. Entering the course regularly and communicating with students frequently is essential to establishing a sense of being there. Making connections with a faculty member can help students understand that there’s a real person there and can also make interactions more personal. Following are suggestions that you can use to communicate your online teaching persona:
                  • Welcome e-mail
                  • Discussion facilitation
                  • Virtual office hours
                  • Module intro or content videos
                  • Daily or weekly announcements
                  • Optional synchronous meetings
                  • Feedback on assignments or assessments
                  Choose Instructional Activities Where You are Visible and Involved
                  While many educators argue that the teacher should step away from the role of “sage on the stage,” and we agree with this, we also note that it is easy to become invisible as a teacher in an online course. Even if you designed the course, it can feel like you are absent and that you have put the course into “set it and forget it” mode if you don’t figure out how to be actively involved in the students’ learning activities. Simply choosing methods where you are involved in facilitating can help students feel your presence. Consider the following techniques:
                  Translate That!
                  In Translate That!, you pause your lecture and call on a student at random to “translate” the information you just provided into plain English for an imagined audience that you specify.

                  View main video here: View Technique →

                  View online adaptation here:

                  Team Jeopardy
                  Team Jeopardy is a game in which student teams take turns selecting a square from a grid that is organized vertically by category and horizontally by difficulty. Each square shows the number of points the team can earn if they answer a question correctly, and more challenging questions have the potential to earn more points.

                  View main video here: View Technique →

                  View example slides here: Google Slides | PowerPoint

                  View online adaptation here:

                  Developing and maintaining a recognizable and consistent virtual persona is not an easy task. It requires on-going effort and attention in any given course. In short, we have to continually “be there” in order to establish and communicate persona. To sign up for our newsletter, where you will receive information about new blog posts, click here:

                    Reference:
                    Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(44) "Creating an Engaging Teaching Persona Online" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(34) "creating-a-teaching-persona-online" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2683" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#9668 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1293) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_content"]=> string(2740) "“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~Albert Einstein Instructors have many important decisions to make about what to teach, how to teach it, when to review, when to move on, and so forth. We are better able to make important instructional decisions when we have good information about whether and how well students have learned to base these decisions on. It’s even better when the data gathering process can also help to improve student learning. Researchers and educators alike have lauded the beneficial outcomes of formative assessment, a type of assessment aimed at gathering data on student learning to provide prompt and frequent feedback during the learning process. Instructors can use the information they glean from formative assessment to improve their teaching because they can see where students are struggling and address the problem immediately. Following are some suggestions for implementing formative assessment:
                    Emphasize learning over grading
                    It’s important to help students focus on the content and skills to be learned, rather than on collecting a grade.
                    Create a cooperative, rather than a competitive, atmosphere
                    Help students understand that you are all working together as a team to learn. If a peer offers constructive criticism, it is an effort to help, not hinder.
                    Focus on quality rather than quantity of work
                    Amount of work is not the same as quality of work, and if students can show they are mastering a skill or concept through a short task, then assign that rather of a longer more complicated one. 
                    Focus your feedback on the process and product
                    Your comments and questions should help students feel confident that they can improve and acknowledge that learning is a process.
                    Keep a running record of how your students are doing
                    Students will appreciate seeing gains over time.
                    Give students second chances to demonstrate success
                    Just because students didn’t demonstrate understanding in the first attempt, it doesn’t mean that they can’t. If you give them multiple chances to document understanding, their confidence will go up, which should help improve their engagement. See the following Cross Academy videos for techniques to check student understanding. " ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Formative Assessment: Checking for Understanding" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "formative-assessment-checking-for-understanding" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1293" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#9667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2195) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_content"]=> string(10758) "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 a group to respond one way or the other, but at least some of it can be attributed to the concept of community. Establishing community helps a group of learners bond and work well together. Community is particularly important in online courses given the potential for students to feel isolated and alone. When we teach online, community forms and happens differently than when we teach onsite because the connection is mediated by technology. For example, interactions happen predominantly by text rather than physical presence and there are different markers of who has more or less influence in the group. Online, community is not worse than onsite - indeed, some educators argue that connections can be deeper online than onsite – but it is different. The manner in which online community develops, however, has implications for our roles and responsibilities as teachers. It can be challenging to achieve community in an online course and to know whether it has developed, in part because we do not yet have a good sense of what a strong group dynamic looks like in online courses. After all, it can happen under the radar of the course, through private texting and email, for example. If we are not included in the communication loop, we can feel that an online course does not have the same level of community as an onsite one does, even though there may be a vibrant one forming in backchannels. Community is more than participation; it requires moving from participation to engagement, involvement, and action. Thinking through what appeals to us about other communities, whether onsite or online, can provide us with important clues about how to establish community online. There are several strategies we can use to promote community in an online course. 1. Create a Plan for Communication Communication is essential to community, and it is a good idea to model effective communication from the very start of the course. Create a calendar of when you will contact students, individually or as a group. Communicating at the start of each module with announcements or texts can also be beneficial. Touching base before high stakes assignments is also important. A framework of frequent and effective communication is the first step in encouraging community. 2. Establish Social Presence Social presence, or the sense that individuals have that they are interacting with real people, is an important concept for developing community. Several related factors influence social presence. These include immediacy - the psychological distance between communicators; interaction - when actions affect each other; and intimacy - the notion that individuals will adjust their behaviors to maintain equilibrium. To develop and foster social presence, consider the following:
                    • Creating an introductory video and having students do the same; these can be simple smartphone videos where everyone introduces themselves and shares 2-3 facts about themselves.
                    • Giving students reason to come to the course site often.
                    • Letting them share work that represents them.
                    3. Meet in Real-Time  It’s not always possible (or even desirable) to schedule synchronous meetings, but interacting at the same time can encourage community. Students get to know each other, recognize faces and names, and share information. Consider having several synchronous sessions on the same topic, all at different times of the day and week so everyone can schedule one. Alternatively, make the sessions optional. 4. Create Opportunities for Information and Expertise Sharing One thing that draws us to communities is the rich resources that individuals provide. Providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful strategy for helping to develop community. A few options include:
                    • Create study groups for the course. Assign students to small groups. Suggest that they use the learning management system to work together. Doing so can help them learn to work in groups and to make connections with their fellow students.
                    • Include a “relevant resource” section for the course.  Ask students to post information that’s happening in the world that is related to the course content. If students see the importance of the content, they will be more engaged with it. Online articles, essays, YouTube clips, and so forth can add additional value. You can post in this section as well. Consider trying out Contemporary Issues Journals. In Contemporary Issues Journals, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal. Ask students to share their ideas in a central forum.
                    • Create a common space. Instructors can encourage informal interactions by creating a common space such as a student lounge for discussion.
                    5. Use Collaborative Learning Techniques Collaborative learning requires students to work with each other, which can help reduce feelings of isolation. In addition to simply being glad to know that others are in the same boat, many online students appear to value interacting and forming relationships with peers. Getting to know their peers in an online environment can improve students’ overall experience. Online collaborative learning provides a solid foundation on which such relationships may be founded. Consider collaborative learning techniques such as the following: Jigsaw In Jigsaw, students work in small groups to develop knowledge about a given topic before teaching what they have learned to another group. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                    Paper Seminar Paper Seminar provides a framework for meaningful discussion centered on student work. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                    TAPPS In Think Aloud Pair Problem Solving, students solve problems aloud to try out their reasoning on a listening peer. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                    6. Develop Sub-Communities Some online learners may be hesitant to participate or share if there are too many members. Developing sub-communities can help. These smaller groups can provide a more personal experience and connect individuals with similar interests. Separate discussion forums or small groups meeting in break out rooms within videoconference sessions can help. In conclusion, community can be critical to student success and satisfaction in online courses. Instructors can create opportunities for community in the design of the course, the communication, and the activities they include. Creating these opportunities is likely to prove well worth the effort.
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                      Reference: Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(53) "6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "building-community-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2195" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#9666 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2257) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_content"]=> string(12284) "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 that students have acquired as the result of learning in their courses. When talking about assessment at the course level, we use the term “learning assessment.” When we speak of learning assessment, we mean the actions undertaken by teachers and by students to document student learning in a given course. We recognize that the term “learning assessment” has the potential to be read in different ways. Indeed, the ambiguous modifier was one of the very reasons we selected the term. For us, when we use the phrase “learning assessment,” we mean to comprise the following two meanings as one:
                      • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates that the assessment is part and parcel of the learning process. That is, participating in the assessment also helps the learning itself. This view of assessment is akin to what Wiggins (1998) calls “educative assessment.”
                      • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates an appraisal of the quality of learning. Such an appraisal can happen because the learner produces a product that may be appraised and probably graded. Results of the assessment can, therefore, be communicated to students or a host of other stakeholders or interested parties.
                      Thus, the goal of Learning Assessment is to determine whether actual learning outcomes match desired learning outcomes while also improving student learning in the process. Crafting an assessment strategy that informs your teaching, fosters student learning, and provides accurate feedback and measure of student success can be a challenge. When thinking about how to assess student learning in online courses, it is important to consider two main types of assessments: formative assessments and summative assessments, both of which can be learning assessments.
                      Formative Assessments
                      Formative assessments are intended to provide students with an indication of their performance and to give them an opportunity to improve their performance prior to receiving a final grade, either on an assignment or in a course. Formative assessment, then, is done primarily for the purpose of improving teaching and learning. Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross (1993) is a good resource of formative assessment techniques. Famous examples from their book are the “minute paper” and “muddiest point” techniques, which involve collecting information during or just after an instructional activity to gather insight on what students did or did not understand. Defining characteristics of Cross and Angelo’s approach to formative assessment is that the purpose for collecting data is to gain insight on what adjustments in instruction need to be made in order “to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students” (Angelo & Cross, p. 5). Some educators refer to this form of assessment as non-graded assessment or, if it is graded, it is low-stakes grading. This type of assessment can include classroom polls, discussion board responses, homework assignments, and even regular quizzes. Another source of formative assessment activities is our Learning Assessment Techniques book. Sample techniques from this work include the following:
                      • Background Knowledge ProbeA Background Knowledge Probe is a short, simple, focused questionnaire that students fill out at the beginning of a course or start of a new unit that helps teachers identify the best starting point for the class as a whole.

                      View main video here:View Technique →

                      View online adaptation here:

                      • Individual Readiness Assurance Tests (IRATs): Individual Readiness Assurance Tests are closed-book quizzes that students complete after an out-of-class reading, video, or other homework assignments.

                      View main video here:View Technique →

                      View online adaptation here:

                      • Quick Write:Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                      View main video here: View Technique →

                      View online adaptation here:

                      • Contemporary Issues Journal: In a Contemporary Issues Journal, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal.

                      View main video here: View Technique →

                      View online adaptation here:

                      Summative Assessments
                      Summative assessments are intended to measure learning, typically at the end of an instructional module, unit, or course and often involving comparing results against some standard or benchmark. The purpose is to gather evidence that ensures students have accomplished the desired learning. Summative assessments are often higher stakes than formative assessments, meaning that they have a relatively high point or weight value. Examples of summative assessments include a final exam, a final course project, a research paper, or a course portfolio. Following are examples of summative assessments from our Learning Assessment Techniques book:
                      • Triple Jump: A Triple-Jump is a three-step technique that requires students to think through and attempt to solve a real-world problem.
                      • Case Studies: With Case Studies, student teams review a real-life problem scenario in depth. Team members apply course concepts to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to solving the problem.
                      • Class Book: For a Class Book, individual students work together to plan and ultimately submit a scholarly essay or research paper. Then all students’ papers are published together.
                      There are several key elements to consider as you choose a learning assessment technique, including:
                      1.   What is your purpose for assessing student learning? It is important to consider why and for whom you are collecting the data. For example, if you are conducting formative assessment to provide yourself and students with a sense of their progress, then you will want to choose a technique designed for this purpose.
                      2.   How complex of an activity you want to implement? Assessment techniques can vary from simple techniques that require minimum preparation and little effort to implement and evaluate complex techniques that involve considerable effort to employ and evaluate effectively.
                      3.   What kind of product do you want students to produce? Techniques like CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) or LATs (Learning Assessment Techniques) link the learning activity to the production of a learning artifact such as writing, presenting, or creating a product. The technique you select should produce the form or product that you believe will best demonstrate student learning for your course and then your discipline, as this is the product you will ultimately assess and likely grade.
                      Assessment is the way we college teachers can determine the effectiveness of our teaching and the quality of student learning. Our focus is on learning assessment, that is, assessment for and of learningWe can use the information we glean from our assessment efforts for a variety of purposes, including to determine for ourselves how well students in our courses are learning, to provide learners with feedback on their progress, to improve our profession through the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and to provide information to institutional and external stakeholders, but most of all to improve student learning.
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                        Reference: Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Wiley." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Learning Assessment in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "learning-assessment-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2257" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#9665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2179) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_content"]=> string(11234) "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 is essential. Online course design requires a wide range of skills and tools and managing both the design and the technical aspects of the course. A Brief Overview of Online Course Design When engaging in course design, the concept of instructional alignment is useful to consider. Instructional alignment begins with the identification of learning goals. Those goals then direct other decisions, including how you will help students achieve these goals (materials and methods), what tools can best help you help students achieve them (technologies), and how you will know if the goals have been met (assessment). We illustrate the idea of instructional alignment in online courses in the following figure: In this model, one element leads to the next. For example, if you are teaching an English class, you might have a learning goal of critical thinking, with a specific objective that learners will critically evaluate a play. Your learning materials might include the specific play to be evaluated as well as an article or chapter describing a model of critical evaluation. For your learning activities, you might ask learners to read the materials and then practice critical evaluation through Active Reading Documents in which your questions lead students through a critical analysis that prepares them to then write a report on their own. For the technology, you might use a Learning Management System (LMS) and have the materials available within it as well as a downloadable template for the Active Reading Documents. For the assessment, students might write a formal report using the evaluation model to critically evaluate the play. All of these key elements in the instructional alignment model should be determined before an online course goes live. The following are tips related to instructional alignment during course design. 1. Develop Course and Module Learning Goals and Objectives Most of us are familiar with the idea of developing course goals and objectives; after all, we usually have to include course level goals and objectives in every syllabus we create. But not all of us are as familiar with developing goals for specific learning modules. When we teach online, developing, and then displaying more targeted micro-goals for specific modules helps make our learning expectations clear. 2. Use Multiple Media for Learning Materials Traditionally, many of us share content by asking students to read a chapter or article and then we elaborate by presenting additional content through lectures. We can accomplish these forms of sharing content in similar ways online. Many resources are available to present text versions of lectures, and we can also present either synchronous lectures through video conferencing or asynchronous pre-recorded video lectures online. In addition, there are a range of free resources available online, such as pre-recorded videos and free open educational resources (OERs). A mix of media (text, video, audio, graphics) is typically more effective than using only one type because the variety can help keep students more engaged. 3. Choose Appropriate Learning Tasks It is important to think through what students will do in your online course. Common instructional tasks in online courses include the following:
                        • Connect—Activate students’ prior knowledge of the content so that learners can make better connections to new content through an activity such as a Background Knowledge Probe.
                        • Learn/Watch/Read— Provide learners with the new content.
                        • Practice—Implement activities that reinforce their new learning.
                        • Share/Discuss—Enable students to find personal relevance and share their experiences with their peers, perhaps through a discussion thread. Consider for example using a Think-Pair-Share.
                        • Assess—Ask students to demonstrate learning, whether through a quiz, assignment, project, or other.
                        • Reflect— Challenge students to reflect on what they have learned.
                        Aim for having the same kinds of activities due on the same days of the week. If for example, you do a discussion board each week, choose the day when students will post (for example have discussions due on Wednesday and responses due on Friday). If they have an assessment to complete each week, choose a different due day for that activity (for example, have the assessment due on Thursday), and so forth. 4. Humanize the Technology Technology can serve as a mediator between people. A few suggestions for accomplishing this are as follows:
                        • Simplify the NavigationMany Learning Management Systems make choices for you, including what will be in the navigation bar. Think through how students will work their way through the course and what students really need to see in the navigation menu. Unnecessary items can result in overwhelmed students. Providing clarity and ensuring intuitive organization of materials can improve learner satisfaction as well as promoting deeper learning.
                        • Strive for a Humanized Look and FeelThere is a tendency in online courses to use built-in icons and heavy text. Graphics, images, and short videos can create a warmer look and a more human-friendly feel to the course.
                        • Ensure Accessibility—Effective online courses should be accessible to all learners. One way to do this is to make sure courses are “universally designed.” Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is built on the idea that all learning experiences should be purposefully constructed to be “barrier free” and accessible by providing multiple and flexible methods of the following elements:
                          • Presentation of content (e.g., voice-to-text applications, screen readers, digital books).
                          • Alternatives for students to demonstrate what they have learned (e.g., concept mapping).
                          • Engagement to tap into diverse learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn (choices among various scenarios for learning the same competency).
                        5. Include Multiple Learning Assessments While one assessment alone can generate evidence to make decisions about student learning and development, multiple measures encourage more comprehensive and accurate assessment. This benefits not only the students who are learning but also the instructors who are doing the teaching. Consider the following learning artifacts commonly used to assess student learning in online courses.
                        • Discussion Posts
                        • Groupwork Products
                        • Quizzes
                        • Exams
                        • Written or Video Assignments
                        • Digital Projects or Portfolios
                        Consider providing students with choices for assignments, such as what to write about for the assignment or how to respond to a discussion post or even which assignments they will complete. In conclusion, online course design requires concerted time and attention. To summarize some of the key points we have described, we have further developed our instructional alignment figure for online courses as follows: Try incorporating these teaching techniques into your online course design.

                        Background Knowledge Probe

                        View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                        Think Pair Share

                        View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                        Active Reading Documents

                        View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                          Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and sharing knowledge to solve a  problem.  The defining characteristics of a good brainstorming session are when participants are encouraged to gather ideas spontaneously and to think without interruption.  When done as a group, people typically collectively agree upon a solution after all the ideas are brought forth and discussed, but it can also be done individually. The technique of brainstorming has been around for over 70 years and is often used today to engage students in problem solving.

                          Brainstorming allows students to think critically about ideas and solutions, form connections, and share ideas with peers. The activity allows exploring and expanding a student’s ability to think critically and laterally. As students get actively involved, brainstorming aids the process of learning and improves academic performance.

                          Often, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming; students can freely express their thoughts without fear of failure. Tools used for brainstorming and sharing include: 

                          • Physical writing or drawing tools like paper, posterboard, or whiteboard
                          • Digital writing or drawing tools like Word, Photoshop, or any idea-mapping software
                          • Collaborative tools like Google Hangouts, Google Docs, or Zoom

                          Techniques vary, but there is a general structure to follow when developing brainstorming sessions. After the problem or issue is presented, students are organized into groups to brainstorm all possible ideas that could solve the problem. Discussion of these ideas takes place after the brainstorming session ends, usually after a defined time. Each idea is discussed and considered, some ideas are eliminated, and a final list is ranked for possible use as a solution toward solving the problem.

                          Benefits of Brainstorming

                          Brainstorming in the classroom can motivate students to spontaneously express their ideas and thoughts on a subject. As there are no wrong and right answers, the activity provides students with a platform where they can voice their thoughts without fear of failure. Brainstorming gives the class a chance to tap into their previous knowledge and form connections between the current topic and what they have already learned. It also encourages them to listen and consider others’ ideas, thereby showing respect for their fellow classmates. In addition, brainstorming:

                          • Provides a quick and easy class activity. Brainstorming sessions can be effectively used in the classroom. However, they do require meaningful planning time for ultimate success.
                          • Contributes to classroom collective power. Brainstorming sessions allow individual students’ voices to become one with the group’s voice. The final ideas are generally identified through consensus.
                          • Creates a student-centered activity. Students direct the group in which they generate their own ideas, develop rating criteria, and are responsible for group dynamics.
                          • Supports learning in a relaxed environment. Students can collaborate in a comfortable, informal learning environment.
                          • Strengthens problem-based learning. Brainstorming is a problem-solving activity where students build on or develop higher order thinking skills.
                          • Encourages creative thought. Brainstorming encourages students to think creatively (out of the box), encouraging all students to share their ideas, no matter how far “out there” they may seem.
                           
                          Challenges of Brainstorming

                          While brainstorming has many advantages, it also has some challenges. Following are some challenges with suggestions for mitigating them.

                          • Becoming just a chat session. The instructor should direct the session to keep students on task.
                          • Students in a group setting compete with one another rather than collaborate when generating ideas. The instructor can walk around the room and listen for inappropriate group behavior.
                          • Staying surface-level. The instructor can prompt for deeper, higher order thinking.
                          • Getting “buy-in” or acceptance from those who have participated in brainstorming who have never seen their ideas brought forth and acted upon. The instructor can work with any student who may be in this category and remark on their contribution to them personally, their group, and to the whole class.
                          • Getting quiet or independent students to actively participate. The instructor can explain that as part of this course all students are expected to bend a little which may have them participating in activities that might make them uncomfortable. It is best to avoid forcing.
                          • Helping groups to move forward if they are “stuck” and not able to generate ideas. The instructor can reconvene the group to review the problem or issue or provide an example of a possible solution.
                          • Reaching consensus. Getting students to reach consensus becomes less of a problem if all students are given equal time to provide input, feel like they are a valued member of the group, and are respected for their points-of-view.

                          Brainstorming sessions can be a useful strategy to encourage genuine collaboration and interaction in the classroom. Putting together a well-stated problem and careful planning strategies can lead to meaningful idea generation and idea building which can be used in solving problems or addressing specific course-related issues.

                          Cross Academy Techniques

                          To use brainstorming in your class, try the following techniques:

                          Image

                          Comprehensive Factors List
                          In Comprehensive Factors List, students write all the relevant factors they can think of about a specific topic, drawing from course content and personal experiences.

                          View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                          Image

                          Quick Write
                          Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                          View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
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                            References

                            Baumgartner, J. (2005). Key factors to successful brainstorming. http://www.jpb.com/creative/keyfactors.php

                            Baumgartner, J. (n.d.). The complete guide to managing traditional brainstorming events. http://www.jpb.com/creative/brainstorming.pdf

                            Elkenberry, K. (2007). Brainstorming strategies: Seven questions that spur better solutions. https://www.sideroad.com/Meetings/brainstorming-strategies.html

                            Maricopa Community Colleges (2001). Brainstorming. http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/authoring/studio/guidebook/brain.html 

                            Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Brainstorming. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide

                            Storm, J. (2004). 10 deadly brainstorming ruts that kill innovation. https://www.brainstormnetwork.org/articles/10-BrainStorming-Ruts.pdf

                            " ["post_title"]=> string(44) "The Benefits and Challenges of Brainstorming" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(44) "the-benefits-and-challenges-of-brainstorming" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 17:38:09" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-08 01:38:09" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7157" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#9663 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3677) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 07:00:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 15:00:03" ["post_content"]=> string(8959) "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 crisis, it can be a challenge for them to focus their care additionally on their studies. As educators, we know there is a strong relationship between caring about learning and quality of learning. As Fink argues, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens” (2013, p. 360). It seems simple common sense that students who really care about what they are learning will invest the time and effort required to learn it well and remember it longer. So how do we help students focus their care on learning, during a crisis, during an age of significant distraction?
                            What Does Caring Mean During a Crisis?
                            When we care about something, we have acquired an affective disposition toward it that combines concern and perhaps even affection: we value it, appreciate it, and anticipate opportunities to encounter it.  “Caring” in education refers to the degree to which students are interested in, or have feelings about, various aspects of their learning, and it can apply to an array of foci that include topic-specific phenomena and ideas, human beings, and the process of learning itself. It means the focusing of consciousness and the narrowing of attention on learning We often know when students care about their learning. If students care about a course, they will show up for it and will invest appropriate time and energy into the learning activities.  If students care about their peers, they will listen actively when others speak and demonstrate compassion and empathy as they develop deeper understanding of another’s perspectives or experiences. If students care about the topic, they will ask pertinent questions and be sufficiently curious to go beyond the minimum class requirements. How does all this work when they simply don’t have the physical stamina, time, cognitive bandwidth, or emotional energy for the learning?
                            How Do We Get Students to Care about Learning during a Crisis?
                            Following are suggestions for promoting caring in college and university courses during a crisis: 1. Acknowledge the Crisis and How You are Addressing It. It will help students to care if they know that you care, too, and that you understand where they are coming from. Tell them how you have adapted the course or activities and explain how you hope they will adapt in turn. 2. Humanize the Course. Particularly if you are teaching online, make sure that you have a warm and inviting space for students. You also need to be there and show your personality. Helping students to make connections with you and with each other builds community in the class and can help students to care more about their own work. Being there and forming that community is likely the most essential element of caring in a time of crisis. 3. Reconsider Rigor. Rigor is important, but be sure that you aren’t focusing excessively on it. It’s important to balance rigor with being supportive of students and their learning during this time. Think through how you can provide a quality learning experience during these unique circumstances. Students are more likely to care if they believe that you aren’t out to prove how tough you and the course are, but instead are doing your best to ensure they learn. 4. Make it Manageable. Provide a clear structure and a clear schedule. Give students challenges that increase in difficulty incrementally. One reason that students fail to care is that they believe that they can't or won’t be successful. One way to negate that is to give them small challenges so they can be successful in completing them and then build difficulty and complexity over time. 5. Stay Positive. There are many things to be negative about right now, but your course, content, and student learning aren’t part of that. You can help ensure that students care by staying positive about the learning. Consider using positive language, for example, talking about what they will gain from the course and how they will use it in the future or when we return to the “new normal.” 6. Provide Students with Choice and Autonomy. Provide students with choices so that they feel more invested. For example, you might let students choose which discussions to participate in, or you might give them options about how to participate, for example by sharing something they have created or by responding to a prompt with an essay. 7. Make sure Tasks are Relevant, Appropriate, and Worthy of Their Attention. Characteristics of a learning task can increase or decrease student caring. For example, consider the following questions: Is the task inherently interesting? Is it important to the students on a personal level? Can they make a connection between the task and their own lived experiences? Is there some novelty to it? Is the purpose clear? Is it important to them? Is it a creative activity? Is there enough time to successfully complete the task?
                            Cross Academy Techniques to Promote Caring
                            Consider the following techniques that promote caring and also provide students with ways to demonstrate caring about the topic or their learning: Three-Minute Message: 3-Minute Messages are modeled on the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) academic competition, in which students have three minutes to present a compelling argument and to support it with convincing details and examples. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                            Briefing Paper: In a Briefing Paper, students research a current problem of their choice, summarize the main issues, and present solutions to a specific audience. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                            What? So What? Now What? Journals: In What? So What? Now What? Journals, students reflect on their recent course-related activities as they respond to each prompt in a journal entry. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                              Humans are more likely to remember information that is patterned in a logical and familiar way. Furthermore, the act of organizing information is a helpful aid to human memory (Bailey & Pransky, 2014; Sprenger, 2002; Tileston, 2004). It is no surprise, then, that organizing information is a useful skill for students as well as an activity that can help to deepen learning. Finding and understanding patterns is crucial to critical thinking and problem solving. Struggling students may find it helpful to organize information in a problem because it requires them to think more deeply about each piece of information and how those pieces fit together.

                              Instructional strategies that involve organizing information have been used in higher education to promote learning for decades. They were brought to the fore of teaching and learning primarily through the cognitive theories of American psychologist David Ausubel. Ausubel (1968) argued that the human mind organizes ideas and information in a logical schema, and that people learn when they integrate new information into their existing schemata. Ausubel advised that teachers can help students arrange new information in meaningful ways by providing them with an organizing structure. Interest in information organizers has gained popularity recently, as they help direct students’ attention to important information by recalling relevant prior knowledge and highlighting relationships (Woolfolk et al., 2010).

                              How Does Organization Improve Learning?

                              Careful design, creation, and implementation of activities that require students to organize information can provide important intellectual guardrails to guide students toward deeper understanding and learning. When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start. Instead of the brain having to make sense of and organize content, it can focus on memory retention (Tileston, 2004). Such activities provide students with a means to categorize cumbersome amounts of information, introduce a more refined lens to analyze a complex text, and enable students to recognize patterns and compare perspectives. However, organizing activities, depending on how they are structured, can have the unintended consequence of limiting students’ thinking to just filling in the boxes. They may allow students to avoid the messy but important work of surfacing key insights or conceptual understanding.

                              When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start.

                              Good teachers help students organize information and make connections among concepts they are learning. When students organize information and think about how ideas are related, they process information deeply and engage in elaboration. Understanding and retaining content are facilitated. Organizing information increases the likelihood that students will make sense of it and that it will transfer from working memory to permanent memory, where it can be used by students in the present and in the future. Students arrange information hierarchically, categorically, sequentially, or in other ways. They discover and depict the overall structure of the material as well as identify how discrete pieces of information fit together. They organize and reorganize generalizations, principles, concepts, and facts. They explain their thinking to partners or groups and listen to alternative perspectives.

                              Many of the strategies can also be used as pre- and post-assessments to determine what students already know and what they have learned. However, in our view, their primary purposes are to help students understand and remember the content, and so we describe them with those purposes in mind. When students organize information, they:

                              • Distinguish between major ideas and important details.
                              • Identify superordinate, subordinate, and parallel ideas.
                              • Consider similarities and differences.
                              • Analyze critical features.
                              • Categorize information.
                              • Discuss their thinking about how information is organized with peers.
                              Strategies for Facilitating Organization

                              Four strategies in particular help students organize and pattern information. They include:

                              • Previewing Content: This helps students mentally prepare for what will be coming next in the instruction.
                              • Connecting Prior Knowledge: This helps create neural connections between new and previously learned content.
                              • Using graphic Organizers: This provides students with a visual, organized representation of the content.
                              • Sequencing Logically: This helps break up content into amounts that the brain can manage.

                              Teachers need to strive to change their thinking from planning lessons, to planning for learning (Jensen, 1995; Tileston, 2004). Being a content and strategy expert is important, but is of little worth if students can’t remember anything from a lesson. A teacher who effectively organizes information for students helps them improve their memory retention.

                              Cross Academy Techniques

                              To help students organize information in your courses, consider the following Cross Academy Techniques:

                              Image

                              Advance Organizers
                              An Advance Organizer is a tool that professors can present to students prior to a lecture to help them structure the information they are about to learn.

                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                              Image

                              Group Grid
                              In Group Grid, group members are given pieces of information and asked to place them in the blank cells of a grid according to category rubrics, which helps them clarify conceptual categories and develop sorting skills.

                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                              Teaching Technique 38 - Affinity Grouping

                              Affinity Grouping
                              In Affinity Grouping, individual students generate ideas and identify common themes. Then, students form groups to sort and organize the ideas accordingly.

                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                               
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                                References

                                Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational psychology:  A cognitive view. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

                                Bailey, F. & Pransky, K. (2014). Memory at work in the classroom: Strategies to help underachieving students. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                Sprenger, R. (2004). Trust: The best way to manage. Cyan Books.

                                Tileston, D. W. (2004). What every teacher should know about learning, memory, and the brain. Corwin Press.

                                Woolfolk, A. (2010). Educational psychology (11th ed.). Merrill.

                                " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "4 Strategies to Help Students Organize Information" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "4-strategies-to-help-students-organize-information" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-28 16:45:39" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-03-01 00:45:39" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7564" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#9661 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1286) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_content"]=> string(3855) "“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Anonymous Most of us chose careers in academia because we care deeply about our disciplines or fields. It can be discouraging, therefore, to face students whose indifference to our courses is palpable. Yet caring is an essential element of their learning. As Fink suggests, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens.” Certainly, common sense and our own experience as teachers suggest that students who really care about what they are learning to invest the time and effort to learn it well and remember it longer. There is no easy way to get students to care. We offer some suggestions for your consideration:
                                Be a Role Model For Caring
                                Students tend to respond to the level of energy and enthusiasm that you generate in kind. If you demonstrate that you are passionate about your subject and about teaching, as well as their learning, your students are more likely to connect with you and with the content and to strive to do their best.
                                Care About the Students
                                Most students will be motivated if they believe you care about them. Indeed, caring about the students as individuals is critical to their success as well as to their satisfaction with the course and with your teaching. Getting to know them is helpful on this front, as you can then target instruction to student background and interests.
                                Set High Expectations
                                Research is fairly clear that students appreciate it when a teacher has high expectations for them and hold them to it. In short, when they are expected to learn more and perform better, they often do. Students often perform in ways that their teachers expect.
                                Give Students Ownership in the Content and Process
                                If students have some flexibility in what they study and how they study it, they are more likely to care about both aspects. For example, if they choose paper and project topics that most interest them, and if they have some decision about the assessment (tests, papers, projects, posters, presentations), they have more control over how they develop understanding and how they demonstrate it to you. Control often leads to caring in this circumstance.
                                Encourage Students to Connect Content to Their Lives/the Outside World
                                Oftentimes to students, our courses can seem completely disconnected from their lived experiences. We can find ways to make connections more transparent. When they have the opportunity to see that content is important and relevant to them, they tend to care more.
                                Choose Assignments That are at the Appropriate Target Level
                                Students need to have assignments that are challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult that they feel dazed, confused, and helpless. You can design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class.
                                Place Appropriate Emphasis on Testing and Grading
                                Graded items can create incentives or disincentives. You can strive for assessments that show students what they have mastered, rather than what they have not. College teachers can help promote students caring. For information about active learning techniques that promote caring, see our videos for the following techniques: " ["post_title"]=> string(45) "Getting Students to Care About Their Learning" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "getting-students-to-care-about-their-learning" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1286" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#9314 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5711) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 04:30:55" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 12:30:55" ["post_content"]=> string(9955) "

                                “Is this going to be on the test?” 

                                Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?

                                Simply jotting down stray data points that may nor may not be included on an upcoming exam may help with rote memorization and review but may not lead to long-term retention.

                                The importance of note-taking is generally recognized by higher-education faculty. It keeps students engaged and focused, helping them to translate and adapt new information in their own words. Good note-taking is a skill that we must nurture and develop in our students, however.

                                There is nearly a century’s worth of research regarding the relationship between student learning and student note-taking during lectures.  It indicates that students who understand how to take good notes benefit from doing so, and those who do not take notes are disadvantaged. A few of the key takeaways from the existing research are outlined below. 

                                 

                                Note-Taking Works

                                The benefits of note-taking were realized nearly 100 years ago.  Crawford studied in 1925 whether note-taking improved college students’ performance on quizzes.  He determined that students who took notes performed better, that reviewing notes before a quiz was essential for success, and that effective organization of notes improved students’ test scores.

                                In the years since, other studies have corroborated Crawford’s conclusions in a number of ways. For instance, studies indicate that note-taking improves student learning during lectures and while reading (Kiewra, 2002; Chang & Ku, 2014).

                                Students learn more when they take notes than when they do not. The effort required to make notes encodes the information into terms or images that create new pathways to store the information in the brain’s long-term memory. Additionally, having a physical or digital copy of the information provides students an opportunity to revisit and review the content later. 

                                Teaching Students Specific Note-Taking Strategies Can Improve Their Learning

                                Some students enter the classroom with a sense of what material should be included in notes,  but for most students, taking time to teach them how to take notes – particularly using appropriate teaching techniques – can greatly enhance the quality of students’ notes and how much students learn and retain from their efforts (Boyle, 2013; Rahmani & Sadeghi, 2011). This is true for all students, but particularly those with learning disabilities. 

                                The Use of Visuals in Notes Improves Student Learning

                                Wammes, Meade, & Fernandes (2016) examined the use of drawing and illustrations in note-taking and found that, compared to writing alone, the act of drawing and diagramming key information and ideas can influence student learning and retention. 

                                Revising, Collaborating with Peers, And Pausing During Note-Taking Positively Affects Learning

                                Students who are offered the chance to revise, rewrite, or add to their notes retain more material. If educators integrate specific pauses into their lectures or class activities for students to make revisions and updates to their notes, the students better retain the material and have better notes to revisit at a later time. And if students collaborate on revising their notes with classmates, they develop a more complete set of notes and perform better on tests (Luo, Kiewra, & Samuelson, 2016). 

                                Scaffolding Note-Taking Helps Students Learn

                                Haydon, Mancil, Kroeger, McLeskey, & Lin (2011) determined that teachers can help their students take better notes by building note-taking scaffolds into their lesson plans. For instance, providing students with a partially completed guided note document or writing visual cues on the board can help students determine what should be retained in notes. 

                                Taking Notes on Laptops May Require Different Strategies from Handwritten Notes

                                While some research indicates that handwritten notes better serve students than notes taken on a laptop (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014; Carter, Greenberg, & Walker, 2017), other studies have suggested there’s no substantive difference between students taking notes on paper or their computers (Artz, Johnson, Robson, & Taengnoi, 2017). However, one study suggests that digital note-taking may require different strategies. Wu & Xie (2018) found that, when completing online research, students who took notes using a matrix and who had enforced time limits were less distracted by irrelevant online content than their peers.

                                Instructor-Provided Notes Improve Learning

                                Kiewra (1985) found that when teachers provide students with complete, well-written notes to supplement their own notes, they learn much more than they do based on their notes alone. 

                                In sum, the research suggests that we can do much more to help our students take effective notes than simply answering their “Is this going to be on the test?” question. Effective teachers can help students stay engaged and attentive, while taking notes and can ease the cognitive load on their working memory so that students better understand the material.

                                Cross Academy Techniques

                                Consider the following Cross Academy Techniques to help your students improve their note-taking skills:

                                Image

                                Guided Notes
                                Provide students with a partially completed set of notes that they will fill out during a class lecture, drawing their focus to key topics. 

                                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                Image

                                Cued Notes
                                Offer students a note-taking template to prompt them to listen for a cue that you provide and then take notes during the segment related to the cue. Then ask your students to summarize the full lecture.

                                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                Image

                                Note-Taking Pairs
                                Divide students into partners who will work together to improve their notes.

                                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                Image

                                Sketch Notes
                                Ask students to supplement their handwritten notes with illustrative elements such as lines, arrows, drawings, stars, and boxes to show how concepts relate to each other.

                                View Main Video | View Online Adaptation

                                References

                                Artz, B., Johnson, M., Robson, D., & Taengnoi, S. (2017). Note-taking in the digital age: Evidence from classroom random control trials. The Journal of Economic Education, 51(20), 103-115.  

                                Boyle, J. R. (2013). Strategic note-taking for inclusive middle school science classrooms. Remedial and Special Education, 34(2), 78-90. 

                                Carter, S. P., Greenberg, K., & Walker, M. S. (2017). The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy. Economics of Education Review, 56, 118-132.

                                Chang, W., & Ku, Y. (2014). The effects of note-taking skills instruction on elementary students’ reading. The Journal of Educational Research, 108(4), 278–291. 

                                Crawford, C. C. (1925). The correlation between college lecture notes and quiz papers. Journal of Educational Research, 12, 282-291.

                                Haydon, T., Mancil, G.R.,  Kroeger, S.D., McLeskey, J., & Lin, W.J. (2011). A review of the effectiveness of guided notes for students who struggle learning academic content. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 55(4), 226-231. 

                                Kiewra, K.A. (1985). Providing the instructor’s notes: an effective addition to student note-taking. Educational Psychologist, 20(1), 33-39. 

                                Kiewra, K.A. (2002). How classroom teachers can help students learn and teach them how to learn. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 71-80. 

                                Luo, L., Kiewra, K.A. & Samuelson, L. (2016). Revising lecture notes: how revision, pauses, and partners affect note taking and achievement. Instructional Science, 44(1). 45-67. 

                                Mueller, P.A., & Oppenheimer, D.M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159-1168. 

                                Wammes, J.D., Meade, M.E., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(9). 

                                Wu, J. Y., & Xie, C. (2018). Using time pressure and note-taking to prevent digital distraction behavior and enhance online search performance: Perspectives from the load theory of attention and cognitive control. Computers in Human Behavior, 88, 244-254. 

                                " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "Tips to Encourage Better Note-Taking in Your Class" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(207) "“Is this going to be on the test?”  Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "tips-to-encourage-better-note-taking-in-your-class" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 00:18:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 08:18:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=5711" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(10) ["current_post"]=> int(1) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(true) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#9668 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1293) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_content"]=> string(2740) "“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~Albert Einstein Instructors have many important decisions to make about what to teach, how to teach it, when to review, when to move on, and so forth. We are better able to make important instructional decisions when we have good information about whether and how well students have learned to base these decisions on. It’s even better when the data gathering process can also help to improve student learning. Researchers and educators alike have lauded the beneficial outcomes of formative assessment, a type of assessment aimed at gathering data on student learning to provide prompt and frequent feedback during the learning process. Instructors can use the information they glean from formative assessment to improve their teaching because they can see where students are struggling and address the problem immediately. Following are some suggestions for implementing formative assessment:
                                Emphasize learning over grading
                                It’s important to help students focus on the content and skills to be learned, rather than on collecting a grade.
                                Create a cooperative, rather than a competitive, atmosphere
                                Help students understand that you are all working together as a team to learn. If a peer offers constructive criticism, it is an effort to help, not hinder.
                                Focus on quality rather than quantity of work
                                Amount of work is not the same as quality of work, and if students can show they are mastering a skill or concept through a short task, then assign that rather of a longer more complicated one. 
                                Focus your feedback on the process and product
                                Your comments and questions should help students feel confident that they can improve and acknowledge that learning is a process.
                                Keep a running record of how your students are doing
                                Students will appreciate seeing gains over time.
                                Give students second chances to demonstrate success
                                Just because students didn’t demonstrate understanding in the first attempt, it doesn’t mean that they can’t. If you give them multiple chances to document understanding, their confidence will go up, which should help improve their engagement. See the following Cross Academy videos for techniques to check student understanding. " ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Formative Assessment: Checking for Understanding" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "formative-assessment-checking-for-understanding" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1293" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> int(40) ["max_num_pages"]=> float(4) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(false) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(false) ["is_tag"]=> bool(false) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(true) ["is_privacy_policy"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_favicon"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "624526c0adb57e738deaffa631df580d" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(false) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }
                                6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses
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                                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 (2012) suggests that online personas “are the social identities that people create for themselves in online communities and on websites" (para. 1). Thus, an online teaching persona can be thought of as the social identity or presence we create when we teach students in online environments.
                                
                                Some educators believe that we “put on” our personas as teachers, while others believe that we should avoid doing so and instead be our natural selves in the classroom. At the K Patricia Cross Academy, we think it is most likely that there are both intentional and unintentional aspects of our teaching personas.
                                
                                There are some things about ourselves that we don’t change, for example, our ages or physiques. We do, however, make decisions about the level of formality we will use, how we will ask students to address us, and so forth that signal our personalities in many ways. We also convey our personas based upon the choices we make, even prior to entering the classroom, for example by our decisions about what to wear, what we carry with us, and so forth. Our choices send a message to students about who we are as teachers and about how they are to engage with us.
                                
                                
                                
                                When we teach online, conveying our personas requires additional thought and effort. We no longer have built-in physical markers, such as appearance, dress, and non-verbal gestures so we have to find new ways of communicating persona. We choose the “virtual” person that the students will know and respond to. There are both philosophical and practical choices we make when developing an online teaching persona, and these differ from the ones we make when we teach onsite.
                                
                                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? How can we share who we are or want to be as teachers? How can we appear “natural” in a virtual environment?
                                
                                Make Information about Yourself Available within the Course
                                Many Learning Management Systems offer the ability to create a profile. They provide ways to include the selected teacher name, a short bio, a description of interests, upload pictures, favorite links, and so forth. These features can be useful for allowing instructors to present information about ourselves to students. It also can be useful for instructors to create an electronic portfolio/personal website to accompany the course site, which can prove efficient when teaching multiple courses. Sharing information can allow us to showcase what we believe is important as well as to highlight our accomplishments. Following are suggestions that you can use to develop and deliver your online teaching persona.  
                                Build in Information about You into the Course Site
                                In an online course, you choose what information students see and what information they don’t see. Consider including the following information into your Learning Management System or other course site:
                                • Instructor photograph and contact information
                                • Instructor bio
                                • Instructor avatar—photo or graphic representation
                                • Teaching philosophy or description of your rationale for the instructional methods in the course
                                Communicate with Students in the Course Regularly
                                Instructors have to make a conscious effort toward instructor presence, which is the visibility of the instructor as perceived by the learners. It is the learner’s sense that the instructor is “there,” that there is a real person with whom they are interacting. Instructor immediacy appears directly related to interaction, e.g. the amount of contact through email, discussion, postings, or other. Entering the course regularly and communicating with students frequently is essential to establishing a sense of being there. Making connections with a faculty member can help students understand that there’s a real person there and can also make interactions more personal. Following are suggestions that you can use to communicate your online teaching persona:
                                • Welcome e-mail
                                • Discussion facilitation
                                • Virtual office hours
                                • Module intro or content videos
                                • Daily or weekly announcements
                                • Optional synchronous meetings
                                • Feedback on assignments or assessments
                                Choose Instructional Activities Where You are Visible and Involved
                                While many educators argue that the teacher should step away from the role of “sage on the stage,” and we agree with this, we also note that it is easy to become invisible as a teacher in an online course. Even if you designed the course, it can feel like you are absent and that you have put the course into “set it and forget it” mode if you don’t figure out how to be actively involved in the students’ learning activities. Simply choosing methods where you are involved in facilitating can help students feel your presence. Consider the following techniques:
                                Translate That!
                                In Translate That!, you pause your lecture and call on a student at random to “translate” the information you just provided into plain English for an imagined audience that you specify.

                                View main video here: View Technique →

                                View online adaptation here:

                                Team Jeopardy
                                Team Jeopardy is a game in which student teams take turns selecting a square from a grid that is organized vertically by category and horizontally by difficulty. Each square shows the number of points the team can earn if they answer a question correctly, and more challenging questions have the potential to earn more points.

                                View main video here: View Technique →

                                View example slides here: Google Slides | PowerPoint

                                View online adaptation here:

                                Developing and maintaining a recognizable and consistent virtual persona is not an easy task. It requires on-going effort and attention in any given course. In short, we have to continually “be there” in order to establish and communicate persona. To sign up for our newsletter, where you will receive information about new blog posts, click here:

                                  Reference:
                                  Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(44) "Creating an Engaging Teaching Persona Online" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(34) "creating-a-teaching-persona-online" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2683" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#9668 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1293) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_content"]=> string(2740) "“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~Albert Einstein Instructors have many important decisions to make about what to teach, how to teach it, when to review, when to move on, and so forth. We are better able to make important instructional decisions when we have good information about whether and how well students have learned to base these decisions on. It’s even better when the data gathering process can also help to improve student learning. Researchers and educators alike have lauded the beneficial outcomes of formative assessment, a type of assessment aimed at gathering data on student learning to provide prompt and frequent feedback during the learning process. Instructors can use the information they glean from formative assessment to improve their teaching because they can see where students are struggling and address the problem immediately. Following are some suggestions for implementing formative assessment:
                                  Emphasize learning over grading
                                  It’s important to help students focus on the content and skills to be learned, rather than on collecting a grade.
                                  Create a cooperative, rather than a competitive, atmosphere
                                  Help students understand that you are all working together as a team to learn. If a peer offers constructive criticism, it is an effort to help, not hinder.
                                  Focus on quality rather than quantity of work
                                  Amount of work is not the same as quality of work, and if students can show they are mastering a skill or concept through a short task, then assign that rather of a longer more complicated one. 
                                  Focus your feedback on the process and product
                                  Your comments and questions should help students feel confident that they can improve and acknowledge that learning is a process.
                                  Keep a running record of how your students are doing
                                  Students will appreciate seeing gains over time.
                                  Give students second chances to demonstrate success
                                  Just because students didn’t demonstrate understanding in the first attempt, it doesn’t mean that they can’t. If you give them multiple chances to document understanding, their confidence will go up, which should help improve their engagement. See the following Cross Academy videos for techniques to check student understanding. " ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Formative Assessment: Checking for Understanding" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "formative-assessment-checking-for-understanding" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1293" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#9667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2195) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_content"]=> string(10758) "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 a group to respond one way or the other, but at least some of it can be attributed to the concept of community. Establishing community helps a group of learners bond and work well together. Community is particularly important in online courses given the potential for students to feel isolated and alone. When we teach online, community forms and happens differently than when we teach onsite because the connection is mediated by technology. For example, interactions happen predominantly by text rather than physical presence and there are different markers of who has more or less influence in the group. Online, community is not worse than onsite - indeed, some educators argue that connections can be deeper online than onsite – but it is different. The manner in which online community develops, however, has implications for our roles and responsibilities as teachers. It can be challenging to achieve community in an online course and to know whether it has developed, in part because we do not yet have a good sense of what a strong group dynamic looks like in online courses. After all, it can happen under the radar of the course, through private texting and email, for example. If we are not included in the communication loop, we can feel that an online course does not have the same level of community as an onsite one does, even though there may be a vibrant one forming in backchannels. Community is more than participation; it requires moving from participation to engagement, involvement, and action. Thinking through what appeals to us about other communities, whether onsite or online, can provide us with important clues about how to establish community online. There are several strategies we can use to promote community in an online course. 1. Create a Plan for Communication Communication is essential to community, and it is a good idea to model effective communication from the very start of the course. Create a calendar of when you will contact students, individually or as a group. Communicating at the start of each module with announcements or texts can also be beneficial. Touching base before high stakes assignments is also important. A framework of frequent and effective communication is the first step in encouraging community. 2. Establish Social Presence Social presence, or the sense that individuals have that they are interacting with real people, is an important concept for developing community. Several related factors influence social presence. These include immediacy - the psychological distance between communicators; interaction - when actions affect each other; and intimacy - the notion that individuals will adjust their behaviors to maintain equilibrium. To develop and foster social presence, consider the following:
                                  • Creating an introductory video and having students do the same; these can be simple smartphone videos where everyone introduces themselves and shares 2-3 facts about themselves.
                                  • Giving students reason to come to the course site often.
                                  • Letting them share work that represents them.
                                  3. Meet in Real-Time  It’s not always possible (or even desirable) to schedule synchronous meetings, but interacting at the same time can encourage community. Students get to know each other, recognize faces and names, and share information. Consider having several synchronous sessions on the same topic, all at different times of the day and week so everyone can schedule one. Alternatively, make the sessions optional. 4. Create Opportunities for Information and Expertise Sharing One thing that draws us to communities is the rich resources that individuals provide. Providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful strategy for helping to develop community. A few options include:
                                  • Create study groups for the course. Assign students to small groups. Suggest that they use the learning management system to work together. Doing so can help them learn to work in groups and to make connections with their fellow students.
                                  • Include a “relevant resource” section for the course.  Ask students to post information that’s happening in the world that is related to the course content. If students see the importance of the content, they will be more engaged with it. Online articles, essays, YouTube clips, and so forth can add additional value. You can post in this section as well. Consider trying out Contemporary Issues Journals. In Contemporary Issues Journals, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal. Ask students to share their ideas in a central forum.
                                  • Create a common space. Instructors can encourage informal interactions by creating a common space such as a student lounge for discussion.
                                  5. Use Collaborative Learning Techniques Collaborative learning requires students to work with each other, which can help reduce feelings of isolation. In addition to simply being glad to know that others are in the same boat, many online students appear to value interacting and forming relationships with peers. Getting to know their peers in an online environment can improve students’ overall experience. Online collaborative learning provides a solid foundation on which such relationships may be founded. Consider collaborative learning techniques such as the following: Jigsaw In Jigsaw, students work in small groups to develop knowledge about a given topic before teaching what they have learned to another group. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                  Paper Seminar Paper Seminar provides a framework for meaningful discussion centered on student work. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                  TAPPS In Think Aloud Pair Problem Solving, students solve problems aloud to try out their reasoning on a listening peer. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                  6. Develop Sub-Communities Some online learners may be hesitant to participate or share if there are too many members. Developing sub-communities can help. These smaller groups can provide a more personal experience and connect individuals with similar interests. Separate discussion forums or small groups meeting in break out rooms within videoconference sessions can help. In conclusion, community can be critical to student success and satisfaction in online courses. Instructors can create opportunities for community in the design of the course, the communication, and the activities they include. Creating these opportunities is likely to prove well worth the effort.
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                                    Reference: Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(53) "6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "building-community-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2195" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#9666 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2257) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_content"]=> string(12284) "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 that students have acquired as the result of learning in their courses. When talking about assessment at the course level, we use the term “learning assessment.” When we speak of learning assessment, we mean the actions undertaken by teachers and by students to document student learning in a given course. We recognize that the term “learning assessment” has the potential to be read in different ways. Indeed, the ambiguous modifier was one of the very reasons we selected the term. For us, when we use the phrase “learning assessment,” we mean to comprise the following two meanings as one:
                                    • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates that the assessment is part and parcel of the learning process. That is, participating in the assessment also helps the learning itself. This view of assessment is akin to what Wiggins (1998) calls “educative assessment.”
                                    • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates an appraisal of the quality of learning. Such an appraisal can happen because the learner produces a product that may be appraised and probably graded. Results of the assessment can, therefore, be communicated to students or a host of other stakeholders or interested parties.
                                    Thus, the goal of Learning Assessment is to determine whether actual learning outcomes match desired learning outcomes while also improving student learning in the process. Crafting an assessment strategy that informs your teaching, fosters student learning, and provides accurate feedback and measure of student success can be a challenge. When thinking about how to assess student learning in online courses, it is important to consider two main types of assessments: formative assessments and summative assessments, both of which can be learning assessments.
                                    Formative Assessments
                                    Formative assessments are intended to provide students with an indication of their performance and to give them an opportunity to improve their performance prior to receiving a final grade, either on an assignment or in a course. Formative assessment, then, is done primarily for the purpose of improving teaching and learning. Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross (1993) is a good resource of formative assessment techniques. Famous examples from their book are the “minute paper” and “muddiest point” techniques, which involve collecting information during or just after an instructional activity to gather insight on what students did or did not understand. Defining characteristics of Cross and Angelo’s approach to formative assessment is that the purpose for collecting data is to gain insight on what adjustments in instruction need to be made in order “to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students” (Angelo & Cross, p. 5). Some educators refer to this form of assessment as non-graded assessment or, if it is graded, it is low-stakes grading. This type of assessment can include classroom polls, discussion board responses, homework assignments, and even regular quizzes. Another source of formative assessment activities is our Learning Assessment Techniques book. Sample techniques from this work include the following:
                                    • Background Knowledge ProbeA Background Knowledge Probe is a short, simple, focused questionnaire that students fill out at the beginning of a course or start of a new unit that helps teachers identify the best starting point for the class as a whole.

                                    View main video here:View Technique →

                                    View online adaptation here:

                                    • Individual Readiness Assurance Tests (IRATs): Individual Readiness Assurance Tests are closed-book quizzes that students complete after an out-of-class reading, video, or other homework assignments.

                                    View main video here:View Technique →

                                    View online adaptation here:

                                    • Quick Write:Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                                    View main video here: View Technique →

                                    View online adaptation here:

                                    • Contemporary Issues Journal: In a Contemporary Issues Journal, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal.

                                    View main video here: View Technique →

                                    View online adaptation here:

                                    Summative Assessments
                                    Summative assessments are intended to measure learning, typically at the end of an instructional module, unit, or course and often involving comparing results against some standard or benchmark. The purpose is to gather evidence that ensures students have accomplished the desired learning. Summative assessments are often higher stakes than formative assessments, meaning that they have a relatively high point or weight value. Examples of summative assessments include a final exam, a final course project, a research paper, or a course portfolio. Following are examples of summative assessments from our Learning Assessment Techniques book:
                                    • Triple Jump: A Triple-Jump is a three-step technique that requires students to think through and attempt to solve a real-world problem.
                                    • Case Studies: With Case Studies, student teams review a real-life problem scenario in depth. Team members apply course concepts to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to solving the problem.
                                    • Class Book: For a Class Book, individual students work together to plan and ultimately submit a scholarly essay or research paper. Then all students’ papers are published together.
                                    There are several key elements to consider as you choose a learning assessment technique, including:
                                    1.   What is your purpose for assessing student learning? It is important to consider why and for whom you are collecting the data. For example, if you are conducting formative assessment to provide yourself and students with a sense of their progress, then you will want to choose a technique designed for this purpose.
                                    2.   How complex of an activity you want to implement? Assessment techniques can vary from simple techniques that require minimum preparation and little effort to implement and evaluate complex techniques that involve considerable effort to employ and evaluate effectively.
                                    3.   What kind of product do you want students to produce? Techniques like CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) or LATs (Learning Assessment Techniques) link the learning activity to the production of a learning artifact such as writing, presenting, or creating a product. The technique you select should produce the form or product that you believe will best demonstrate student learning for your course and then your discipline, as this is the product you will ultimately assess and likely grade.
                                    Assessment is the way we college teachers can determine the effectiveness of our teaching and the quality of student learning. Our focus is on learning assessment, that is, assessment for and of learningWe can use the information we glean from our assessment efforts for a variety of purposes, including to determine for ourselves how well students in our courses are learning, to provide learners with feedback on their progress, to improve our profession through the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and to provide information to institutional and external stakeholders, but most of all to improve student learning.
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                                      Reference: Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Wiley." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Learning Assessment in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "learning-assessment-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2257" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#9665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2179) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_content"]=> string(11234) "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 is essential. Online course design requires a wide range of skills and tools and managing both the design and the technical aspects of the course. A Brief Overview of Online Course Design When engaging in course design, the concept of instructional alignment is useful to consider. Instructional alignment begins with the identification of learning goals. Those goals then direct other decisions, including how you will help students achieve these goals (materials and methods), what tools can best help you help students achieve them (technologies), and how you will know if the goals have been met (assessment). We illustrate the idea of instructional alignment in online courses in the following figure: In this model, one element leads to the next. For example, if you are teaching an English class, you might have a learning goal of critical thinking, with a specific objective that learners will critically evaluate a play. Your learning materials might include the specific play to be evaluated as well as an article or chapter describing a model of critical evaluation. For your learning activities, you might ask learners to read the materials and then practice critical evaluation through Active Reading Documents in which your questions lead students through a critical analysis that prepares them to then write a report on their own. For the technology, you might use a Learning Management System (LMS) and have the materials available within it as well as a downloadable template for the Active Reading Documents. For the assessment, students might write a formal report using the evaluation model to critically evaluate the play. All of these key elements in the instructional alignment model should be determined before an online course goes live. The following are tips related to instructional alignment during course design. 1. Develop Course and Module Learning Goals and Objectives Most of us are familiar with the idea of developing course goals and objectives; after all, we usually have to include course level goals and objectives in every syllabus we create. But not all of us are as familiar with developing goals for specific learning modules. When we teach online, developing, and then displaying more targeted micro-goals for specific modules helps make our learning expectations clear. 2. Use Multiple Media for Learning Materials Traditionally, many of us share content by asking students to read a chapter or article and then we elaborate by presenting additional content through lectures. We can accomplish these forms of sharing content in similar ways online. Many resources are available to present text versions of lectures, and we can also present either synchronous lectures through video conferencing or asynchronous pre-recorded video lectures online. In addition, there are a range of free resources available online, such as pre-recorded videos and free open educational resources (OERs). A mix of media (text, video, audio, graphics) is typically more effective than using only one type because the variety can help keep students more engaged. 3. Choose Appropriate Learning Tasks It is important to think through what students will do in your online course. Common instructional tasks in online courses include the following:
                                      • Connect—Activate students’ prior knowledge of the content so that learners can make better connections to new content through an activity such as a Background Knowledge Probe.
                                      • Learn/Watch/Read— Provide learners with the new content.
                                      • Practice—Implement activities that reinforce their new learning.
                                      • Share/Discuss—Enable students to find personal relevance and share their experiences with their peers, perhaps through a discussion thread. Consider for example using a Think-Pair-Share.
                                      • Assess—Ask students to demonstrate learning, whether through a quiz, assignment, project, or other.
                                      • Reflect— Challenge students to reflect on what they have learned.
                                      Aim for having the same kinds of activities due on the same days of the week. If for example, you do a discussion board each week, choose the day when students will post (for example have discussions due on Wednesday and responses due on Friday). If they have an assessment to complete each week, choose a different due day for that activity (for example, have the assessment due on Thursday), and so forth. 4. Humanize the Technology Technology can serve as a mediator between people. A few suggestions for accomplishing this are as follows:
                                      • Simplify the NavigationMany Learning Management Systems make choices for you, including what will be in the navigation bar. Think through how students will work their way through the course and what students really need to see in the navigation menu. Unnecessary items can result in overwhelmed students. Providing clarity and ensuring intuitive organization of materials can improve learner satisfaction as well as promoting deeper learning.
                                      • Strive for a Humanized Look and FeelThere is a tendency in online courses to use built-in icons and heavy text. Graphics, images, and short videos can create a warmer look and a more human-friendly feel to the course.
                                      • Ensure Accessibility—Effective online courses should be accessible to all learners. One way to do this is to make sure courses are “universally designed.” Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is built on the idea that all learning experiences should be purposefully constructed to be “barrier free” and accessible by providing multiple and flexible methods of the following elements:
                                        • Presentation of content (e.g., voice-to-text applications, screen readers, digital books).
                                        • Alternatives for students to demonstrate what they have learned (e.g., concept mapping).
                                        • Engagement to tap into diverse learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn (choices among various scenarios for learning the same competency).
                                      5. Include Multiple Learning Assessments While one assessment alone can generate evidence to make decisions about student learning and development, multiple measures encourage more comprehensive and accurate assessment. This benefits not only the students who are learning but also the instructors who are doing the teaching. Consider the following learning artifacts commonly used to assess student learning in online courses.
                                      • Discussion Posts
                                      • Groupwork Products
                                      • Quizzes
                                      • Exams
                                      • Written or Video Assignments
                                      • Digital Projects or Portfolios
                                      Consider providing students with choices for assignments, such as what to write about for the assignment or how to respond to a discussion post or even which assignments they will complete. In conclusion, online course design requires concerted time and attention. To summarize some of the key points we have described, we have further developed our instructional alignment figure for online courses as follows: Try incorporating these teaching techniques into your online course design.

                                      Background Knowledge Probe

                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                      Think Pair Share

                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                      Active Reading Documents

                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                                        Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and sharing knowledge to solve a  problem.  The defining characteristics of a good brainstorming session are when participants are encouraged to gather ideas spontaneously and to think without interruption.  When done as a group, people typically collectively agree upon a solution after all the ideas are brought forth and discussed, but it can also be done individually. The technique of brainstorming has been around for over 70 years and is often used today to engage students in problem solving.

                                        Brainstorming allows students to think critically about ideas and solutions, form connections, and share ideas with peers. The activity allows exploring and expanding a student’s ability to think critically and laterally. As students get actively involved, brainstorming aids the process of learning and improves academic performance.

                                        Often, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming; students can freely express their thoughts without fear of failure. Tools used for brainstorming and sharing include: 

                                        • Physical writing or drawing tools like paper, posterboard, or whiteboard
                                        • Digital writing or drawing tools like Word, Photoshop, or any idea-mapping software
                                        • Collaborative tools like Google Hangouts, Google Docs, or Zoom

                                        Techniques vary, but there is a general structure to follow when developing brainstorming sessions. After the problem or issue is presented, students are organized into groups to brainstorm all possible ideas that could solve the problem. Discussion of these ideas takes place after the brainstorming session ends, usually after a defined time. Each idea is discussed and considered, some ideas are eliminated, and a final list is ranked for possible use as a solution toward solving the problem.

                                        Benefits of Brainstorming

                                        Brainstorming in the classroom can motivate students to spontaneously express their ideas and thoughts on a subject. As there are no wrong and right answers, the activity provides students with a platform where they can voice their thoughts without fear of failure. Brainstorming gives the class a chance to tap into their previous knowledge and form connections between the current topic and what they have already learned. It also encourages them to listen and consider others’ ideas, thereby showing respect for their fellow classmates. In addition, brainstorming:

                                        • Provides a quick and easy class activity. Brainstorming sessions can be effectively used in the classroom. However, they do require meaningful planning time for ultimate success.
                                        • Contributes to classroom collective power. Brainstorming sessions allow individual students’ voices to become one with the group’s voice. The final ideas are generally identified through consensus.
                                        • Creates a student-centered activity. Students direct the group in which they generate their own ideas, develop rating criteria, and are responsible for group dynamics.
                                        • Supports learning in a relaxed environment. Students can collaborate in a comfortable, informal learning environment.
                                        • Strengthens problem-based learning. Brainstorming is a problem-solving activity where students build on or develop higher order thinking skills.
                                        • Encourages creative thought. Brainstorming encourages students to think creatively (out of the box), encouraging all students to share their ideas, no matter how far “out there” they may seem.
                                         
                                        Challenges of Brainstorming

                                        While brainstorming has many advantages, it also has some challenges. Following are some challenges with suggestions for mitigating them.

                                        • Becoming just a chat session. The instructor should direct the session to keep students on task.
                                        • Students in a group setting compete with one another rather than collaborate when generating ideas. The instructor can walk around the room and listen for inappropriate group behavior.
                                        • Staying surface-level. The instructor can prompt for deeper, higher order thinking.
                                        • Getting “buy-in” or acceptance from those who have participated in brainstorming who have never seen their ideas brought forth and acted upon. The instructor can work with any student who may be in this category and remark on their contribution to them personally, their group, and to the whole class.
                                        • Getting quiet or independent students to actively participate. The instructor can explain that as part of this course all students are expected to bend a little which may have them participating in activities that might make them uncomfortable. It is best to avoid forcing.
                                        • Helping groups to move forward if they are “stuck” and not able to generate ideas. The instructor can reconvene the group to review the problem or issue or provide an example of a possible solution.
                                        • Reaching consensus. Getting students to reach consensus becomes less of a problem if all students are given equal time to provide input, feel like they are a valued member of the group, and are respected for their points-of-view.

                                        Brainstorming sessions can be a useful strategy to encourage genuine collaboration and interaction in the classroom. Putting together a well-stated problem and careful planning strategies can lead to meaningful idea generation and idea building which can be used in solving problems or addressing specific course-related issues.

                                        Cross Academy Techniques

                                        To use brainstorming in your class, try the following techniques:

                                        Image

                                        Comprehensive Factors List
                                        In Comprehensive Factors List, students write all the relevant factors they can think of about a specific topic, drawing from course content and personal experiences.

                                        View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                        Image

                                        Quick Write
                                        Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                                        View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
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                                          References

                                          Baumgartner, J. (2005). Key factors to successful brainstorming. http://www.jpb.com/creative/keyfactors.php

                                          Baumgartner, J. (n.d.). The complete guide to managing traditional brainstorming events. http://www.jpb.com/creative/brainstorming.pdf

                                          Elkenberry, K. (2007). Brainstorming strategies: Seven questions that spur better solutions. https://www.sideroad.com/Meetings/brainstorming-strategies.html

                                          Maricopa Community Colleges (2001). Brainstorming. http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/authoring/studio/guidebook/brain.html 

                                          Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Brainstorming. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide

                                          Storm, J. (2004). 10 deadly brainstorming ruts that kill innovation. https://www.brainstormnetwork.org/articles/10-BrainStorming-Ruts.pdf

                                          " ["post_title"]=> string(44) "The Benefits and Challenges of Brainstorming" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(44) "the-benefits-and-challenges-of-brainstorming" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 17:38:09" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-08 01:38:09" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7157" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#9663 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3677) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 07:00:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 15:00:03" ["post_content"]=> string(8959) "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 crisis, it can be a challenge for them to focus their care additionally on their studies. As educators, we know there is a strong relationship between caring about learning and quality of learning. As Fink argues, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens” (2013, p. 360). It seems simple common sense that students who really care about what they are learning will invest the time and effort required to learn it well and remember it longer. So how do we help students focus their care on learning, during a crisis, during an age of significant distraction?
                                          What Does Caring Mean During a Crisis?
                                          When we care about something, we have acquired an affective disposition toward it that combines concern and perhaps even affection: we value it, appreciate it, and anticipate opportunities to encounter it.  “Caring” in education refers to the degree to which students are interested in, or have feelings about, various aspects of their learning, and it can apply to an array of foci that include topic-specific phenomena and ideas, human beings, and the process of learning itself. It means the focusing of consciousness and the narrowing of attention on learning We often know when students care about their learning. If students care about a course, they will show up for it and will invest appropriate time and energy into the learning activities.  If students care about their peers, they will listen actively when others speak and demonstrate compassion and empathy as they develop deeper understanding of another’s perspectives or experiences. If students care about the topic, they will ask pertinent questions and be sufficiently curious to go beyond the minimum class requirements. How does all this work when they simply don’t have the physical stamina, time, cognitive bandwidth, or emotional energy for the learning?
                                          How Do We Get Students to Care about Learning during a Crisis?
                                          Following are suggestions for promoting caring in college and university courses during a crisis: 1. Acknowledge the Crisis and How You are Addressing It. It will help students to care if they know that you care, too, and that you understand where they are coming from. Tell them how you have adapted the course or activities and explain how you hope they will adapt in turn. 2. Humanize the Course. Particularly if you are teaching online, make sure that you have a warm and inviting space for students. You also need to be there and show your personality. Helping students to make connections with you and with each other builds community in the class and can help students to care more about their own work. Being there and forming that community is likely the most essential element of caring in a time of crisis. 3. Reconsider Rigor. Rigor is important, but be sure that you aren’t focusing excessively on it. It’s important to balance rigor with being supportive of students and their learning during this time. Think through how you can provide a quality learning experience during these unique circumstances. Students are more likely to care if they believe that you aren’t out to prove how tough you and the course are, but instead are doing your best to ensure they learn. 4. Make it Manageable. Provide a clear structure and a clear schedule. Give students challenges that increase in difficulty incrementally. One reason that students fail to care is that they believe that they can't or won’t be successful. One way to negate that is to give them small challenges so they can be successful in completing them and then build difficulty and complexity over time. 5. Stay Positive. There are many things to be negative about right now, but your course, content, and student learning aren’t part of that. You can help ensure that students care by staying positive about the learning. Consider using positive language, for example, talking about what they will gain from the course and how they will use it in the future or when we return to the “new normal.” 6. Provide Students with Choice and Autonomy. Provide students with choices so that they feel more invested. For example, you might let students choose which discussions to participate in, or you might give them options about how to participate, for example by sharing something they have created or by responding to a prompt with an essay. 7. Make sure Tasks are Relevant, Appropriate, and Worthy of Their Attention. Characteristics of a learning task can increase or decrease student caring. For example, consider the following questions: Is the task inherently interesting? Is it important to the students on a personal level? Can they make a connection between the task and their own lived experiences? Is there some novelty to it? Is the purpose clear? Is it important to them? Is it a creative activity? Is there enough time to successfully complete the task?
                                          Cross Academy Techniques to Promote Caring
                                          Consider the following techniques that promote caring and also provide students with ways to demonstrate caring about the topic or their learning: Three-Minute Message: 3-Minute Messages are modeled on the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) academic competition, in which students have three minutes to present a compelling argument and to support it with convincing details and examples. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                          Briefing Paper: In a Briefing Paper, students research a current problem of their choice, summarize the main issues, and present solutions to a specific audience. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                          What? So What? Now What? Journals: In What? So What? Now What? Journals, students reflect on their recent course-related activities as they respond to each prompt in a journal entry. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                                            " ["post_title"]=> string(68) "7 Steps to Help Students Care About Learning During a Time of Crisis" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(41) "helping-students-care-in-a-time-of-crisis" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-03-29 14:34:03" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-03-29 21:34:03" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=3677" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [7]=> object(WP_Post)#9662 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7564) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-02-28 05:00:19" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-28 13:00:19" ["post_content"]=> string(7911) "

                                            Humans are more likely to remember information that is patterned in a logical and familiar way. Furthermore, the act of organizing information is a helpful aid to human memory (Bailey & Pransky, 2014; Sprenger, 2002; Tileston, 2004). It is no surprise, then, that organizing information is a useful skill for students as well as an activity that can help to deepen learning. Finding and understanding patterns is crucial to critical thinking and problem solving. Struggling students may find it helpful to organize information in a problem because it requires them to think more deeply about each piece of information and how those pieces fit together.

                                            Instructional strategies that involve organizing information have been used in higher education to promote learning for decades. They were brought to the fore of teaching and learning primarily through the cognitive theories of American psychologist David Ausubel. Ausubel (1968) argued that the human mind organizes ideas and information in a logical schema, and that people learn when they integrate new information into their existing schemata. Ausubel advised that teachers can help students arrange new information in meaningful ways by providing them with an organizing structure. Interest in information organizers has gained popularity recently, as they help direct students’ attention to important information by recalling relevant prior knowledge and highlighting relationships (Woolfolk et al., 2010).

                                            How Does Organization Improve Learning?

                                            Careful design, creation, and implementation of activities that require students to organize information can provide important intellectual guardrails to guide students toward deeper understanding and learning. When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start. Instead of the brain having to make sense of and organize content, it can focus on memory retention (Tileston, 2004). Such activities provide students with a means to categorize cumbersome amounts of information, introduce a more refined lens to analyze a complex text, and enable students to recognize patterns and compare perspectives. However, organizing activities, depending on how they are structured, can have the unintended consequence of limiting students’ thinking to just filling in the boxes. They may allow students to avoid the messy but important work of surfacing key insights or conceptual understanding.

                                            When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start.

                                            Good teachers help students organize information and make connections among concepts they are learning. When students organize information and think about how ideas are related, they process information deeply and engage in elaboration. Understanding and retaining content are facilitated. Organizing information increases the likelihood that students will make sense of it and that it will transfer from working memory to permanent memory, where it can be used by students in the present and in the future. Students arrange information hierarchically, categorically, sequentially, or in other ways. They discover and depict the overall structure of the material as well as identify how discrete pieces of information fit together. They organize and reorganize generalizations, principles, concepts, and facts. They explain their thinking to partners or groups and listen to alternative perspectives.

                                            Many of the strategies can also be used as pre- and post-assessments to determine what students already know and what they have learned. However, in our view, their primary purposes are to help students understand and remember the content, and so we describe them with those purposes in mind. When students organize information, they:

                                            • Distinguish between major ideas and important details.
                                            • Identify superordinate, subordinate, and parallel ideas.
                                            • Consider similarities and differences.
                                            • Analyze critical features.
                                            • Categorize information.
                                            • Discuss their thinking about how information is organized with peers.
                                            Strategies for Facilitating Organization

                                            Four strategies in particular help students organize and pattern information. They include:

                                            • Previewing Content: This helps students mentally prepare for what will be coming next in the instruction.
                                            • Connecting Prior Knowledge: This helps create neural connections between new and previously learned content.
                                            • Using graphic Organizers: This provides students with a visual, organized representation of the content.
                                            • Sequencing Logically: This helps break up content into amounts that the brain can manage.

                                            Teachers need to strive to change their thinking from planning lessons, to planning for learning (Jensen, 1995; Tileston, 2004). Being a content and strategy expert is important, but is of little worth if students can’t remember anything from a lesson. A teacher who effectively organizes information for students helps them improve their memory retention.

                                            Cross Academy Techniques

                                            To help students organize information in your courses, consider the following Cross Academy Techniques:

                                            Image

                                            Advance Organizers
                                            An Advance Organizer is a tool that professors can present to students prior to a lecture to help them structure the information they are about to learn.

                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                            Image

                                            Group Grid
                                            In Group Grid, group members are given pieces of information and asked to place them in the blank cells of a grid according to category rubrics, which helps them clarify conceptual categories and develop sorting skills.

                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                            Teaching Technique 38 - Affinity Grouping

                                            Affinity Grouping
                                            In Affinity Grouping, individual students generate ideas and identify common themes. Then, students form groups to sort and organize the ideas accordingly.

                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                             
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                                              References

                                              Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational psychology:  A cognitive view. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

                                              Bailey, F. & Pransky, K. (2014). Memory at work in the classroom: Strategies to help underachieving students. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                              Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                              Sprenger, R. (2004). Trust: The best way to manage. Cyan Books.

                                              Tileston, D. W. (2004). What every teacher should know about learning, memory, and the brain. Corwin Press.

                                              Woolfolk, A. (2010). Educational psychology (11th ed.). Merrill.

                                              " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "4 Strategies to Help Students Organize Information" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "4-strategies-to-help-students-organize-information" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-28 16:45:39" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-03-01 00:45:39" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7564" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#9661 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1286) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_content"]=> string(3855) "“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Anonymous Most of us chose careers in academia because we care deeply about our disciplines or fields. It can be discouraging, therefore, to face students whose indifference to our courses is palpable. Yet caring is an essential element of their learning. As Fink suggests, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens.” Certainly, common sense and our own experience as teachers suggest that students who really care about what they are learning to invest the time and effort to learn it well and remember it longer. There is no easy way to get students to care. We offer some suggestions for your consideration:
                                              Be a Role Model For Caring
                                              Students tend to respond to the level of energy and enthusiasm that you generate in kind. If you demonstrate that you are passionate about your subject and about teaching, as well as their learning, your students are more likely to connect with you and with the content and to strive to do their best.
                                              Care About the Students
                                              Most students will be motivated if they believe you care about them. Indeed, caring about the students as individuals is critical to their success as well as to their satisfaction with the course and with your teaching. Getting to know them is helpful on this front, as you can then target instruction to student background and interests.
                                              Set High Expectations
                                              Research is fairly clear that students appreciate it when a teacher has high expectations for them and hold them to it. In short, when they are expected to learn more and perform better, they often do. Students often perform in ways that their teachers expect.
                                              Give Students Ownership in the Content and Process
                                              If students have some flexibility in what they study and how they study it, they are more likely to care about both aspects. For example, if they choose paper and project topics that most interest them, and if they have some decision about the assessment (tests, papers, projects, posters, presentations), they have more control over how they develop understanding and how they demonstrate it to you. Control often leads to caring in this circumstance.
                                              Encourage Students to Connect Content to Their Lives/the Outside World
                                              Oftentimes to students, our courses can seem completely disconnected from their lived experiences. We can find ways to make connections more transparent. When they have the opportunity to see that content is important and relevant to them, they tend to care more.
                                              Choose Assignments That are at the Appropriate Target Level
                                              Students need to have assignments that are challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult that they feel dazed, confused, and helpless. You can design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class.
                                              Place Appropriate Emphasis on Testing and Grading
                                              Graded items can create incentives or disincentives. You can strive for assessments that show students what they have mastered, rather than what they have not. College teachers can help promote students caring. For information about active learning techniques that promote caring, see our videos for the following techniques: " ["post_title"]=> string(45) "Getting Students to Care About Their Learning" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "getting-students-to-care-about-their-learning" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1286" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#9314 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5711) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 04:30:55" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 12:30:55" ["post_content"]=> string(9955) "

                                              “Is this going to be on the test?” 

                                              Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?

                                              Simply jotting down stray data points that may nor may not be included on an upcoming exam may help with rote memorization and review but may not lead to long-term retention.

                                              The importance of note-taking is generally recognized by higher-education faculty. It keeps students engaged and focused, helping them to translate and adapt new information in their own words. Good note-taking is a skill that we must nurture and develop in our students, however.

                                              There is nearly a century’s worth of research regarding the relationship between student learning and student note-taking during lectures.  It indicates that students who understand how to take good notes benefit from doing so, and those who do not take notes are disadvantaged. A few of the key takeaways from the existing research are outlined below. 

                                               

                                              Note-Taking Works

                                              The benefits of note-taking were realized nearly 100 years ago.  Crawford studied in 1925 whether note-taking improved college students’ performance on quizzes.  He determined that students who took notes performed better, that reviewing notes before a quiz was essential for success, and that effective organization of notes improved students’ test scores.

                                              In the years since, other studies have corroborated Crawford’s conclusions in a number of ways. For instance, studies indicate that note-taking improves student learning during lectures and while reading (Kiewra, 2002; Chang & Ku, 2014).

                                              Students learn more when they take notes than when they do not. The effort required to make notes encodes the information into terms or images that create new pathways to store the information in the brain’s long-term memory. Additionally, having a physical or digital copy of the information provides students an opportunity to revisit and review the content later. 

                                              Teaching Students Specific Note-Taking Strategies Can Improve Their Learning

                                              Some students enter the classroom with a sense of what material should be included in notes,  but for most students, taking time to teach them how to take notes – particularly using appropriate teaching techniques – can greatly enhance the quality of students’ notes and how much students learn and retain from their efforts (Boyle, 2013; Rahmani & Sadeghi, 2011). This is true for all students, but particularly those with learning disabilities. 

                                              The Use of Visuals in Notes Improves Student Learning

                                              Wammes, Meade, & Fernandes (2016) examined the use of drawing and illustrations in note-taking and found that, compared to writing alone, the act of drawing and diagramming key information and ideas can influence student learning and retention. 

                                              Revising, Collaborating with Peers, And Pausing During Note-Taking Positively Affects Learning

                                              Students who are offered the chance to revise, rewrite, or add to their notes retain more material. If educators integrate specific pauses into their lectures or class activities for students to make revisions and updates to their notes, the students better retain the material and have better notes to revisit at a later time. And if students collaborate on revising their notes with classmates, they develop a more complete set of notes and perform better on tests (Luo, Kiewra, & Samuelson, 2016). 

                                              Scaffolding Note-Taking Helps Students Learn

                                              Haydon, Mancil, Kroeger, McLeskey, & Lin (2011) determined that teachers can help their students take better notes by building note-taking scaffolds into their lesson plans. For instance, providing students with a partially completed guided note document or writing visual cues on the board can help students determine what should be retained in notes. 

                                              Taking Notes on Laptops May Require Different Strategies from Handwritten Notes

                                              While some research indicates that handwritten notes better serve students than notes taken on a laptop (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014; Carter, Greenberg, & Walker, 2017), other studies have suggested there’s no substantive difference between students taking notes on paper or their computers (Artz, Johnson, Robson, & Taengnoi, 2017). However, one study suggests that digital note-taking may require different strategies. Wu & Xie (2018) found that, when completing online research, students who took notes using a matrix and who had enforced time limits were less distracted by irrelevant online content than their peers.

                                              Instructor-Provided Notes Improve Learning

                                              Kiewra (1985) found that when teachers provide students with complete, well-written notes to supplement their own notes, they learn much more than they do based on their notes alone. 

                                              In sum, the research suggests that we can do much more to help our students take effective notes than simply answering their “Is this going to be on the test?” question. Effective teachers can help students stay engaged and attentive, while taking notes and can ease the cognitive load on their working memory so that students better understand the material.

                                              Cross Academy Techniques

                                              Consider the following Cross Academy Techniques to help your students improve their note-taking skills:

                                              Image

                                              Guided Notes
                                              Provide students with a partially completed set of notes that they will fill out during a class lecture, drawing their focus to key topics. 

                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                              Image

                                              Cued Notes
                                              Offer students a note-taking template to prompt them to listen for a cue that you provide and then take notes during the segment related to the cue. Then ask your students to summarize the full lecture.

                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                              Image

                                              Note-Taking Pairs
                                              Divide students into partners who will work together to improve their notes.

                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                              Image

                                              Sketch Notes
                                              Ask students to supplement their handwritten notes with illustrative elements such as lines, arrows, drawings, stars, and boxes to show how concepts relate to each other.

                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation

                                              References

                                              Artz, B., Johnson, M., Robson, D., & Taengnoi, S. (2017). Note-taking in the digital age: Evidence from classroom random control trials. The Journal of Economic Education, 51(20), 103-115.  

                                              Boyle, J. R. (2013). Strategic note-taking for inclusive middle school science classrooms. Remedial and Special Education, 34(2), 78-90. 

                                              Carter, S. P., Greenberg, K., & Walker, M. S. (2017). The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy. Economics of Education Review, 56, 118-132.

                                              Chang, W., & Ku, Y. (2014). The effects of note-taking skills instruction on elementary students’ reading. The Journal of Educational Research, 108(4), 278–291. 

                                              Crawford, C. C. (1925). The correlation between college lecture notes and quiz papers. Journal of Educational Research, 12, 282-291.

                                              Haydon, T., Mancil, G.R.,  Kroeger, S.D., McLeskey, J., & Lin, W.J. (2011). A review of the effectiveness of guided notes for students who struggle learning academic content. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 55(4), 226-231. 

                                              Kiewra, K.A. (1985). Providing the instructor’s notes: an effective addition to student note-taking. Educational Psychologist, 20(1), 33-39. 

                                              Kiewra, K.A. (2002). How classroom teachers can help students learn and teach them how to learn. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 71-80. 

                                              Luo, L., Kiewra, K.A. & Samuelson, L. (2016). Revising lecture notes: how revision, pauses, and partners affect note taking and achievement. Instructional Science, 44(1). 45-67. 

                                              Mueller, P.A., & Oppenheimer, D.M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159-1168. 

                                              Wammes, J.D., Meade, M.E., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(9). 

                                              Wu, J. Y., & Xie, C. (2018). Using time pressure and note-taking to prevent digital distraction behavior and enhance online search performance: Perspectives from the load theory of attention and cognitive control. Computers in Human Behavior, 88, 244-254. 

                                              " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "Tips to Encourage Better Note-Taking in Your Class" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(207) "“Is this going to be on the test?”  Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "tips-to-encourage-better-note-taking-in-your-class" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 00:18:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 08:18:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=5711" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(10) ["current_post"]=> int(2) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(true) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#9667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2195) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_content"]=> string(10758) "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 a group to respond one way or the other, but at least some of it can be attributed to the concept of community. Establishing community helps a group of learners bond and work well together. Community is particularly important in online courses given the potential for students to feel isolated and alone. When we teach online, community forms and happens differently than when we teach onsite because the connection is mediated by technology. For example, interactions happen predominantly by text rather than physical presence and there are different markers of who has more or less influence in the group. Online, community is not worse than onsite - indeed, some educators argue that connections can be deeper online than onsite – but it is different. The manner in which online community develops, however, has implications for our roles and responsibilities as teachers. It can be challenging to achieve community in an online course and to know whether it has developed, in part because we do not yet have a good sense of what a strong group dynamic looks like in online courses. After all, it can happen under the radar of the course, through private texting and email, for example. If we are not included in the communication loop, we can feel that an online course does not have the same level of community as an onsite one does, even though there may be a vibrant one forming in backchannels. Community is more than participation; it requires moving from participation to engagement, involvement, and action. Thinking through what appeals to us about other communities, whether onsite or online, can provide us with important clues about how to establish community online. There are several strategies we can use to promote community in an online course. 1. Create a Plan for Communication Communication is essential to community, and it is a good idea to model effective communication from the very start of the course. Create a calendar of when you will contact students, individually or as a group. Communicating at the start of each module with announcements or texts can also be beneficial. Touching base before high stakes assignments is also important. A framework of frequent and effective communication is the first step in encouraging community. 2. Establish Social Presence Social presence, or the sense that individuals have that they are interacting with real people, is an important concept for developing community. Several related factors influence social presence. These include immediacy - the psychological distance between communicators; interaction - when actions affect each other; and intimacy - the notion that individuals will adjust their behaviors to maintain equilibrium. To develop and foster social presence, consider the following:
                                              • Creating an introductory video and having students do the same; these can be simple smartphone videos where everyone introduces themselves and shares 2-3 facts about themselves.
                                              • Giving students reason to come to the course site often.
                                              • Letting them share work that represents them.
                                              3. Meet in Real-Time  It’s not always possible (or even desirable) to schedule synchronous meetings, but interacting at the same time can encourage community. Students get to know each other, recognize faces and names, and share information. Consider having several synchronous sessions on the same topic, all at different times of the day and week so everyone can schedule one. Alternatively, make the sessions optional. 4. Create Opportunities for Information and Expertise Sharing One thing that draws us to communities is the rich resources that individuals provide. Providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful strategy for helping to develop community. A few options include:
                                              • Create study groups for the course. Assign students to small groups. Suggest that they use the learning management system to work together. Doing so can help them learn to work in groups and to make connections with their fellow students.
                                              • Include a “relevant resource” section for the course.  Ask students to post information that’s happening in the world that is related to the course content. If students see the importance of the content, they will be more engaged with it. Online articles, essays, YouTube clips, and so forth can add additional value. You can post in this section as well. Consider trying out Contemporary Issues Journals. In Contemporary Issues Journals, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal. Ask students to share their ideas in a central forum.
                                              • Create a common space. Instructors can encourage informal interactions by creating a common space such as a student lounge for discussion.
                                              5. Use Collaborative Learning Techniques Collaborative learning requires students to work with each other, which can help reduce feelings of isolation. In addition to simply being glad to know that others are in the same boat, many online students appear to value interacting and forming relationships with peers. Getting to know their peers in an online environment can improve students’ overall experience. Online collaborative learning provides a solid foundation on which such relationships may be founded. Consider collaborative learning techniques such as the following: Jigsaw In Jigsaw, students work in small groups to develop knowledge about a given topic before teaching what they have learned to another group. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                              Paper Seminar Paper Seminar provides a framework for meaningful discussion centered on student work. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                              TAPPS In Think Aloud Pair Problem Solving, students solve problems aloud to try out their reasoning on a listening peer. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                              6. Develop Sub-Communities Some online learners may be hesitant to participate or share if there are too many members. Developing sub-communities can help. These smaller groups can provide a more personal experience and connect individuals with similar interests. Separate discussion forums or small groups meeting in break out rooms within videoconference sessions can help. In conclusion, community can be critical to student success and satisfaction in online courses. Instructors can create opportunities for community in the design of the course, the communication, and the activities they include. Creating these opportunities is likely to prove well worth the effort.
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                                                Reference: Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(53) "6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "building-community-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2195" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> int(40) ["max_num_pages"]=> float(4) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(false) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(false) ["is_tag"]=> bool(false) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(true) ["is_privacy_policy"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_favicon"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "624526c0adb57e738deaffa631df580d" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(false) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }
                                                Learning Assessment in Online Courses
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                                                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 (2012) suggests that online personas “are the social identities that people create for themselves in online communities and on websites" (para. 1). Thus, an online teaching persona can be thought of as the social identity or presence we create when we teach students in online environments.
                                                
                                                Some educators believe that we “put on” our personas as teachers, while others believe that we should avoid doing so and instead be our natural selves in the classroom. At the K Patricia Cross Academy, we think it is most likely that there are both intentional and unintentional aspects of our teaching personas.
                                                
                                                There are some things about ourselves that we don’t change, for example, our ages or physiques. We do, however, make decisions about the level of formality we will use, how we will ask students to address us, and so forth that signal our personalities in many ways. We also convey our personas based upon the choices we make, even prior to entering the classroom, for example by our decisions about what to wear, what we carry with us, and so forth. Our choices send a message to students about who we are as teachers and about how they are to engage with us.
                                                
                                                
                                                
                                                When we teach online, conveying our personas requires additional thought and effort. We no longer have built-in physical markers, such as appearance, dress, and non-verbal gestures so we have to find new ways of communicating persona. We choose the “virtual” person that the students will know and respond to. There are both philosophical and practical choices we make when developing an online teaching persona, and these differ from the ones we make when we teach onsite.
                                                
                                                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? How can we share who we are or want to be as teachers? How can we appear “natural” in a virtual environment?
                                                
                                                Make Information about Yourself Available within the Course
                                                Many Learning Management Systems offer the ability to create a profile. They provide ways to include the selected teacher name, a short bio, a description of interests, upload pictures, favorite links, and so forth. These features can be useful for allowing instructors to present information about ourselves to students. It also can be useful for instructors to create an electronic portfolio/personal website to accompany the course site, which can prove efficient when teaching multiple courses. Sharing information can allow us to showcase what we believe is important as well as to highlight our accomplishments. Following are suggestions that you can use to develop and deliver your online teaching persona.  
                                                Build in Information about You into the Course Site
                                                In an online course, you choose what information students see and what information they don’t see. Consider including the following information into your Learning Management System or other course site:
                                                • Instructor photograph and contact information
                                                • Instructor bio
                                                • Instructor avatar—photo or graphic representation
                                                • Teaching philosophy or description of your rationale for the instructional methods in the course
                                                Communicate with Students in the Course Regularly
                                                Instructors have to make a conscious effort toward instructor presence, which is the visibility of the instructor as perceived by the learners. It is the learner’s sense that the instructor is “there,” that there is a real person with whom they are interacting. Instructor immediacy appears directly related to interaction, e.g. the amount of contact through email, discussion, postings, or other. Entering the course regularly and communicating with students frequently is essential to establishing a sense of being there. Making connections with a faculty member can help students understand that there’s a real person there and can also make interactions more personal. Following are suggestions that you can use to communicate your online teaching persona:
                                                • Welcome e-mail
                                                • Discussion facilitation
                                                • Virtual office hours
                                                • Module intro or content videos
                                                • Daily or weekly announcements
                                                • Optional synchronous meetings
                                                • Feedback on assignments or assessments
                                                Choose Instructional Activities Where You are Visible and Involved
                                                While many educators argue that the teacher should step away from the role of “sage on the stage,” and we agree with this, we also note that it is easy to become invisible as a teacher in an online course. Even if you designed the course, it can feel like you are absent and that you have put the course into “set it and forget it” mode if you don’t figure out how to be actively involved in the students’ learning activities. Simply choosing methods where you are involved in facilitating can help students feel your presence. Consider the following techniques:
                                                Translate That!
                                                In Translate That!, you pause your lecture and call on a student at random to “translate” the information you just provided into plain English for an imagined audience that you specify.

                                                View main video here: View Technique →

                                                View online adaptation here:

                                                Team Jeopardy
                                                Team Jeopardy is a game in which student teams take turns selecting a square from a grid that is organized vertically by category and horizontally by difficulty. Each square shows the number of points the team can earn if they answer a question correctly, and more challenging questions have the potential to earn more points.

                                                View main video here: View Technique →

                                                View example slides here: Google Slides | PowerPoint

                                                View online adaptation here:

                                                Developing and maintaining a recognizable and consistent virtual persona is not an easy task. It requires on-going effort and attention in any given course. In short, we have to continually “be there” in order to establish and communicate persona. To sign up for our newsletter, where you will receive information about new blog posts, click here:

                                                  Reference:
                                                  Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(44) "Creating an Engaging Teaching Persona Online" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(34) "creating-a-teaching-persona-online" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2683" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#9668 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1293) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_content"]=> string(2740) "“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~Albert Einstein Instructors have many important decisions to make about what to teach, how to teach it, when to review, when to move on, and so forth. We are better able to make important instructional decisions when we have good information about whether and how well students have learned to base these decisions on. It’s even better when the data gathering process can also help to improve student learning. Researchers and educators alike have lauded the beneficial outcomes of formative assessment, a type of assessment aimed at gathering data on student learning to provide prompt and frequent feedback during the learning process. Instructors can use the information they glean from formative assessment to improve their teaching because they can see where students are struggling and address the problem immediately. Following are some suggestions for implementing formative assessment:
                                                  Emphasize learning over grading
                                                  It’s important to help students focus on the content and skills to be learned, rather than on collecting a grade.
                                                  Create a cooperative, rather than a competitive, atmosphere
                                                  Help students understand that you are all working together as a team to learn. If a peer offers constructive criticism, it is an effort to help, not hinder.
                                                  Focus on quality rather than quantity of work
                                                  Amount of work is not the same as quality of work, and if students can show they are mastering a skill or concept through a short task, then assign that rather of a longer more complicated one. 
                                                  Focus your feedback on the process and product
                                                  Your comments and questions should help students feel confident that they can improve and acknowledge that learning is a process.
                                                  Keep a running record of how your students are doing
                                                  Students will appreciate seeing gains over time.
                                                  Give students second chances to demonstrate success
                                                  Just because students didn’t demonstrate understanding in the first attempt, it doesn’t mean that they can’t. If you give them multiple chances to document understanding, their confidence will go up, which should help improve their engagement. See the following Cross Academy videos for techniques to check student understanding. " ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Formative Assessment: Checking for Understanding" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "formative-assessment-checking-for-understanding" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1293" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#9667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2195) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_content"]=> string(10758) "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 a group to respond one way or the other, but at least some of it can be attributed to the concept of community. Establishing community helps a group of learners bond and work well together. Community is particularly important in online courses given the potential for students to feel isolated and alone. When we teach online, community forms and happens differently than when we teach onsite because the connection is mediated by technology. For example, interactions happen predominantly by text rather than physical presence and there are different markers of who has more or less influence in the group. Online, community is not worse than onsite - indeed, some educators argue that connections can be deeper online than onsite – but it is different. The manner in which online community develops, however, has implications for our roles and responsibilities as teachers. It can be challenging to achieve community in an online course and to know whether it has developed, in part because we do not yet have a good sense of what a strong group dynamic looks like in online courses. After all, it can happen under the radar of the course, through private texting and email, for example. If we are not included in the communication loop, we can feel that an online course does not have the same level of community as an onsite one does, even though there may be a vibrant one forming in backchannels. Community is more than participation; it requires moving from participation to engagement, involvement, and action. Thinking through what appeals to us about other communities, whether onsite or online, can provide us with important clues about how to establish community online. There are several strategies we can use to promote community in an online course. 1. Create a Plan for Communication Communication is essential to community, and it is a good idea to model effective communication from the very start of the course. Create a calendar of when you will contact students, individually or as a group. Communicating at the start of each module with announcements or texts can also be beneficial. Touching base before high stakes assignments is also important. A framework of frequent and effective communication is the first step in encouraging community. 2. Establish Social Presence Social presence, or the sense that individuals have that they are interacting with real people, is an important concept for developing community. Several related factors influence social presence. These include immediacy - the psychological distance between communicators; interaction - when actions affect each other; and intimacy - the notion that individuals will adjust their behaviors to maintain equilibrium. To develop and foster social presence, consider the following:
                                                  • Creating an introductory video and having students do the same; these can be simple smartphone videos where everyone introduces themselves and shares 2-3 facts about themselves.
                                                  • Giving students reason to come to the course site often.
                                                  • Letting them share work that represents them.
                                                  3. Meet in Real-Time  It’s not always possible (or even desirable) to schedule synchronous meetings, but interacting at the same time can encourage community. Students get to know each other, recognize faces and names, and share information. Consider having several synchronous sessions on the same topic, all at different times of the day and week so everyone can schedule one. Alternatively, make the sessions optional. 4. Create Opportunities for Information and Expertise Sharing One thing that draws us to communities is the rich resources that individuals provide. Providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful strategy for helping to develop community. A few options include:
                                                  • Create study groups for the course. Assign students to small groups. Suggest that they use the learning management system to work together. Doing so can help them learn to work in groups and to make connections with their fellow students.
                                                  • Include a “relevant resource” section for the course.  Ask students to post information that’s happening in the world that is related to the course content. If students see the importance of the content, they will be more engaged with it. Online articles, essays, YouTube clips, and so forth can add additional value. You can post in this section as well. Consider trying out Contemporary Issues Journals. In Contemporary Issues Journals, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal. Ask students to share their ideas in a central forum.
                                                  • Create a common space. Instructors can encourage informal interactions by creating a common space such as a student lounge for discussion.
                                                  5. Use Collaborative Learning Techniques Collaborative learning requires students to work with each other, which can help reduce feelings of isolation. In addition to simply being glad to know that others are in the same boat, many online students appear to value interacting and forming relationships with peers. Getting to know their peers in an online environment can improve students’ overall experience. Online collaborative learning provides a solid foundation on which such relationships may be founded. Consider collaborative learning techniques such as the following: Jigsaw In Jigsaw, students work in small groups to develop knowledge about a given topic before teaching what they have learned to another group. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                  Paper Seminar Paper Seminar provides a framework for meaningful discussion centered on student work. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                  TAPPS In Think Aloud Pair Problem Solving, students solve problems aloud to try out their reasoning on a listening peer. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                  6. Develop Sub-Communities Some online learners may be hesitant to participate or share if there are too many members. Developing sub-communities can help. These smaller groups can provide a more personal experience and connect individuals with similar interests. Separate discussion forums or small groups meeting in break out rooms within videoconference sessions can help. In conclusion, community can be critical to student success and satisfaction in online courses. Instructors can create opportunities for community in the design of the course, the communication, and the activities they include. Creating these opportunities is likely to prove well worth the effort.
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                                                    Reference: Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(53) "6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "building-community-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2195" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#9666 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2257) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_content"]=> string(12284) "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 that students have acquired as the result of learning in their courses. When talking about assessment at the course level, we use the term “learning assessment.” When we speak of learning assessment, we mean the actions undertaken by teachers and by students to document student learning in a given course. We recognize that the term “learning assessment” has the potential to be read in different ways. Indeed, the ambiguous modifier was one of the very reasons we selected the term. For us, when we use the phrase “learning assessment,” we mean to comprise the following two meanings as one:
                                                    • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates that the assessment is part and parcel of the learning process. That is, participating in the assessment also helps the learning itself. This view of assessment is akin to what Wiggins (1998) calls “educative assessment.”
                                                    • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates an appraisal of the quality of learning. Such an appraisal can happen because the learner produces a product that may be appraised and probably graded. Results of the assessment can, therefore, be communicated to students or a host of other stakeholders or interested parties.
                                                    Thus, the goal of Learning Assessment is to determine whether actual learning outcomes match desired learning outcomes while also improving student learning in the process. Crafting an assessment strategy that informs your teaching, fosters student learning, and provides accurate feedback and measure of student success can be a challenge. When thinking about how to assess student learning in online courses, it is important to consider two main types of assessments: formative assessments and summative assessments, both of which can be learning assessments.
                                                    Formative Assessments
                                                    Formative assessments are intended to provide students with an indication of their performance and to give them an opportunity to improve their performance prior to receiving a final grade, either on an assignment or in a course. Formative assessment, then, is done primarily for the purpose of improving teaching and learning. Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross (1993) is a good resource of formative assessment techniques. Famous examples from their book are the “minute paper” and “muddiest point” techniques, which involve collecting information during or just after an instructional activity to gather insight on what students did or did not understand. Defining characteristics of Cross and Angelo’s approach to formative assessment is that the purpose for collecting data is to gain insight on what adjustments in instruction need to be made in order “to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students” (Angelo & Cross, p. 5). Some educators refer to this form of assessment as non-graded assessment or, if it is graded, it is low-stakes grading. This type of assessment can include classroom polls, discussion board responses, homework assignments, and even regular quizzes. Another source of formative assessment activities is our Learning Assessment Techniques book. Sample techniques from this work include the following:
                                                    • Background Knowledge ProbeA Background Knowledge Probe is a short, simple, focused questionnaire that students fill out at the beginning of a course or start of a new unit that helps teachers identify the best starting point for the class as a whole.

                                                    View main video here:View Technique →

                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                    • Individual Readiness Assurance Tests (IRATs): Individual Readiness Assurance Tests are closed-book quizzes that students complete after an out-of-class reading, video, or other homework assignments.

                                                    View main video here:View Technique →

                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                    • Quick Write:Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                                                    View main video here: View Technique →

                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                    • Contemporary Issues Journal: In a Contemporary Issues Journal, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal.

                                                    View main video here: View Technique →

                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                    Summative Assessments
                                                    Summative assessments are intended to measure learning, typically at the end of an instructional module, unit, or course and often involving comparing results against some standard or benchmark. The purpose is to gather evidence that ensures students have accomplished the desired learning. Summative assessments are often higher stakes than formative assessments, meaning that they have a relatively high point or weight value. Examples of summative assessments include a final exam, a final course project, a research paper, or a course portfolio. Following are examples of summative assessments from our Learning Assessment Techniques book:
                                                    • Triple Jump: A Triple-Jump is a three-step technique that requires students to think through and attempt to solve a real-world problem.
                                                    • Case Studies: With Case Studies, student teams review a real-life problem scenario in depth. Team members apply course concepts to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to solving the problem.
                                                    • Class Book: For a Class Book, individual students work together to plan and ultimately submit a scholarly essay or research paper. Then all students’ papers are published together.
                                                    There are several key elements to consider as you choose a learning assessment technique, including:
                                                    1.   What is your purpose for assessing student learning? It is important to consider why and for whom you are collecting the data. For example, if you are conducting formative assessment to provide yourself and students with a sense of their progress, then you will want to choose a technique designed for this purpose.
                                                    2.   How complex of an activity you want to implement? Assessment techniques can vary from simple techniques that require minimum preparation and little effort to implement and evaluate complex techniques that involve considerable effort to employ and evaluate effectively.
                                                    3.   What kind of product do you want students to produce? Techniques like CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) or LATs (Learning Assessment Techniques) link the learning activity to the production of a learning artifact such as writing, presenting, or creating a product. The technique you select should produce the form or product that you believe will best demonstrate student learning for your course and then your discipline, as this is the product you will ultimately assess and likely grade.
                                                    Assessment is the way we college teachers can determine the effectiveness of our teaching and the quality of student learning. Our focus is on learning assessment, that is, assessment for and of learningWe can use the information we glean from our assessment efforts for a variety of purposes, including to determine for ourselves how well students in our courses are learning, to provide learners with feedback on their progress, to improve our profession through the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and to provide information to institutional and external stakeholders, but most of all to improve student learning.
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                                                      Reference: Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Wiley." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Learning Assessment in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "learning-assessment-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2257" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#9665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2179) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_content"]=> string(11234) "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 is essential. Online course design requires a wide range of skills and tools and managing both the design and the technical aspects of the course. A Brief Overview of Online Course Design When engaging in course design, the concept of instructional alignment is useful to consider. Instructional alignment begins with the identification of learning goals. Those goals then direct other decisions, including how you will help students achieve these goals (materials and methods), what tools can best help you help students achieve them (technologies), and how you will know if the goals have been met (assessment). We illustrate the idea of instructional alignment in online courses in the following figure: In this model, one element leads to the next. For example, if you are teaching an English class, you might have a learning goal of critical thinking, with a specific objective that learners will critically evaluate a play. Your learning materials might include the specific play to be evaluated as well as an article or chapter describing a model of critical evaluation. For your learning activities, you might ask learners to read the materials and then practice critical evaluation through Active Reading Documents in which your questions lead students through a critical analysis that prepares them to then write a report on their own. For the technology, you might use a Learning Management System (LMS) and have the materials available within it as well as a downloadable template for the Active Reading Documents. For the assessment, students might write a formal report using the evaluation model to critically evaluate the play. All of these key elements in the instructional alignment model should be determined before an online course goes live. The following are tips related to instructional alignment during course design. 1. Develop Course and Module Learning Goals and Objectives Most of us are familiar with the idea of developing course goals and objectives; after all, we usually have to include course level goals and objectives in every syllabus we create. But not all of us are as familiar with developing goals for specific learning modules. When we teach online, developing, and then displaying more targeted micro-goals for specific modules helps make our learning expectations clear. 2. Use Multiple Media for Learning Materials Traditionally, many of us share content by asking students to read a chapter or article and then we elaborate by presenting additional content through lectures. We can accomplish these forms of sharing content in similar ways online. Many resources are available to present text versions of lectures, and we can also present either synchronous lectures through video conferencing or asynchronous pre-recorded video lectures online. In addition, there are a range of free resources available online, such as pre-recorded videos and free open educational resources (OERs). A mix of media (text, video, audio, graphics) is typically more effective than using only one type because the variety can help keep students more engaged. 3. Choose Appropriate Learning Tasks It is important to think through what students will do in your online course. Common instructional tasks in online courses include the following:
                                                      • Connect—Activate students’ prior knowledge of the content so that learners can make better connections to new content through an activity such as a Background Knowledge Probe.
                                                      • Learn/Watch/Read— Provide learners with the new content.
                                                      • Practice—Implement activities that reinforce their new learning.
                                                      • Share/Discuss—Enable students to find personal relevance and share their experiences with their peers, perhaps through a discussion thread. Consider for example using a Think-Pair-Share.
                                                      • Assess—Ask students to demonstrate learning, whether through a quiz, assignment, project, or other.
                                                      • Reflect— Challenge students to reflect on what they have learned.
                                                      Aim for having the same kinds of activities due on the same days of the week. If for example, you do a discussion board each week, choose the day when students will post (for example have discussions due on Wednesday and responses due on Friday). If they have an assessment to complete each week, choose a different due day for that activity (for example, have the assessment due on Thursday), and so forth. 4. Humanize the Technology Technology can serve as a mediator between people. A few suggestions for accomplishing this are as follows:
                                                      • Simplify the NavigationMany Learning Management Systems make choices for you, including what will be in the navigation bar. Think through how students will work their way through the course and what students really need to see in the navigation menu. Unnecessary items can result in overwhelmed students. Providing clarity and ensuring intuitive organization of materials can improve learner satisfaction as well as promoting deeper learning.
                                                      • Strive for a Humanized Look and FeelThere is a tendency in online courses to use built-in icons and heavy text. Graphics, images, and short videos can create a warmer look and a more human-friendly feel to the course.
                                                      • Ensure Accessibility—Effective online courses should be accessible to all learners. One way to do this is to make sure courses are “universally designed.” Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is built on the idea that all learning experiences should be purposefully constructed to be “barrier free” and accessible by providing multiple and flexible methods of the following elements:
                                                        • Presentation of content (e.g., voice-to-text applications, screen readers, digital books).
                                                        • Alternatives for students to demonstrate what they have learned (e.g., concept mapping).
                                                        • Engagement to tap into diverse learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn (choices among various scenarios for learning the same competency).
                                                      5. Include Multiple Learning Assessments While one assessment alone can generate evidence to make decisions about student learning and development, multiple measures encourage more comprehensive and accurate assessment. This benefits not only the students who are learning but also the instructors who are doing the teaching. Consider the following learning artifacts commonly used to assess student learning in online courses.
                                                      • Discussion Posts
                                                      • Groupwork Products
                                                      • Quizzes
                                                      • Exams
                                                      • Written or Video Assignments
                                                      • Digital Projects or Portfolios
                                                      Consider providing students with choices for assignments, such as what to write about for the assignment or how to respond to a discussion post or even which assignments they will complete. In conclusion, online course design requires concerted time and attention. To summarize some of the key points we have described, we have further developed our instructional alignment figure for online courses as follows: Try incorporating these teaching techniques into your online course design.

                                                      Background Knowledge Probe

                                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                                      Think Pair Share

                                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                                      Active Reading Documents

                                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                                                        " ["post_title"]=> string(40) "5 Tips for Engaging Online Course Design" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(29) "engaging-online-course-design" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-10 00:53:56" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-10 00:53:56" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2179" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#9664 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7157) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 05:26:38" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 13:26:38" ["post_content"]=> string(9238) "

                                                        Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and sharing knowledge to solve a  problem.  The defining characteristics of a good brainstorming session are when participants are encouraged to gather ideas spontaneously and to think without interruption.  When done as a group, people typically collectively agree upon a solution after all the ideas are brought forth and discussed, but it can also be done individually. The technique of brainstorming has been around for over 70 years and is often used today to engage students in problem solving.

                                                        Brainstorming allows students to think critically about ideas and solutions, form connections, and share ideas with peers. The activity allows exploring and expanding a student’s ability to think critically and laterally. As students get actively involved, brainstorming aids the process of learning and improves academic performance.

                                                        Often, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming; students can freely express their thoughts without fear of failure. Tools used for brainstorming and sharing include: 

                                                        • Physical writing or drawing tools like paper, posterboard, or whiteboard
                                                        • Digital writing or drawing tools like Word, Photoshop, or any idea-mapping software
                                                        • Collaborative tools like Google Hangouts, Google Docs, or Zoom

                                                        Techniques vary, but there is a general structure to follow when developing brainstorming sessions. After the problem or issue is presented, students are organized into groups to brainstorm all possible ideas that could solve the problem. Discussion of these ideas takes place after the brainstorming session ends, usually after a defined time. Each idea is discussed and considered, some ideas are eliminated, and a final list is ranked for possible use as a solution toward solving the problem.

                                                        Benefits of Brainstorming

                                                        Brainstorming in the classroom can motivate students to spontaneously express their ideas and thoughts on a subject. As there are no wrong and right answers, the activity provides students with a platform where they can voice their thoughts without fear of failure. Brainstorming gives the class a chance to tap into their previous knowledge and form connections between the current topic and what they have already learned. It also encourages them to listen and consider others’ ideas, thereby showing respect for their fellow classmates. In addition, brainstorming:

                                                        • Provides a quick and easy class activity. Brainstorming sessions can be effectively used in the classroom. However, they do require meaningful planning time for ultimate success.
                                                        • Contributes to classroom collective power. Brainstorming sessions allow individual students’ voices to become one with the group’s voice. The final ideas are generally identified through consensus.
                                                        • Creates a student-centered activity. Students direct the group in which they generate their own ideas, develop rating criteria, and are responsible for group dynamics.
                                                        • Supports learning in a relaxed environment. Students can collaborate in a comfortable, informal learning environment.
                                                        • Strengthens problem-based learning. Brainstorming is a problem-solving activity where students build on or develop higher order thinking skills.
                                                        • Encourages creative thought. Brainstorming encourages students to think creatively (out of the box), encouraging all students to share their ideas, no matter how far “out there” they may seem.
                                                         
                                                        Challenges of Brainstorming

                                                        While brainstorming has many advantages, it also has some challenges. Following are some challenges with suggestions for mitigating them.

                                                        • Becoming just a chat session. The instructor should direct the session to keep students on task.
                                                        • Students in a group setting compete with one another rather than collaborate when generating ideas. The instructor can walk around the room and listen for inappropriate group behavior.
                                                        • Staying surface-level. The instructor can prompt for deeper, higher order thinking.
                                                        • Getting “buy-in” or acceptance from those who have participated in brainstorming who have never seen their ideas brought forth and acted upon. The instructor can work with any student who may be in this category and remark on their contribution to them personally, their group, and to the whole class.
                                                        • Getting quiet or independent students to actively participate. The instructor can explain that as part of this course all students are expected to bend a little which may have them participating in activities that might make them uncomfortable. It is best to avoid forcing.
                                                        • Helping groups to move forward if they are “stuck” and not able to generate ideas. The instructor can reconvene the group to review the problem or issue or provide an example of a possible solution.
                                                        • Reaching consensus. Getting students to reach consensus becomes less of a problem if all students are given equal time to provide input, feel like they are a valued member of the group, and are respected for their points-of-view.

                                                        Brainstorming sessions can be a useful strategy to encourage genuine collaboration and interaction in the classroom. Putting together a well-stated problem and careful planning strategies can lead to meaningful idea generation and idea building which can be used in solving problems or addressing specific course-related issues.

                                                        Cross Academy Techniques

                                                        To use brainstorming in your class, try the following techniques:

                                                        Image

                                                        Comprehensive Factors List
                                                        In Comprehensive Factors List, students write all the relevant factors they can think of about a specific topic, drawing from course content and personal experiences.

                                                        View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                        Image

                                                        Quick Write
                                                        Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                                                        View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
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                                                          References

                                                          Baumgartner, J. (2005). Key factors to successful brainstorming. http://www.jpb.com/creative/keyfactors.php

                                                          Baumgartner, J. (n.d.). The complete guide to managing traditional brainstorming events. http://www.jpb.com/creative/brainstorming.pdf

                                                          Elkenberry, K. (2007). Brainstorming strategies: Seven questions that spur better solutions. https://www.sideroad.com/Meetings/brainstorming-strategies.html

                                                          Maricopa Community Colleges (2001). Brainstorming. http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/authoring/studio/guidebook/brain.html 

                                                          Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Brainstorming. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide

                                                          Storm, J. (2004). 10 deadly brainstorming ruts that kill innovation. https://www.brainstormnetwork.org/articles/10-BrainStorming-Ruts.pdf

                                                          " ["post_title"]=> string(44) "The Benefits and Challenges of Brainstorming" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(44) "the-benefits-and-challenges-of-brainstorming" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 17:38:09" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-08 01:38:09" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7157" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#9663 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3677) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 07:00:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 15:00:03" ["post_content"]=> string(8959) "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 crisis, it can be a challenge for them to focus their care additionally on their studies. As educators, we know there is a strong relationship between caring about learning and quality of learning. As Fink argues, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens” (2013, p. 360). It seems simple common sense that students who really care about what they are learning will invest the time and effort required to learn it well and remember it longer. So how do we help students focus their care on learning, during a crisis, during an age of significant distraction?
                                                          What Does Caring Mean During a Crisis?
                                                          When we care about something, we have acquired an affective disposition toward it that combines concern and perhaps even affection: we value it, appreciate it, and anticipate opportunities to encounter it.  “Caring” in education refers to the degree to which students are interested in, or have feelings about, various aspects of their learning, and it can apply to an array of foci that include topic-specific phenomena and ideas, human beings, and the process of learning itself. It means the focusing of consciousness and the narrowing of attention on learning We often know when students care about their learning. If students care about a course, they will show up for it and will invest appropriate time and energy into the learning activities.  If students care about their peers, they will listen actively when others speak and demonstrate compassion and empathy as they develop deeper understanding of another’s perspectives or experiences. If students care about the topic, they will ask pertinent questions and be sufficiently curious to go beyond the minimum class requirements. How does all this work when they simply don’t have the physical stamina, time, cognitive bandwidth, or emotional energy for the learning?
                                                          How Do We Get Students to Care about Learning during a Crisis?
                                                          Following are suggestions for promoting caring in college and university courses during a crisis: 1. Acknowledge the Crisis and How You are Addressing It. It will help students to care if they know that you care, too, and that you understand where they are coming from. Tell them how you have adapted the course or activities and explain how you hope they will adapt in turn. 2. Humanize the Course. Particularly if you are teaching online, make sure that you have a warm and inviting space for students. You also need to be there and show your personality. Helping students to make connections with you and with each other builds community in the class and can help students to care more about their own work. Being there and forming that community is likely the most essential element of caring in a time of crisis. 3. Reconsider Rigor. Rigor is important, but be sure that you aren’t focusing excessively on it. It’s important to balance rigor with being supportive of students and their learning during this time. Think through how you can provide a quality learning experience during these unique circumstances. Students are more likely to care if they believe that you aren’t out to prove how tough you and the course are, but instead are doing your best to ensure they learn. 4. Make it Manageable. Provide a clear structure and a clear schedule. Give students challenges that increase in difficulty incrementally. One reason that students fail to care is that they believe that they can't or won’t be successful. One way to negate that is to give them small challenges so they can be successful in completing them and then build difficulty and complexity over time. 5. Stay Positive. There are many things to be negative about right now, but your course, content, and student learning aren’t part of that. You can help ensure that students care by staying positive about the learning. Consider using positive language, for example, talking about what they will gain from the course and how they will use it in the future or when we return to the “new normal.” 6. Provide Students with Choice and Autonomy. Provide students with choices so that they feel more invested. For example, you might let students choose which discussions to participate in, or you might give them options about how to participate, for example by sharing something they have created or by responding to a prompt with an essay. 7. Make sure Tasks are Relevant, Appropriate, and Worthy of Their Attention. Characteristics of a learning task can increase or decrease student caring. For example, consider the following questions: Is the task inherently interesting? Is it important to the students on a personal level? Can they make a connection between the task and their own lived experiences? Is there some novelty to it? Is the purpose clear? Is it important to them? Is it a creative activity? Is there enough time to successfully complete the task?
                                                          Cross Academy Techniques to Promote Caring
                                                          Consider the following techniques that promote caring and also provide students with ways to demonstrate caring about the topic or their learning: Three-Minute Message: 3-Minute Messages are modeled on the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) academic competition, in which students have three minutes to present a compelling argument and to support it with convincing details and examples. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                          Briefing Paper: In a Briefing Paper, students research a current problem of their choice, summarize the main issues, and present solutions to a specific audience. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                          What? So What? Now What? Journals: In What? So What? Now What? Journals, students reflect on their recent course-related activities as they respond to each prompt in a journal entry. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                                                            Humans are more likely to remember information that is patterned in a logical and familiar way. Furthermore, the act of organizing information is a helpful aid to human memory (Bailey & Pransky, 2014; Sprenger, 2002; Tileston, 2004). It is no surprise, then, that organizing information is a useful skill for students as well as an activity that can help to deepen learning. Finding and understanding patterns is crucial to critical thinking and problem solving. Struggling students may find it helpful to organize information in a problem because it requires them to think more deeply about each piece of information and how those pieces fit together.

                                                            Instructional strategies that involve organizing information have been used in higher education to promote learning for decades. They were brought to the fore of teaching and learning primarily through the cognitive theories of American psychologist David Ausubel. Ausubel (1968) argued that the human mind organizes ideas and information in a logical schema, and that people learn when they integrate new information into their existing schemata. Ausubel advised that teachers can help students arrange new information in meaningful ways by providing them with an organizing structure. Interest in information organizers has gained popularity recently, as they help direct students’ attention to important information by recalling relevant prior knowledge and highlighting relationships (Woolfolk et al., 2010).

                                                            How Does Organization Improve Learning?

                                                            Careful design, creation, and implementation of activities that require students to organize information can provide important intellectual guardrails to guide students toward deeper understanding and learning. When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start. Instead of the brain having to make sense of and organize content, it can focus on memory retention (Tileston, 2004). Such activities provide students with a means to categorize cumbersome amounts of information, introduce a more refined lens to analyze a complex text, and enable students to recognize patterns and compare perspectives. However, organizing activities, depending on how they are structured, can have the unintended consequence of limiting students’ thinking to just filling in the boxes. They may allow students to avoid the messy but important work of surfacing key insights or conceptual understanding.

                                                            When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start.

                                                            Good teachers help students organize information and make connections among concepts they are learning. When students organize information and think about how ideas are related, they process information deeply and engage in elaboration. Understanding and retaining content are facilitated. Organizing information increases the likelihood that students will make sense of it and that it will transfer from working memory to permanent memory, where it can be used by students in the present and in the future. Students arrange information hierarchically, categorically, sequentially, or in other ways. They discover and depict the overall structure of the material as well as identify how discrete pieces of information fit together. They organize and reorganize generalizations, principles, concepts, and facts. They explain their thinking to partners or groups and listen to alternative perspectives.

                                                            Many of the strategies can also be used as pre- and post-assessments to determine what students already know and what they have learned. However, in our view, their primary purposes are to help students understand and remember the content, and so we describe them with those purposes in mind. When students organize information, they:

                                                            • Distinguish between major ideas and important details.
                                                            • Identify superordinate, subordinate, and parallel ideas.
                                                            • Consider similarities and differences.
                                                            • Analyze critical features.
                                                            • Categorize information.
                                                            • Discuss their thinking about how information is organized with peers.
                                                            Strategies for Facilitating Organization

                                                            Four strategies in particular help students organize and pattern information. They include:

                                                            • Previewing Content: This helps students mentally prepare for what will be coming next in the instruction.
                                                            • Connecting Prior Knowledge: This helps create neural connections between new and previously learned content.
                                                            • Using graphic Organizers: This provides students with a visual, organized representation of the content.
                                                            • Sequencing Logically: This helps break up content into amounts that the brain can manage.

                                                            Teachers need to strive to change their thinking from planning lessons, to planning for learning (Jensen, 1995; Tileston, 2004). Being a content and strategy expert is important, but is of little worth if students can’t remember anything from a lesson. A teacher who effectively organizes information for students helps them improve their memory retention.

                                                            Cross Academy Techniques

                                                            To help students organize information in your courses, consider the following Cross Academy Techniques:

                                                            Image

                                                            Advance Organizers
                                                            An Advance Organizer is a tool that professors can present to students prior to a lecture to help them structure the information they are about to learn.

                                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                            Image

                                                            Group Grid
                                                            In Group Grid, group members are given pieces of information and asked to place them in the blank cells of a grid according to category rubrics, which helps them clarify conceptual categories and develop sorting skills.

                                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                            Teaching Technique 38 - Affinity Grouping

                                                            Affinity Grouping
                                                            In Affinity Grouping, individual students generate ideas and identify common themes. Then, students form groups to sort and organize the ideas accordingly.

                                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                             
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                                                              References

                                                              Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational psychology:  A cognitive view. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

                                                              Bailey, F. & Pransky, K. (2014). Memory at work in the classroom: Strategies to help underachieving students. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                                              Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                                              Sprenger, R. (2004). Trust: The best way to manage. Cyan Books.

                                                              Tileston, D. W. (2004). What every teacher should know about learning, memory, and the brain. Corwin Press.

                                                              Woolfolk, A. (2010). Educational psychology (11th ed.). Merrill.

                                                              " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "4 Strategies to Help Students Organize Information" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "4-strategies-to-help-students-organize-information" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-28 16:45:39" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-03-01 00:45:39" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7564" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#9661 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1286) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_content"]=> string(3855) "“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Anonymous Most of us chose careers in academia because we care deeply about our disciplines or fields. It can be discouraging, therefore, to face students whose indifference to our courses is palpable. Yet caring is an essential element of their learning. As Fink suggests, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens.” Certainly, common sense and our own experience as teachers suggest that students who really care about what they are learning to invest the time and effort to learn it well and remember it longer. There is no easy way to get students to care. We offer some suggestions for your consideration:
                                                              Be a Role Model For Caring
                                                              Students tend to respond to the level of energy and enthusiasm that you generate in kind. If you demonstrate that you are passionate about your subject and about teaching, as well as their learning, your students are more likely to connect with you and with the content and to strive to do their best.
                                                              Care About the Students
                                                              Most students will be motivated if they believe you care about them. Indeed, caring about the students as individuals is critical to their success as well as to their satisfaction with the course and with your teaching. Getting to know them is helpful on this front, as you can then target instruction to student background and interests.
                                                              Set High Expectations
                                                              Research is fairly clear that students appreciate it when a teacher has high expectations for them and hold them to it. In short, when they are expected to learn more and perform better, they often do. Students often perform in ways that their teachers expect.
                                                              Give Students Ownership in the Content and Process
                                                              If students have some flexibility in what they study and how they study it, they are more likely to care about both aspects. For example, if they choose paper and project topics that most interest them, and if they have some decision about the assessment (tests, papers, projects, posters, presentations), they have more control over how they develop understanding and how they demonstrate it to you. Control often leads to caring in this circumstance.
                                                              Encourage Students to Connect Content to Their Lives/the Outside World
                                                              Oftentimes to students, our courses can seem completely disconnected from their lived experiences. We can find ways to make connections more transparent. When they have the opportunity to see that content is important and relevant to them, they tend to care more.
                                                              Choose Assignments That are at the Appropriate Target Level
                                                              Students need to have assignments that are challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult that they feel dazed, confused, and helpless. You can design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class.
                                                              Place Appropriate Emphasis on Testing and Grading
                                                              Graded items can create incentives or disincentives. You can strive for assessments that show students what they have mastered, rather than what they have not. College teachers can help promote students caring. For information about active learning techniques that promote caring, see our videos for the following techniques: " ["post_title"]=> string(45) "Getting Students to Care About Their Learning" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "getting-students-to-care-about-their-learning" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1286" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#9314 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5711) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 04:30:55" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 12:30:55" ["post_content"]=> string(9955) "

                                                              “Is this going to be on the test?” 

                                                              Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?

                                                              Simply jotting down stray data points that may nor may not be included on an upcoming exam may help with rote memorization and review but may not lead to long-term retention.

                                                              The importance of note-taking is generally recognized by higher-education faculty. It keeps students engaged and focused, helping them to translate and adapt new information in their own words. Good note-taking is a skill that we must nurture and develop in our students, however.

                                                              There is nearly a century’s worth of research regarding the relationship between student learning and student note-taking during lectures.  It indicates that students who understand how to take good notes benefit from doing so, and those who do not take notes are disadvantaged. A few of the key takeaways from the existing research are outlined below. 

                                                               

                                                              Note-Taking Works

                                                              The benefits of note-taking were realized nearly 100 years ago.  Crawford studied in 1925 whether note-taking improved college students’ performance on quizzes.  He determined that students who took notes performed better, that reviewing notes before a quiz was essential for success, and that effective organization of notes improved students’ test scores.

                                                              In the years since, other studies have corroborated Crawford’s conclusions in a number of ways. For instance, studies indicate that note-taking improves student learning during lectures and while reading (Kiewra, 2002; Chang & Ku, 2014).

                                                              Students learn more when they take notes than when they do not. The effort required to make notes encodes the information into terms or images that create new pathways to store the information in the brain’s long-term memory. Additionally, having a physical or digital copy of the information provides students an opportunity to revisit and review the content later. 

                                                              Teaching Students Specific Note-Taking Strategies Can Improve Their Learning

                                                              Some students enter the classroom with a sense of what material should be included in notes,  but for most students, taking time to teach them how to take notes – particularly using appropriate teaching techniques – can greatly enhance the quality of students’ notes and how much students learn and retain from their efforts (Boyle, 2013; Rahmani & Sadeghi, 2011). This is true for all students, but particularly those with learning disabilities. 

                                                              The Use of Visuals in Notes Improves Student Learning

                                                              Wammes, Meade, & Fernandes (2016) examined the use of drawing and illustrations in note-taking and found that, compared to writing alone, the act of drawing and diagramming key information and ideas can influence student learning and retention. 

                                                              Revising, Collaborating with Peers, And Pausing During Note-Taking Positively Affects Learning

                                                              Students who are offered the chance to revise, rewrite, or add to their notes retain more material. If educators integrate specific pauses into their lectures or class activities for students to make revisions and updates to their notes, the students better retain the material and have better notes to revisit at a later time. And if students collaborate on revising their notes with classmates, they develop a more complete set of notes and perform better on tests (Luo, Kiewra, & Samuelson, 2016). 

                                                              Scaffolding Note-Taking Helps Students Learn

                                                              Haydon, Mancil, Kroeger, McLeskey, & Lin (2011) determined that teachers can help their students take better notes by building note-taking scaffolds into their lesson plans. For instance, providing students with a partially completed guided note document or writing visual cues on the board can help students determine what should be retained in notes. 

                                                              Taking Notes on Laptops May Require Different Strategies from Handwritten Notes

                                                              While some research indicates that handwritten notes better serve students than notes taken on a laptop (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014; Carter, Greenberg, & Walker, 2017), other studies have suggested there’s no substantive difference between students taking notes on paper or their computers (Artz, Johnson, Robson, & Taengnoi, 2017). However, one study suggests that digital note-taking may require different strategies. Wu & Xie (2018) found that, when completing online research, students who took notes using a matrix and who had enforced time limits were less distracted by irrelevant online content than their peers.

                                                              Instructor-Provided Notes Improve Learning

                                                              Kiewra (1985) found that when teachers provide students with complete, well-written notes to supplement their own notes, they learn much more than they do based on their notes alone. 

                                                              In sum, the research suggests that we can do much more to help our students take effective notes than simply answering their “Is this going to be on the test?” question. Effective teachers can help students stay engaged and attentive, while taking notes and can ease the cognitive load on their working memory so that students better understand the material.

                                                              Cross Academy Techniques

                                                              Consider the following Cross Academy Techniques to help your students improve their note-taking skills:

                                                              Image

                                                              Guided Notes
                                                              Provide students with a partially completed set of notes that they will fill out during a class lecture, drawing their focus to key topics. 

                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                              Image

                                                              Cued Notes
                                                              Offer students a note-taking template to prompt them to listen for a cue that you provide and then take notes during the segment related to the cue. Then ask your students to summarize the full lecture.

                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                              Image

                                                              Note-Taking Pairs
                                                              Divide students into partners who will work together to improve their notes.

                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                              Image

                                                              Sketch Notes
                                                              Ask students to supplement their handwritten notes with illustrative elements such as lines, arrows, drawings, stars, and boxes to show how concepts relate to each other.

                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation

                                                              References

                                                              Artz, B., Johnson, M., Robson, D., & Taengnoi, S. (2017). Note-taking in the digital age: Evidence from classroom random control trials. The Journal of Economic Education, 51(20), 103-115.  

                                                              Boyle, J. R. (2013). Strategic note-taking for inclusive middle school science classrooms. Remedial and Special Education, 34(2), 78-90. 

                                                              Carter, S. P., Greenberg, K., & Walker, M. S. (2017). The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy. Economics of Education Review, 56, 118-132.

                                                              Chang, W., & Ku, Y. (2014). The effects of note-taking skills instruction on elementary students’ reading. The Journal of Educational Research, 108(4), 278–291. 

                                                              Crawford, C. C. (1925). The correlation between college lecture notes and quiz papers. Journal of Educational Research, 12, 282-291.

                                                              Haydon, T., Mancil, G.R.,  Kroeger, S.D., McLeskey, J., & Lin, W.J. (2011). A review of the effectiveness of guided notes for students who struggle learning academic content. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 55(4), 226-231. 

                                                              Kiewra, K.A. (1985). Providing the instructor’s notes: an effective addition to student note-taking. Educational Psychologist, 20(1), 33-39. 

                                                              Kiewra, K.A. (2002). How classroom teachers can help students learn and teach them how to learn. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 71-80. 

                                                              Luo, L., Kiewra, K.A. & Samuelson, L. (2016). Revising lecture notes: how revision, pauses, and partners affect note taking and achievement. Instructional Science, 44(1). 45-67. 

                                                              Mueller, P.A., & Oppenheimer, D.M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159-1168. 

                                                              Wammes, J.D., Meade, M.E., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(9). 

                                                              Wu, J. Y., & Xie, C. (2018). Using time pressure and note-taking to prevent digital distraction behavior and enhance online search performance: Perspectives from the load theory of attention and cognitive control. Computers in Human Behavior, 88, 244-254. 

                                                              " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "Tips to Encourage Better Note-Taking in Your Class" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(207) "“Is this going to be on the test?”  Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "tips-to-encourage-better-note-taking-in-your-class" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 00:18:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 08:18:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=5711" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(10) ["current_post"]=> int(3) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(true) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#9666 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2257) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_content"]=> string(12284) "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 that students have acquired as the result of learning in their courses. When talking about assessment at the course level, we use the term “learning assessment.” When we speak of learning assessment, we mean the actions undertaken by teachers and by students to document student learning in a given course. We recognize that the term “learning assessment” has the potential to be read in different ways. Indeed, the ambiguous modifier was one of the very reasons we selected the term. For us, when we use the phrase “learning assessment,” we mean to comprise the following two meanings as one:
                                                              • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates that the assessment is part and parcel of the learning process. That is, participating in the assessment also helps the learning itself. This view of assessment is akin to what Wiggins (1998) calls “educative assessment.”
                                                              • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates an appraisal of the quality of learning. Such an appraisal can happen because the learner produces a product that may be appraised and probably graded. Results of the assessment can, therefore, be communicated to students or a host of other stakeholders or interested parties.
                                                              Thus, the goal of Learning Assessment is to determine whether actual learning outcomes match desired learning outcomes while also improving student learning in the process. Crafting an assessment strategy that informs your teaching, fosters student learning, and provides accurate feedback and measure of student success can be a challenge. When thinking about how to assess student learning in online courses, it is important to consider two main types of assessments: formative assessments and summative assessments, both of which can be learning assessments.
                                                              Formative Assessments
                                                              Formative assessments are intended to provide students with an indication of their performance and to give them an opportunity to improve their performance prior to receiving a final grade, either on an assignment or in a course. Formative assessment, then, is done primarily for the purpose of improving teaching and learning. Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross (1993) is a good resource of formative assessment techniques. Famous examples from their book are the “minute paper” and “muddiest point” techniques, which involve collecting information during or just after an instructional activity to gather insight on what students did or did not understand. Defining characteristics of Cross and Angelo’s approach to formative assessment is that the purpose for collecting data is to gain insight on what adjustments in instruction need to be made in order “to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students” (Angelo & Cross, p. 5). Some educators refer to this form of assessment as non-graded assessment or, if it is graded, it is low-stakes grading. This type of assessment can include classroom polls, discussion board responses, homework assignments, and even regular quizzes. Another source of formative assessment activities is our Learning Assessment Techniques book. Sample techniques from this work include the following:
                                                              • Background Knowledge ProbeA Background Knowledge Probe is a short, simple, focused questionnaire that students fill out at the beginning of a course or start of a new unit that helps teachers identify the best starting point for the class as a whole.

                                                              View main video here:View Technique →

                                                              View online adaptation here:

                                                              • Individual Readiness Assurance Tests (IRATs): Individual Readiness Assurance Tests are closed-book quizzes that students complete after an out-of-class reading, video, or other homework assignments.

                                                              View main video here:View Technique →

                                                              View online adaptation here:

                                                              • Quick Write:Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                                                              View main video here: View Technique →

                                                              View online adaptation here:

                                                              • Contemporary Issues Journal: In a Contemporary Issues Journal, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal.

                                                              View main video here: View Technique →

                                                              View online adaptation here:

                                                              Summative Assessments
                                                              Summative assessments are intended to measure learning, typically at the end of an instructional module, unit, or course and often involving comparing results against some standard or benchmark. The purpose is to gather evidence that ensures students have accomplished the desired learning. Summative assessments are often higher stakes than formative assessments, meaning that they have a relatively high point or weight value. Examples of summative assessments include a final exam, a final course project, a research paper, or a course portfolio. Following are examples of summative assessments from our Learning Assessment Techniques book:
                                                              • Triple Jump: A Triple-Jump is a three-step technique that requires students to think through and attempt to solve a real-world problem.
                                                              • Case Studies: With Case Studies, student teams review a real-life problem scenario in depth. Team members apply course concepts to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to solving the problem.
                                                              • Class Book: For a Class Book, individual students work together to plan and ultimately submit a scholarly essay or research paper. Then all students’ papers are published together.
                                                              There are several key elements to consider as you choose a learning assessment technique, including:
                                                              1.   What is your purpose for assessing student learning? It is important to consider why and for whom you are collecting the data. For example, if you are conducting formative assessment to provide yourself and students with a sense of their progress, then you will want to choose a technique designed for this purpose.
                                                              2.   How complex of an activity you want to implement? Assessment techniques can vary from simple techniques that require minimum preparation and little effort to implement and evaluate complex techniques that involve considerable effort to employ and evaluate effectively.
                                                              3.   What kind of product do you want students to produce? Techniques like CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) or LATs (Learning Assessment Techniques) link the learning activity to the production of a learning artifact such as writing, presenting, or creating a product. The technique you select should produce the form or product that you believe will best demonstrate student learning for your course and then your discipline, as this is the product you will ultimately assess and likely grade.
                                                              Assessment is the way we college teachers can determine the effectiveness of our teaching and the quality of student learning. Our focus is on learning assessment, that is, assessment for and of learningWe can use the information we glean from our assessment efforts for a variety of purposes, including to determine for ourselves how well students in our courses are learning, to provide learners with feedback on their progress, to improve our profession through the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and to provide information to institutional and external stakeholders, but most of all to improve student learning.
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                                                                Reference: Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Wiley." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Learning Assessment in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "learning-assessment-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2257" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> int(40) ["max_num_pages"]=> float(4) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(false) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(false) ["is_tag"]=> bool(false) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(true) ["is_privacy_policy"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_favicon"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "624526c0adb57e738deaffa631df580d" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(false) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }
                                                                5 Tips for Engaging Online Course Design
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                                                                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 (2012) suggests that online personas “are the social identities that people create for themselves in online communities and on websites" (para. 1). Thus, an online teaching persona can be thought of as the social identity or presence we create when we teach students in online environments.
                                                                
                                                                Some educators believe that we “put on” our personas as teachers, while others believe that we should avoid doing so and instead be our natural selves in the classroom. At the K Patricia Cross Academy, we think it is most likely that there are both intentional and unintentional aspects of our teaching personas.
                                                                
                                                                There are some things about ourselves that we don’t change, for example, our ages or physiques. We do, however, make decisions about the level of formality we will use, how we will ask students to address us, and so forth that signal our personalities in many ways. We also convey our personas based upon the choices we make, even prior to entering the classroom, for example by our decisions about what to wear, what we carry with us, and so forth. Our choices send a message to students about who we are as teachers and about how they are to engage with us.
                                                                
                                                                
                                                                
                                                                When we teach online, conveying our personas requires additional thought and effort. We no longer have built-in physical markers, such as appearance, dress, and non-verbal gestures so we have to find new ways of communicating persona. We choose the “virtual” person that the students will know and respond to. There are both philosophical and practical choices we make when developing an online teaching persona, and these differ from the ones we make when we teach onsite.
                                                                
                                                                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? How can we share who we are or want to be as teachers? How can we appear “natural” in a virtual environment?
                                                                
                                                                Make Information about Yourself Available within the Course
                                                                Many Learning Management Systems offer the ability to create a profile. They provide ways to include the selected teacher name, a short bio, a description of interests, upload pictures, favorite links, and so forth. These features can be useful for allowing instructors to present information about ourselves to students. It also can be useful for instructors to create an electronic portfolio/personal website to accompany the course site, which can prove efficient when teaching multiple courses. Sharing information can allow us to showcase what we believe is important as well as to highlight our accomplishments. Following are suggestions that you can use to develop and deliver your online teaching persona.  
                                                                Build in Information about You into the Course Site
                                                                In an online course, you choose what information students see and what information they don’t see. Consider including the following information into your Learning Management System or other course site:
                                                                • Instructor photograph and contact information
                                                                • Instructor bio
                                                                • Instructor avatar—photo or graphic representation
                                                                • Teaching philosophy or description of your rationale for the instructional methods in the course
                                                                Communicate with Students in the Course Regularly
                                                                Instructors have to make a conscious effort toward instructor presence, which is the visibility of the instructor as perceived by the learners. It is the learner’s sense that the instructor is “there,” that there is a real person with whom they are interacting. Instructor immediacy appears directly related to interaction, e.g. the amount of contact through email, discussion, postings, or other. Entering the course regularly and communicating with students frequently is essential to establishing a sense of being there. Making connections with a faculty member can help students understand that there’s a real person there and can also make interactions more personal. Following are suggestions that you can use to communicate your online teaching persona:
                                                                • Welcome e-mail
                                                                • Discussion facilitation
                                                                • Virtual office hours
                                                                • Module intro or content videos
                                                                • Daily or weekly announcements
                                                                • Optional synchronous meetings
                                                                • Feedback on assignments or assessments
                                                                Choose Instructional Activities Where You are Visible and Involved
                                                                While many educators argue that the teacher should step away from the role of “sage on the stage,” and we agree with this, we also note that it is easy to become invisible as a teacher in an online course. Even if you designed the course, it can feel like you are absent and that you have put the course into “set it and forget it” mode if you don’t figure out how to be actively involved in the students’ learning activities. Simply choosing methods where you are involved in facilitating can help students feel your presence. Consider the following techniques:
                                                                Translate That!
                                                                In Translate That!, you pause your lecture and call on a student at random to “translate” the information you just provided into plain English for an imagined audience that you specify.

                                                                View main video here: View Technique →

                                                                View online adaptation here:

                                                                Team Jeopardy
                                                                Team Jeopardy is a game in which student teams take turns selecting a square from a grid that is organized vertically by category and horizontally by difficulty. Each square shows the number of points the team can earn if they answer a question correctly, and more challenging questions have the potential to earn more points.

                                                                View main video here: View Technique →

                                                                View example slides here: Google Slides | PowerPoint

                                                                View online adaptation here:

                                                                Developing and maintaining a recognizable and consistent virtual persona is not an easy task. It requires on-going effort and attention in any given course. In short, we have to continually “be there” in order to establish and communicate persona. To sign up for our newsletter, where you will receive information about new blog posts, click here:

                                                                  Reference:
                                                                  Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(44) "Creating an Engaging Teaching Persona Online" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(34) "creating-a-teaching-persona-online" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-02-02 19:15:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2683" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#9668 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1293) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-10 20:31:32" ["post_content"]=> string(2740) "“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~Albert Einstein Instructors have many important decisions to make about what to teach, how to teach it, when to review, when to move on, and so forth. We are better able to make important instructional decisions when we have good information about whether and how well students have learned to base these decisions on. It’s even better when the data gathering process can also help to improve student learning. Researchers and educators alike have lauded the beneficial outcomes of formative assessment, a type of assessment aimed at gathering data on student learning to provide prompt and frequent feedback during the learning process. Instructors can use the information they glean from formative assessment to improve their teaching because they can see where students are struggling and address the problem immediately. Following are some suggestions for implementing formative assessment:
                                                                  Emphasize learning over grading
                                                                  It’s important to help students focus on the content and skills to be learned, rather than on collecting a grade.
                                                                  Create a cooperative, rather than a competitive, atmosphere
                                                                  Help students understand that you are all working together as a team to learn. If a peer offers constructive criticism, it is an effort to help, not hinder.
                                                                  Focus on quality rather than quantity of work
                                                                  Amount of work is not the same as quality of work, and if students can show they are mastering a skill or concept through a short task, then assign that rather of a longer more complicated one. 
                                                                  Focus your feedback on the process and product
                                                                  Your comments and questions should help students feel confident that they can improve and acknowledge that learning is a process.
                                                                  Keep a running record of how your students are doing
                                                                  Students will appreciate seeing gains over time.
                                                                  Give students second chances to demonstrate success
                                                                  Just because students didn’t demonstrate understanding in the first attempt, it doesn’t mean that they can’t. If you give them multiple chances to document understanding, their confidence will go up, which should help improve their engagement. See the following Cross Academy videos for techniques to check student understanding. " ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Formative Assessment: Checking for Understanding" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "formative-assessment-checking-for-understanding" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1293" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#9667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2195) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 00:17:26" ["post_content"]=> string(10758) "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 a group to respond one way or the other, but at least some of it can be attributed to the concept of community. Establishing community helps a group of learners bond and work well together. Community is particularly important in online courses given the potential for students to feel isolated and alone. When we teach online, community forms and happens differently than when we teach onsite because the connection is mediated by technology. For example, interactions happen predominantly by text rather than physical presence and there are different markers of who has more or less influence in the group. Online, community is not worse than onsite - indeed, some educators argue that connections can be deeper online than onsite – but it is different. The manner in which online community develops, however, has implications for our roles and responsibilities as teachers. It can be challenging to achieve community in an online course and to know whether it has developed, in part because we do not yet have a good sense of what a strong group dynamic looks like in online courses. After all, it can happen under the radar of the course, through private texting and email, for example. If we are not included in the communication loop, we can feel that an online course does not have the same level of community as an onsite one does, even though there may be a vibrant one forming in backchannels. Community is more than participation; it requires moving from participation to engagement, involvement, and action. Thinking through what appeals to us about other communities, whether onsite or online, can provide us with important clues about how to establish community online. There are several strategies we can use to promote community in an online course. 1. Create a Plan for Communication Communication is essential to community, and it is a good idea to model effective communication from the very start of the course. Create a calendar of when you will contact students, individually or as a group. Communicating at the start of each module with announcements or texts can also be beneficial. Touching base before high stakes assignments is also important. A framework of frequent and effective communication is the first step in encouraging community. 2. Establish Social Presence Social presence, or the sense that individuals have that they are interacting with real people, is an important concept for developing community. Several related factors influence social presence. These include immediacy - the psychological distance between communicators; interaction - when actions affect each other; and intimacy - the notion that individuals will adjust their behaviors to maintain equilibrium. To develop and foster social presence, consider the following:
                                                                  • Creating an introductory video and having students do the same; these can be simple smartphone videos where everyone introduces themselves and shares 2-3 facts about themselves.
                                                                  • Giving students reason to come to the course site often.
                                                                  • Letting them share work that represents them.
                                                                  3. Meet in Real-Time  It’s not always possible (or even desirable) to schedule synchronous meetings, but interacting at the same time can encourage community. Students get to know each other, recognize faces and names, and share information. Consider having several synchronous sessions on the same topic, all at different times of the day and week so everyone can schedule one. Alternatively, make the sessions optional. 4. Create Opportunities for Information and Expertise Sharing One thing that draws us to communities is the rich resources that individuals provide. Providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful strategy for helping to develop community. A few options include:
                                                                  • Create study groups for the course. Assign students to small groups. Suggest that they use the learning management system to work together. Doing so can help them learn to work in groups and to make connections with their fellow students.
                                                                  • Include a “relevant resource” section for the course.  Ask students to post information that’s happening in the world that is related to the course content. If students see the importance of the content, they will be more engaged with it. Online articles, essays, YouTube clips, and so forth can add additional value. You can post in this section as well. Consider trying out Contemporary Issues Journals. In Contemporary Issues Journals, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal. Ask students to share their ideas in a central forum.
                                                                  • Create a common space. Instructors can encourage informal interactions by creating a common space such as a student lounge for discussion.
                                                                  5. Use Collaborative Learning Techniques Collaborative learning requires students to work with each other, which can help reduce feelings of isolation. In addition to simply being glad to know that others are in the same boat, many online students appear to value interacting and forming relationships with peers. Getting to know their peers in an online environment can improve students’ overall experience. Online collaborative learning provides a solid foundation on which such relationships may be founded. Consider collaborative learning techniques such as the following: Jigsaw In Jigsaw, students work in small groups to develop knowledge about a given topic before teaching what they have learned to another group. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                                  Paper Seminar Paper Seminar provides a framework for meaningful discussion centered on student work. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                                  TAPPS In Think Aloud Pair Problem Solving, students solve problems aloud to try out their reasoning on a listening peer. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                                  6. Develop Sub-Communities Some online learners may be hesitant to participate or share if there are too many members. Developing sub-communities can help. These smaller groups can provide a more personal experience and connect individuals with similar interests. Separate discussion forums or small groups meeting in break out rooms within videoconference sessions can help. In conclusion, community can be critical to student success and satisfaction in online courses. Instructors can create opportunities for community in the design of the course, the communication, and the activities they include. Creating these opportunities is likely to prove well worth the effort.
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                                                                    Reference: Major, C. H. (2015). Teaching online and instructional change: A guide to theory, research, and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press." ["post_title"]=> string(53) "6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "building-community-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-27 18:31:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2195" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#9666 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2257) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 10:00:25" ["post_content"]=> string(12284) "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 that students have acquired as the result of learning in their courses. When talking about assessment at the course level, we use the term “learning assessment.” When we speak of learning assessment, we mean the actions undertaken by teachers and by students to document student learning in a given course. We recognize that the term “learning assessment” has the potential to be read in different ways. Indeed, the ambiguous modifier was one of the very reasons we selected the term. For us, when we use the phrase “learning assessment,” we mean to comprise the following two meanings as one:
                                                                    • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates that the assessment is part and parcel of the learning process. That is, participating in the assessment also helps the learning itself. This view of assessment is akin to what Wiggins (1998) calls “educative assessment.”
                                                                    • Learning Assessment – This emphasis indicates an appraisal of the quality of learning. Such an appraisal can happen because the learner produces a product that may be appraised and probably graded. Results of the assessment can, therefore, be communicated to students or a host of other stakeholders or interested parties.
                                                                    Thus, the goal of Learning Assessment is to determine whether actual learning outcomes match desired learning outcomes while also improving student learning in the process. Crafting an assessment strategy that informs your teaching, fosters student learning, and provides accurate feedback and measure of student success can be a challenge. When thinking about how to assess student learning in online courses, it is important to consider two main types of assessments: formative assessments and summative assessments, both of which can be learning assessments.
                                                                    Formative Assessments
                                                                    Formative assessments are intended to provide students with an indication of their performance and to give them an opportunity to improve their performance prior to receiving a final grade, either on an assignment or in a course. Formative assessment, then, is done primarily for the purpose of improving teaching and learning. Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross (1993) is a good resource of formative assessment techniques. Famous examples from their book are the “minute paper” and “muddiest point” techniques, which involve collecting information during or just after an instructional activity to gather insight on what students did or did not understand. Defining characteristics of Cross and Angelo’s approach to formative assessment is that the purpose for collecting data is to gain insight on what adjustments in instruction need to be made in order “to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students” (Angelo & Cross, p. 5). Some educators refer to this form of assessment as non-graded assessment or, if it is graded, it is low-stakes grading. This type of assessment can include classroom polls, discussion board responses, homework assignments, and even regular quizzes. Another source of formative assessment activities is our Learning Assessment Techniques book. Sample techniques from this work include the following:
                                                                    • Background Knowledge ProbeA Background Knowledge Probe is a short, simple, focused questionnaire that students fill out at the beginning of a course or start of a new unit that helps teachers identify the best starting point for the class as a whole.

                                                                    View main video here:View Technique →

                                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                                    • Individual Readiness Assurance Tests (IRATs): Individual Readiness Assurance Tests are closed-book quizzes that students complete after an out-of-class reading, video, or other homework assignments.

                                                                    View main video here:View Technique →

                                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                                    • Quick Write:Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                                                                    View main video here: View Technique →

                                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                                    • Contemporary Issues Journal: In a Contemporary Issues Journal, students look for recent events or developments in the real world that are related to their coursework, then analyze these current affairs to identify the connections to course material in entries that they write in a journal.

                                                                    View main video here: View Technique →

                                                                    View online adaptation here:

                                                                    Summative Assessments
                                                                    Summative assessments are intended to measure learning, typically at the end of an instructional module, unit, or course and often involving comparing results against some standard or benchmark. The purpose is to gather evidence that ensures students have accomplished the desired learning. Summative assessments are often higher stakes than formative assessments, meaning that they have a relatively high point or weight value. Examples of summative assessments include a final exam, a final course project, a research paper, or a course portfolio. Following are examples of summative assessments from our Learning Assessment Techniques book:
                                                                    • Triple Jump: A Triple-Jump is a three-step technique that requires students to think through and attempt to solve a real-world problem.
                                                                    • Case Studies: With Case Studies, student teams review a real-life problem scenario in depth. Team members apply course concepts to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to solving the problem.
                                                                    • Class Book: For a Class Book, individual students work together to plan and ultimately submit a scholarly essay or research paper. Then all students’ papers are published together.
                                                                    There are several key elements to consider as you choose a learning assessment technique, including:
                                                                    1.   What is your purpose for assessing student learning? It is important to consider why and for whom you are collecting the data. For example, if you are conducting formative assessment to provide yourself and students with a sense of their progress, then you will want to choose a technique designed for this purpose.
                                                                    2.   How complex of an activity you want to implement? Assessment techniques can vary from simple techniques that require minimum preparation and little effort to implement and evaluate complex techniques that involve considerable effort to employ and evaluate effectively.
                                                                    3.   What kind of product do you want students to produce? Techniques like CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) or LATs (Learning Assessment Techniques) link the learning activity to the production of a learning artifact such as writing, presenting, or creating a product. The technique you select should produce the form or product that you believe will best demonstrate student learning for your course and then your discipline, as this is the product you will ultimately assess and likely grade.
                                                                    Assessment is the way we college teachers can determine the effectiveness of our teaching and the quality of student learning. Our focus is on learning assessment, that is, assessment for and of learningWe can use the information we glean from our assessment efforts for a variety of purposes, including to determine for ourselves how well students in our courses are learning, to provide learners with feedback on their progress, to improve our profession through the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and to provide information to institutional and external stakeholders, but most of all to improve student learning.
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                                                                      Reference: Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Wiley." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Learning Assessment in Online Courses" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "learning-assessment-in-online-courses" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-11 17:26:30" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=2257" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#9665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2179) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_content"]=> string(11234) "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 is essential. Online course design requires a wide range of skills and tools and managing both the design and the technical aspects of the course. A Brief Overview of Online Course Design When engaging in course design, the concept of instructional alignment is useful to consider. Instructional alignment begins with the identification of learning goals. Those goals then direct other decisions, including how you will help students achieve these goals (materials and methods), what tools can best help you help students achieve them (technologies), and how you will know if the goals have been met (assessment). We illustrate the idea of instructional alignment in online courses in the following figure: In this model, one element leads to the next. For example, if you are teaching an English class, you might have a learning goal of critical thinking, with a specific objective that learners will critically evaluate a play. Your learning materials might include the specific play to be evaluated as well as an article or chapter describing a model of critical evaluation. For your learning activities, you might ask learners to read the materials and then practice critical evaluation through Active Reading Documents in which your questions lead students through a critical analysis that prepares them to then write a report on their own. For the technology, you might use a Learning Management System (LMS) and have the materials available within it as well as a downloadable template for the Active Reading Documents. For the assessment, students might write a formal report using the evaluation model to critically evaluate the play. All of these key elements in the instructional alignment model should be determined before an online course goes live. The following are tips related to instructional alignment during course design. 1. Develop Course and Module Learning Goals and Objectives Most of us are familiar with the idea of developing course goals and objectives; after all, we usually have to include course level goals and objectives in every syllabus we create. But not all of us are as familiar with developing goals for specific learning modules. When we teach online, developing, and then displaying more targeted micro-goals for specific modules helps make our learning expectations clear. 2. Use Multiple Media for Learning Materials Traditionally, many of us share content by asking students to read a chapter or article and then we elaborate by presenting additional content through lectures. We can accomplish these forms of sharing content in similar ways online. Many resources are available to present text versions of lectures, and we can also present either synchronous lectures through video conferencing or asynchronous pre-recorded video lectures online. In addition, there are a range of free resources available online, such as pre-recorded videos and free open educational resources (OERs). A mix of media (text, video, audio, graphics) is typically more effective than using only one type because the variety can help keep students more engaged. 3. Choose Appropriate Learning Tasks It is important to think through what students will do in your online course. Common instructional tasks in online courses include the following:
                                                                      • Connect—Activate students’ prior knowledge of the content so that learners can make better connections to new content through an activity such as a Background Knowledge Probe.
                                                                      • Learn/Watch/Read— Provide learners with the new content.
                                                                      • Practice—Implement activities that reinforce their new learning.
                                                                      • Share/Discuss—Enable students to find personal relevance and share their experiences with their peers, perhaps through a discussion thread. Consider for example using a Think-Pair-Share.
                                                                      • Assess—Ask students to demonstrate learning, whether through a quiz, assignment, project, or other.
                                                                      • Reflect— Challenge students to reflect on what they have learned.
                                                                      Aim for having the same kinds of activities due on the same days of the week. If for example, you do a discussion board each week, choose the day when students will post (for example have discussions due on Wednesday and responses due on Friday). If they have an assessment to complete each week, choose a different due day for that activity (for example, have the assessment due on Thursday), and so forth. 4. Humanize the Technology Technology can serve as a mediator between people. A few suggestions for accomplishing this are as follows:
                                                                      • Simplify the NavigationMany Learning Management Systems make choices for you, including what will be in the navigation bar. Think through how students will work their way through the course and what students really need to see in the navigation menu. Unnecessary items can result in overwhelmed students. Providing clarity and ensuring intuitive organization of materials can improve learner satisfaction as well as promoting deeper learning.
                                                                      • Strive for a Humanized Look and FeelThere is a tendency in online courses to use built-in icons and heavy text. Graphics, images, and short videos can create a warmer look and a more human-friendly feel to the course.
                                                                      • Ensure Accessibility—Effective online courses should be accessible to all learners. One way to do this is to make sure courses are “universally designed.” Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is built on the idea that all learning experiences should be purposefully constructed to be “barrier free” and accessible by providing multiple and flexible methods of the following elements:
                                                                        • Presentation of content (e.g., voice-to-text applications, screen readers, digital books).
                                                                        • Alternatives for students to demonstrate what they have learned (e.g., concept mapping).
                                                                        • Engagement to tap into diverse learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn (choices among various scenarios for learning the same competency).
                                                                      5. Include Multiple Learning Assessments While one assessment alone can generate evidence to make decisions about student learning and development, multiple measures encourage more comprehensive and accurate assessment. This benefits not only the students who are learning but also the instructors who are doing the teaching. Consider the following learning artifacts commonly used to assess student learning in online courses.
                                                                      • Discussion Posts
                                                                      • Groupwork Products
                                                                      • Quizzes
                                                                      • Exams
                                                                      • Written or Video Assignments
                                                                      • Digital Projects or Portfolios
                                                                      Consider providing students with choices for assignments, such as what to write about for the assignment or how to respond to a discussion post or even which assignments they will complete. In conclusion, online course design requires concerted time and attention. To summarize some of the key points we have described, we have further developed our instructional alignment figure for online courses as follows: Try incorporating these teaching techniques into your online course design.

                                                                      Background Knowledge Probe

                                                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                                                      Think Pair Share

                                                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                                                      Active Reading Documents

                                                                      View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                                                                        Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and sharing knowledge to solve a  problem.  The defining characteristics of a good brainstorming session are when participants are encouraged to gather ideas spontaneously and to think without interruption.  When done as a group, people typically collectively agree upon a solution after all the ideas are brought forth and discussed, but it can also be done individually. The technique of brainstorming has been around for over 70 years and is often used today to engage students in problem solving.

                                                                        Brainstorming allows students to think critically about ideas and solutions, form connections, and share ideas with peers. The activity allows exploring and expanding a student’s ability to think critically and laterally. As students get actively involved, brainstorming aids the process of learning and improves academic performance.

                                                                        Often, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming; students can freely express their thoughts without fear of failure. Tools used for brainstorming and sharing include: 

                                                                        • Physical writing or drawing tools like paper, posterboard, or whiteboard
                                                                        • Digital writing or drawing tools like Word, Photoshop, or any idea-mapping software
                                                                        • Collaborative tools like Google Hangouts, Google Docs, or Zoom

                                                                        Techniques vary, but there is a general structure to follow when developing brainstorming sessions. After the problem or issue is presented, students are organized into groups to brainstorm all possible ideas that could solve the problem. Discussion of these ideas takes place after the brainstorming session ends, usually after a defined time. Each idea is discussed and considered, some ideas are eliminated, and a final list is ranked for possible use as a solution toward solving the problem.

                                                                        Benefits of Brainstorming

                                                                        Brainstorming in the classroom can motivate students to spontaneously express their ideas and thoughts on a subject. As there are no wrong and right answers, the activity provides students with a platform where they can voice their thoughts without fear of failure. Brainstorming gives the class a chance to tap into their previous knowledge and form connections between the current topic and what they have already learned. It also encourages them to listen and consider others’ ideas, thereby showing respect for their fellow classmates. In addition, brainstorming:

                                                                        • Provides a quick and easy class activity. Brainstorming sessions can be effectively used in the classroom. However, they do require meaningful planning time for ultimate success.
                                                                        • Contributes to classroom collective power. Brainstorming sessions allow individual students’ voices to become one with the group’s voice. The final ideas are generally identified through consensus.
                                                                        • Creates a student-centered activity. Students direct the group in which they generate their own ideas, develop rating criteria, and are responsible for group dynamics.
                                                                        • Supports learning in a relaxed environment. Students can collaborate in a comfortable, informal learning environment.
                                                                        • Strengthens problem-based learning. Brainstorming is a problem-solving activity where students build on or develop higher order thinking skills.
                                                                        • Encourages creative thought. Brainstorming encourages students to think creatively (out of the box), encouraging all students to share their ideas, no matter how far “out there” they may seem.
                                                                         
                                                                        Challenges of Brainstorming

                                                                        While brainstorming has many advantages, it also has some challenges. Following are some challenges with suggestions for mitigating them.

                                                                        • Becoming just a chat session. The instructor should direct the session to keep students on task.
                                                                        • Students in a group setting compete with one another rather than collaborate when generating ideas. The instructor can walk around the room and listen for inappropriate group behavior.
                                                                        • Staying surface-level. The instructor can prompt for deeper, higher order thinking.
                                                                        • Getting “buy-in” or acceptance from those who have participated in brainstorming who have never seen their ideas brought forth and acted upon. The instructor can work with any student who may be in this category and remark on their contribution to them personally, their group, and to the whole class.
                                                                        • Getting quiet or independent students to actively participate. The instructor can explain that as part of this course all students are expected to bend a little which may have them participating in activities that might make them uncomfortable. It is best to avoid forcing.
                                                                        • Helping groups to move forward if they are “stuck” and not able to generate ideas. The instructor can reconvene the group to review the problem or issue or provide an example of a possible solution.
                                                                        • Reaching consensus. Getting students to reach consensus becomes less of a problem if all students are given equal time to provide input, feel like they are a valued member of the group, and are respected for their points-of-view.

                                                                        Brainstorming sessions can be a useful strategy to encourage genuine collaboration and interaction in the classroom. Putting together a well-stated problem and careful planning strategies can lead to meaningful idea generation and idea building which can be used in solving problems or addressing specific course-related issues.

                                                                        Cross Academy Techniques

                                                                        To use brainstorming in your class, try the following techniques:

                                                                        Image

                                                                        Comprehensive Factors List
                                                                        In Comprehensive Factors List, students write all the relevant factors they can think of about a specific topic, drawing from course content and personal experiences.

                                                                        View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                                        Image

                                                                        Quick Write
                                                                        Quick Write is a learning assessment technique where learners respond to an open-ended prompt.

                                                                        View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
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                                                                          References

                                                                          Baumgartner, J. (2005). Key factors to successful brainstorming. http://www.jpb.com/creative/keyfactors.php

                                                                          Baumgartner, J. (n.d.). The complete guide to managing traditional brainstorming events. http://www.jpb.com/creative/brainstorming.pdf

                                                                          Elkenberry, K. (2007). Brainstorming strategies: Seven questions that spur better solutions. https://www.sideroad.com/Meetings/brainstorming-strategies.html

                                                                          Maricopa Community Colleges (2001). Brainstorming. http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/authoring/studio/guidebook/brain.html 

                                                                          Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Brainstorming. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide

                                                                          Storm, J. (2004). 10 deadly brainstorming ruts that kill innovation. https://www.brainstormnetwork.org/articles/10-BrainStorming-Ruts.pdf

                                                                          " ["post_title"]=> string(44) "The Benefits and Challenges of Brainstorming" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(44) "the-benefits-and-challenges-of-brainstorming" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-07 17:38:09" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-02-08 01:38:09" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7157" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#9663 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3677) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 07:00:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-03-10 15:00:03" ["post_content"]=> string(8959) "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 crisis, it can be a challenge for them to focus their care additionally on their studies. As educators, we know there is a strong relationship between caring about learning and quality of learning. As Fink argues, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens” (2013, p. 360). It seems simple common sense that students who really care about what they are learning will invest the time and effort required to learn it well and remember it longer. So how do we help students focus their care on learning, during a crisis, during an age of significant distraction?
                                                                          What Does Caring Mean During a Crisis?
                                                                          When we care about something, we have acquired an affective disposition toward it that combines concern and perhaps even affection: we value it, appreciate it, and anticipate opportunities to encounter it.  “Caring” in education refers to the degree to which students are interested in, or have feelings about, various aspects of their learning, and it can apply to an array of foci that include topic-specific phenomena and ideas, human beings, and the process of learning itself. It means the focusing of consciousness and the narrowing of attention on learning We often know when students care about their learning. If students care about a course, they will show up for it and will invest appropriate time and energy into the learning activities.  If students care about their peers, they will listen actively when others speak and demonstrate compassion and empathy as they develop deeper understanding of another’s perspectives or experiences. If students care about the topic, they will ask pertinent questions and be sufficiently curious to go beyond the minimum class requirements. How does all this work when they simply don’t have the physical stamina, time, cognitive bandwidth, or emotional energy for the learning?
                                                                          How Do We Get Students to Care about Learning during a Crisis?
                                                                          Following are suggestions for promoting caring in college and university courses during a crisis: 1. Acknowledge the Crisis and How You are Addressing It. It will help students to care if they know that you care, too, and that you understand where they are coming from. Tell them how you have adapted the course or activities and explain how you hope they will adapt in turn. 2. Humanize the Course. Particularly if you are teaching online, make sure that you have a warm and inviting space for students. You also need to be there and show your personality. Helping students to make connections with you and with each other builds community in the class and can help students to care more about their own work. Being there and forming that community is likely the most essential element of caring in a time of crisis. 3. Reconsider Rigor. Rigor is important, but be sure that you aren’t focusing excessively on it. It’s important to balance rigor with being supportive of students and their learning during this time. Think through how you can provide a quality learning experience during these unique circumstances. Students are more likely to care if they believe that you aren’t out to prove how tough you and the course are, but instead are doing your best to ensure they learn. 4. Make it Manageable. Provide a clear structure and a clear schedule. Give students challenges that increase in difficulty incrementally. One reason that students fail to care is that they believe that they can't or won’t be successful. One way to negate that is to give them small challenges so they can be successful in completing them and then build difficulty and complexity over time. 5. Stay Positive. There are many things to be negative about right now, but your course, content, and student learning aren’t part of that. You can help ensure that students care by staying positive about the learning. Consider using positive language, for example, talking about what they will gain from the course and how they will use it in the future or when we return to the “new normal.” 6. Provide Students with Choice and Autonomy. Provide students with choices so that they feel more invested. For example, you might let students choose which discussions to participate in, or you might give them options about how to participate, for example by sharing something they have created or by responding to a prompt with an essay. 7. Make sure Tasks are Relevant, Appropriate, and Worthy of Their Attention. Characteristics of a learning task can increase or decrease student caring. For example, consider the following questions: Is the task inherently interesting? Is it important to the students on a personal level? Can they make a connection between the task and their own lived experiences? Is there some novelty to it? Is the purpose clear? Is it important to them? Is it a creative activity? Is there enough time to successfully complete the task?
                                                                          Cross Academy Techniques to Promote Caring
                                                                          Consider the following techniques that promote caring and also provide students with ways to demonstrate caring about the topic or their learning: Three-Minute Message: 3-Minute Messages are modeled on the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) academic competition, in which students have three minutes to present a compelling argument and to support it with convincing details and examples. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                                          Briefing Paper: In a Briefing Paper, students research a current problem of their choice, summarize the main issues, and present solutions to a specific audience. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
                                                                          What? So What? Now What? Journals: In What? So What? Now What? Journals, students reflect on their recent course-related activities as they respond to each prompt in a journal entry. View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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                                                                            Humans are more likely to remember information that is patterned in a logical and familiar way. Furthermore, the act of organizing information is a helpful aid to human memory (Bailey & Pransky, 2014; Sprenger, 2002; Tileston, 2004). It is no surprise, then, that organizing information is a useful skill for students as well as an activity that can help to deepen learning. Finding and understanding patterns is crucial to critical thinking and problem solving. Struggling students may find it helpful to organize information in a problem because it requires them to think more deeply about each piece of information and how those pieces fit together.

                                                                            Instructional strategies that involve organizing information have been used in higher education to promote learning for decades. They were brought to the fore of teaching and learning primarily through the cognitive theories of American psychologist David Ausubel. Ausubel (1968) argued that the human mind organizes ideas and information in a logical schema, and that people learn when they integrate new information into their existing schemata. Ausubel advised that teachers can help students arrange new information in meaningful ways by providing them with an organizing structure. Interest in information organizers has gained popularity recently, as they help direct students’ attention to important information by recalling relevant prior knowledge and highlighting relationships (Woolfolk et al., 2010).

                                                                            How Does Organization Improve Learning?

                                                                            Careful design, creation, and implementation of activities that require students to organize information can provide important intellectual guardrails to guide students toward deeper understanding and learning. When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start. Instead of the brain having to make sense of and organize content, it can focus on memory retention (Tileston, 2004). Such activities provide students with a means to categorize cumbersome amounts of information, introduce a more refined lens to analyze a complex text, and enable students to recognize patterns and compare perspectives. However, organizing activities, depending on how they are structured, can have the unintended consequence of limiting students’ thinking to just filling in the boxes. They may allow students to avoid the messy but important work of surfacing key insights or conceptual understanding.

                                                                            When instructors provide students with logically organized content, they essentially give students’ brains a head start.

                                                                            Good teachers help students organize information and make connections among concepts they are learning. When students organize information and think about how ideas are related, they process information deeply and engage in elaboration. Understanding and retaining content are facilitated. Organizing information increases the likelihood that students will make sense of it and that it will transfer from working memory to permanent memory, where it can be used by students in the present and in the future. Students arrange information hierarchically, categorically, sequentially, or in other ways. They discover and depict the overall structure of the material as well as identify how discrete pieces of information fit together. They organize and reorganize generalizations, principles, concepts, and facts. They explain their thinking to partners or groups and listen to alternative perspectives.

                                                                            Many of the strategies can also be used as pre- and post-assessments to determine what students already know and what they have learned. However, in our view, their primary purposes are to help students understand and remember the content, and so we describe them with those purposes in mind. When students organize information, they:

                                                                            • Distinguish between major ideas and important details.
                                                                            • Identify superordinate, subordinate, and parallel ideas.
                                                                            • Consider similarities and differences.
                                                                            • Analyze critical features.
                                                                            • Categorize information.
                                                                            • Discuss their thinking about how information is organized with peers.
                                                                            Strategies for Facilitating Organization

                                                                            Four strategies in particular help students organize and pattern information. They include:

                                                                            • Previewing Content: This helps students mentally prepare for what will be coming next in the instruction.
                                                                            • Connecting Prior Knowledge: This helps create neural connections between new and previously learned content.
                                                                            • Using graphic Organizers: This provides students with a visual, organized representation of the content.
                                                                            • Sequencing Logically: This helps break up content into amounts that the brain can manage.

                                                                            Teachers need to strive to change their thinking from planning lessons, to planning for learning (Jensen, 1995; Tileston, 2004). Being a content and strategy expert is important, but is of little worth if students can’t remember anything from a lesson. A teacher who effectively organizes information for students helps them improve their memory retention.

                                                                            Cross Academy Techniques

                                                                            To help students organize information in your courses, consider the following Cross Academy Techniques:

                                                                            Image

                                                                            Advance Organizers
                                                                            An Advance Organizer is a tool that professors can present to students prior to a lecture to help them structure the information they are about to learn.

                                                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                                            Image

                                                                            Group Grid
                                                                            In Group Grid, group members are given pieces of information and asked to place them in the blank cells of a grid according to category rubrics, which helps them clarify conceptual categories and develop sorting skills.

                                                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                                            Teaching Technique 38 - Affinity Grouping

                                                                            Affinity Grouping
                                                                            In Affinity Grouping, individual students generate ideas and identify common themes. Then, students form groups to sort and organize the ideas accordingly.

                                                                            View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                                             
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                                                                              References

                                                                              Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational psychology:  A cognitive view. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

                                                                              Bailey, F. & Pransky, K. (2014). Memory at work in the classroom: Strategies to help underachieving students. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                                                              Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

                                                                              Sprenger, R. (2004). Trust: The best way to manage. Cyan Books.

                                                                              Tileston, D. W. (2004). What every teacher should know about learning, memory, and the brain. Corwin Press.

                                                                              Woolfolk, A. (2010). Educational psychology (11th ed.). Merrill.

                                                                              " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "4 Strategies to Help Students Organize Information" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "4-strategies-to-help-students-organize-information" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-02-28 16:45:39" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-03-01 00:45:39" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=7564" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#9661 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1286) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-01-06 19:11:53" ["post_content"]=> string(3855) "“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Anonymous Most of us chose careers in academia because we care deeply about our disciplines or fields. It can be discouraging, therefore, to face students whose indifference to our courses is palpable. Yet caring is an essential element of their learning. As Fink suggests, “When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens.” Certainly, common sense and our own experience as teachers suggest that students who really care about what they are learning to invest the time and effort to learn it well and remember it longer. There is no easy way to get students to care. We offer some suggestions for your consideration:
                                                                              Be a Role Model For Caring
                                                                              Students tend to respond to the level of energy and enthusiasm that you generate in kind. If you demonstrate that you are passionate about your subject and about teaching, as well as their learning, your students are more likely to connect with you and with the content and to strive to do their best.
                                                                              Care About the Students
                                                                              Most students will be motivated if they believe you care about them. Indeed, caring about the students as individuals is critical to their success as well as to their satisfaction with the course and with your teaching. Getting to know them is helpful on this front, as you can then target instruction to student background and interests.
                                                                              Set High Expectations
                                                                              Research is fairly clear that students appreciate it when a teacher has high expectations for them and hold them to it. In short, when they are expected to learn more and perform better, they often do. Students often perform in ways that their teachers expect.
                                                                              Give Students Ownership in the Content and Process
                                                                              If students have some flexibility in what they study and how they study it, they are more likely to care about both aspects. For example, if they choose paper and project topics that most interest them, and if they have some decision about the assessment (tests, papers, projects, posters, presentations), they have more control over how they develop understanding and how they demonstrate it to you. Control often leads to caring in this circumstance.
                                                                              Encourage Students to Connect Content to Their Lives/the Outside World
                                                                              Oftentimes to students, our courses can seem completely disconnected from their lived experiences. We can find ways to make connections more transparent. When they have the opportunity to see that content is important and relevant to them, they tend to care more.
                                                                              Choose Assignments That are at the Appropriate Target Level
                                                                              Students need to have assignments that are challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult that they feel dazed, confused, and helpless. You can design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class.
                                                                              Place Appropriate Emphasis on Testing and Grading
                                                                              Graded items can create incentives or disincentives. You can strive for assessments that show students what they have mastered, rather than what they have not. College teachers can help promote students caring. For information about active learning techniques that promote caring, see our videos for the following techniques: " ["post_title"]=> string(45) "Getting Students to Care About Their Learning" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "getting-students-to-care-about-their-learning" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-04-23 17:37:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(33) "http://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=1286" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#9314 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5711) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 04:30:55" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-07 12:30:55" ["post_content"]=> string(9955) "

                                                                              “Is this going to be on the test?” 

                                                                              Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?

                                                                              Simply jotting down stray data points that may nor may not be included on an upcoming exam may help with rote memorization and review but may not lead to long-term retention.

                                                                              The importance of note-taking is generally recognized by higher-education faculty. It keeps students engaged and focused, helping them to translate and adapt new information in their own words. Good note-taking is a skill that we must nurture and develop in our students, however.

                                                                              There is nearly a century’s worth of research regarding the relationship between student learning and student note-taking during lectures.  It indicates that students who understand how to take good notes benefit from doing so, and those who do not take notes are disadvantaged. A few of the key takeaways from the existing research are outlined below. 

                                                                               

                                                                              Note-Taking Works

                                                                              The benefits of note-taking were realized nearly 100 years ago.  Crawford studied in 1925 whether note-taking improved college students’ performance on quizzes.  He determined that students who took notes performed better, that reviewing notes before a quiz was essential for success, and that effective organization of notes improved students’ test scores.

                                                                              In the years since, other studies have corroborated Crawford’s conclusions in a number of ways. For instance, studies indicate that note-taking improves student learning during lectures and while reading (Kiewra, 2002; Chang & Ku, 2014).

                                                                              Students learn more when they take notes than when they do not. The effort required to make notes encodes the information into terms or images that create new pathways to store the information in the brain’s long-term memory. Additionally, having a physical or digital copy of the information provides students an opportunity to revisit and review the content later. 

                                                                              Teaching Students Specific Note-Taking Strategies Can Improve Their Learning

                                                                              Some students enter the classroom with a sense of what material should be included in notes,  but for most students, taking time to teach them how to take notes – particularly using appropriate teaching techniques – can greatly enhance the quality of students’ notes and how much students learn and retain from their efforts (Boyle, 2013; Rahmani & Sadeghi, 2011). This is true for all students, but particularly those with learning disabilities. 

                                                                              The Use of Visuals in Notes Improves Student Learning

                                                                              Wammes, Meade, & Fernandes (2016) examined the use of drawing and illustrations in note-taking and found that, compared to writing alone, the act of drawing and diagramming key information and ideas can influence student learning and retention. 

                                                                              Revising, Collaborating with Peers, And Pausing During Note-Taking Positively Affects Learning

                                                                              Students who are offered the chance to revise, rewrite, or add to their notes retain more material. If educators integrate specific pauses into their lectures or class activities for students to make revisions and updates to their notes, the students better retain the material and have better notes to revisit at a later time. And if students collaborate on revising their notes with classmates, they develop a more complete set of notes and perform better on tests (Luo, Kiewra, & Samuelson, 2016). 

                                                                              Scaffolding Note-Taking Helps Students Learn

                                                                              Haydon, Mancil, Kroeger, McLeskey, & Lin (2011) determined that teachers can help their students take better notes by building note-taking scaffolds into their lesson plans. For instance, providing students with a partially completed guided note document or writing visual cues on the board can help students determine what should be retained in notes. 

                                                                              Taking Notes on Laptops May Require Different Strategies from Handwritten Notes

                                                                              While some research indicates that handwritten notes better serve students than notes taken on a laptop (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014; Carter, Greenberg, & Walker, 2017), other studies have suggested there’s no substantive difference between students taking notes on paper or their computers (Artz, Johnson, Robson, & Taengnoi, 2017). However, one study suggests that digital note-taking may require different strategies. Wu & Xie (2018) found that, when completing online research, students who took notes using a matrix and who had enforced time limits were less distracted by irrelevant online content than their peers.

                                                                              Instructor-Provided Notes Improve Learning

                                                                              Kiewra (1985) found that when teachers provide students with complete, well-written notes to supplement their own notes, they learn much more than they do based on their notes alone. 

                                                                              In sum, the research suggests that we can do much more to help our students take effective notes than simply answering their “Is this going to be on the test?” question. Effective teachers can help students stay engaged and attentive, while taking notes and can ease the cognitive load on their working memory so that students better understand the material.

                                                                              Cross Academy Techniques

                                                                              Consider the following Cross Academy Techniques to help your students improve their note-taking skills:

                                                                              Image

                                                                              Guided Notes
                                                                              Provide students with a partially completed set of notes that they will fill out during a class lecture, drawing their focus to key topics. 

                                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                                              Image

                                                                              Cued Notes
                                                                              Offer students a note-taking template to prompt them to listen for a cue that you provide and then take notes during the segment related to the cue. Then ask your students to summarize the full lecture.

                                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                                              Image

                                                                              Note-Taking Pairs
                                                                              Divide students into partners who will work together to improve their notes.

                                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation
                                                                              Image

                                                                              Sketch Notes
                                                                              Ask students to supplement their handwritten notes with illustrative elements such as lines, arrows, drawings, stars, and boxes to show how concepts relate to each other.

                                                                              View Main Video | View Online Adaptation

                                                                              References

                                                                              Artz, B., Johnson, M., Robson, D., & Taengnoi, S. (2017). Note-taking in the digital age: Evidence from classroom random control trials. The Journal of Economic Education, 51(20), 103-115.  

                                                                              Boyle, J. R. (2013). Strategic note-taking for inclusive middle school science classrooms. Remedial and Special Education, 34(2), 78-90. 

                                                                              Carter, S. P., Greenberg, K., & Walker, M. S. (2017). The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy. Economics of Education Review, 56, 118-132.

                                                                              Chang, W., & Ku, Y. (2014). The effects of note-taking skills instruction on elementary students’ reading. The Journal of Educational Research, 108(4), 278–291. 

                                                                              Crawford, C. C. (1925). The correlation between college lecture notes and quiz papers. Journal of Educational Research, 12, 282-291.

                                                                              Haydon, T., Mancil, G.R.,  Kroeger, S.D., McLeskey, J., & Lin, W.J. (2011). A review of the effectiveness of guided notes for students who struggle learning academic content. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 55(4), 226-231. 

                                                                              Kiewra, K.A. (1985). Providing the instructor’s notes: an effective addition to student note-taking. Educational Psychologist, 20(1), 33-39. 

                                                                              Kiewra, K.A. (2002). How classroom teachers can help students learn and teach them how to learn. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 71-80. 

                                                                              Luo, L., Kiewra, K.A. & Samuelson, L. (2016). Revising lecture notes: how revision, pauses, and partners affect note taking and achievement. Instructional Science, 44(1). 45-67. 

                                                                              Mueller, P.A., & Oppenheimer, D.M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159-1168. 

                                                                              Wammes, J.D., Meade, M.E., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(9). 

                                                                              Wu, J. Y., & Xie, C. (2018). Using time pressure and note-taking to prevent digital distraction behavior and enhance online search performance: Perspectives from the load theory of attention and cognitive control. Computers in Human Behavior, 88, 244-254. 

                                                                              " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "Tips to Encourage Better Note-Taking in Your Class" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(207) "“Is this going to be on the test?”  Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(50) "tips-to-encourage-better-note-taking-in-your-class" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 00:18:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-12-08 08:18:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://kpcrossacademy.org/?p=5711" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(10) ["current_post"]=> int(4) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(true) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#9665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2179) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-07-08 01:39:18" ["post_content"]=> string(11234) "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 is essential. Online course design requires a wide range of skills and tools and managing both the design and the technical aspects of the course. A Brief Overview of Online Course Design When engaging in course design, the concept of instructional alignment is useful to consider. Instructional alignment begins with the identification of learning goals. Those goals then direct other decisions, including how you will help students achieve these goals (materials and methods), what tools can best help you help students achieve them (technologies), and how you will know if the goals have been met (assessment). We illustrate the idea of instructional alignment in online courses in the following figure: In this model, one element leads to the next. For example, if you are teaching an English class, you might have a learning goal of critical thinking, with a specific objective that learners will critically evaluate a play. Your learning materials might include the specific play to be evaluated as well as an article or chapter describing a model of critical evaluation. For your learning activities, you might ask learners to read the materials and then practice critical evaluation through Active Reading Documents in which your questions lead students through a critical analysis that prepares them to then write a report on their own. For the technology, you might use a Learning Management System (LMS) and have the materials available within it as well as a downloadable template for the Active Reading Documents. For the assessment, students might write a formal report using the evaluation model to critically evaluate the play. All of these key elements in the instructional alignment model should be determined before an online course goes live. The following are tips related to instructional alignment during course design. 1. Develop Course and Module Learning Goals and Objectives Most of us are familiar with the idea of developing course goals and objectives; after all, we usually have to include course level goals and objectives in every syllabus we create. But not all of us are as familiar with developing goals for specific learning modules. When we teach online, developing, and then displaying more targeted micro-goals for specific modules helps make our learning expectations clear. 2. Use Multiple Media for Learning Materials Traditionally, many of us share content by asking students to read a chapter or article and then we elaborate by presenting additional content through lectures. We can accomplish these forms of sharing content in similar ways online. Many resources are available to present text versions of lectures, and we can also present either synchronous lectures through video conferencing or asynchronous pre-recorded video lectures online. In addition, there are a range of free resources available online, such as pre-recorded videos and free open educational resources (OERs). A mix of media (text, video, audio, graphics) is typically more effective than using only one type because the variety can help keep students more engaged. 3. Choose Appropriate Learning Tasks It is important to think through what students will do in your online course. Common instructional tasks in online courses include the following:
                                                                              • Connect—Activate students’ prior knowledge of the content so that learners can make better connections to new content through an activity such as a Background Knowledge Probe.
                                                                              • Learn/Watch/Read— Provide learners with the new content.
                                                                              • Practice—Implement activities that reinforce their new learning.
                                                                              • Share/Discuss—Enable students to find personal relevance and share their experiences with their peers, perhaps through a discussion thread. Consider for example using a Think-Pair-Share.
                                                                              • Assess—Ask students to demonstrate learning, whether through a quiz, assignment, project, or other.
                                                                              • Reflect— Challenge students to reflect on what they have learned.
                                                                              Aim for having the same kinds of activities due on the same days of the week. If for example, you do a discussion board each week, choose the day when students will post (for example have discussions due on Wednesday and responses due on Friday). If they have an assessment to complete each week, choose a different due day for that activity (for example, have the assessment due on Thursday), and so forth. 4. Humanize the Technology Technology can serve as a mediator between people. A few suggestions for accomplishing this are as follows:
                                                                              • Simplify the NavigationMany Learning Management Systems make choices for you, including what will be in the navigation bar. Think through how students will work their way through the course and what students really need to see in the navigation menu. Unnecessary items can result in overwhelmed students. Providing clarity and ensuring intuitive organization of materials can improve learner satisfaction as well as promoting deeper learning.
                                                                              • Strive for a Humanized Look and FeelThere is a tendency in online courses to use built-in icons and heavy text. Graphics, images, and short videos can create a warmer look and a more human-friendly feel to the course.
                                                                              • Ensure Accessibility—Effective online courses should be accessible to all learners. One way to do this is to make sure courses are “universally designed.” Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is built on the idea that all learning experiences should be purposefully constructed to be “barrier free” and accessible by providing multiple and flexible methods of the following elements:
                                                                                • Presentation of content (e.g., voice-to-text applications, screen readers, digital books).
                                                                                • Alternatives for students to demonstrate what they have learned (e.g., concept mapping).
                                                                                • Engagement to tap into diverse learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn (choices among various scenarios for learning the same competency).
                                                                              5. Include Multiple Learning Assessments While one assessment alone can generate evidence to make decisions about student learning and development, multiple measures encourage more comprehensive and accurate assessment. This benefits not only the students who are learning but also the instructors who are doing the teaching. Consider the following learning artifacts commonly used to assess student learning in online courses.
                                                                              • Discussion Posts
                                                                              • Groupwork Products
                                                                              • Quizzes
                                                                              • Exams
                                                                              • Written or Video Assignments
                                                                              • Digital Projects or Portfolios
                                                                              Consider providing students with choices for assignments, such as what to write about for the assignment or how to respond to a discussion post or even which assignments they will complete. In conclusion, online course design requires concerted time and attention. To summarize some of the key points we have described, we have further developed our instructional alignment figure for online courses as follows: Try incorporating these teaching techniques into your online course design.

                                                                              Background Knowledge Probe

                                                                              View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                                                              Think Pair Share

                                                                              View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:

                                                                              Active Reading Documents

                                                                              View main video here: View Technique → View online adaptation here:
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