online learning

Your Feedback & Experiences: Teaching Online

Today, the feedback we share focuses on readers’ experiences and best practices for teaching and learning online — a topic we address frequently on the blog. We hope you’ll gain insight from their ideas, and feel inspired to share your own best practices. Do you teach online? Would you like to discuss your thoughts or experiences? Add your comments below, or send them to [email protected].   I’ve migrated two F2F [face-to-face] classes to the online format, and I’m in the process of creating another. My basic philosophy is that students should not have MORE work to do in an online Read More…


Higher-Quality Written Assignments: The Role of Artificial Intelligence

An Interview with Erin Joyner, VP and General Manager, and Jason Fremder, Senior Product Manager, Cengage Learning. It has long been recognized by educators and employers that good written communication skills play a critical role in academic and career success. Eleven years ago, the College Board founded the National Commission on Writing to focus national attention on the importance of good writing skills and to help increase funding for programs that help students and job-seekers build their skills. Several years ago, Erin Joyner realized that Cengage Learning needed to provide a technology-based solution to instructors who wanted to increase their students’ opportunities to practice Read More…


Resources that Facilitate Mastery and Engagement in Chemistry Courses

An Interview with OWL Team Member William Vining, PhD. If you studied or taught Chemistry in high school or college back in the 1970’s, 1980’s, or earlier, you probably remember homework assignments that required hand drawings of molecules and hand-written responses. By the time the homework had been graded and handed back to students, particularly if the class size was large, the class had moved on to another topic. Because of the lag time, the professor’s feedback could not be easily used to help the student master a set of concepts before the class had moved on to a more Read More…


How to Inspire Engagement and Manage Disengagement

Advances in technology have obviously had great impact on the field of education. You may find that some of those effects have been positive — for example, you have access to new tools to reach and engage with your students. On the other hand, some may be more negative — perhaps your students sometimes become distracted by their smartphones or other devices during class and disengage from learning. In either event, the fact remains that this shift is here to stay and will expand in years to come. In this video, Stan Gully, co-author of Organizational Behavior: Tools Read More…


Online Learning and Assessment in Math Courses

An interview with Gary Whalen, Editor, Pre-calculus & College Algebra, Cengage Learning.  Do you remember your very first college math class? If you graduated from college more than 15 years ago, you probably used a calculator to complete your course work, along with scratch paper and a lot of pencils. And if you were working on Calculus homework late at night and reached an impasse, there was no one to call for hints or direction. If the course was a 6- or 8-week summer course, the issue was compounded by the fact that you did not have much time Read More…


Getting Students Up To Speed on Your Online Course — Quickly

It’s critical to make sure that your students know the important administrative details associated with your course. However, it’s also imperative that you devote as much class time as possible to your course content. In the summer (or in any abbreviated course), it’s especially noticeable, as the number of course sessions and the time you have with your students is much more compact than it is during a standard term. When you’re teaching online, students also must become accustomed to the setup of your your course’s Learning Management System (LMS). During these shorter summer sessions, you’re likely seeking Read More…


Applying Gamification to Education

For the past several years, the category of “Game-Based Learning” has appeared in the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report: Higher Education Edition, classified as a set of trends to watch in the two-to-three year horizon. In the 2013 edition of this report, the category was renamed to be “Games and Gamification.” Several weeks ago, this blog featured a number of posts on the use of games in education, clearly a hot topic, as evidenced by the number of readers who have accessed these articles since the original post dates. As the Horizon Report points out, games and gamification are not Read More…


Beyond eTextbooks

Over the past several years, publishers and educational technology companies have increased their focus on creating tools to help improve student outcomes in individual courses, overall rates of student retention, and graduation rates. At the same time, there has been a focus on lowering the overall cost of education. One component of that equation is minimizing the time-to-graduation, a goal which can be accomplished by increasing the level of student preparedness and/or ensuring successful completion in remedial or college-level courses; another is decreasing the overall cost of materials. The tools and technologies that have emerged over the past few Read More…


The New Rules of LMS Content Integration

On campuses around the country—both physical and virtual—more and more instructors are being asked to increase course loads and to manage their workloads with fewer administrative resources. Driven by decreases in government and donor funding and increases in tuition discount rates, administrators have been forced to reduce the number of full-time teaching positions. At the same time, instructors are being asked to adopt new or expanded outcomes-based policies and assessments, to redesign courses, and to move more of their sections online. It is no wonder that many of them are looking for ways to streamline the course preparation Read More…


Online Quizzing to Promote Learning: A Formative Assessment Approach

As faculty, we spend countless hours deciding how to assess whether or not students achieve our learning outcomes for the course. The most common assessment approach is testing, and this can be a very effective and efficient way to assess the level of learning that took place. This approach of measuring ultimate achievement levels is considered summative assessment. However, the value of testing goes above and beyond this traditional use. There has been a significant body of research that shows that testing is a MEMORY tool. For instance, Karpicke and Roediger (2006) conducted research that showed that students who Read More…