Putting Current Events in the Classroom

Figure with bullhorn next to bold text: "Engage" to signify that instructors should incorporate currents events in their lessons As instructional designers, we spend weeks or months working with subject matter experts and programs to ensure that courses have everything students need. We work on alignment and learning outcomes, and we carefully construct modules so that the content is current, robust, and presented in the clearest way possible. What happens though, when a portion of the course content is affected by current events? For example: What if the person or company, featured in a case study, suddenly faces serious allegations while the course is still live? Or worse yet, the content itself could become irrelevant or unusable. In these cases, students need to understand what is happening, and why. Adding Current Events to the Curriculum If you find yourself… Read more >>
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Fostering Growth Mindset in Grad Students

Thought bubble with idea “People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are set in stone – they have a certain amount of intelligence and nothing will change that. The opposite of this is the growth mindset – people see their qualities as things that they can develop through effort and practice” (Gallagher, 2014, their emphasis). According to Carol Dweck, Growth Mindset is something anyone can have. Realizing the importance and weight of this mindset practice, many K-12 educators are actively incorporating mindset lessons into their curriculum. But what about graduate students? Because they’re more advanced, it’s easy to assume that graduate students have already mastered the growth mindset. But that may not be true. Graduate students are not immune to having a… Read more >>
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Webinar: Fostering Instructor Presence

Webinar Series Last week we gave a webinar on fostering instructor presence using announcements, discussion, and feedback. The panelists were Becky Christian, Christine Baumgarthuber and myself. We had a good time, and those in attendance asked good questions of us. We’re happy to present the recording of that webinar here, today.
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The first week of your course - Webinar

Webinar Series We know that courses start for the instructor days before they start for the students and that those few days both before and after the beginning of a term can be spent wisely to make the next eight or sixteen weeks as efficient and enjoyable as possible. So, we put together this webinar detailing steps to take in the first week of your course to make the rest of the course as successful as possible:   In the video, we mention both a supplemental tools and tutorials doc and a supplemental outline doc. Additionally, you may find the notes we used for the presentation useful. Do you have a process for getting ready for and managing the first days… Read more >>
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Using Course Announcements to Maximize Instructor Presence

Course Announcements Research shows that online students appreciate a strong instructor presence. Online instructors who leave regular digital footprints in their classes show that they are actively engaged and committed to supporting student success. In addition to discussion boards and assignment feedback, course announcements provide an excellent opportunity for instructors to maximize their online presence while also sharing important course information. Personalize Your Space Let your students know that you are more than words on a digital page. While you want to be professional, you also want to be approachable. Use an early course announcement to introduce yourself and to let your students know that you are there to support their learning. Since you are an expert in your subject, you may… Read more >>
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