Live Online Workshops
The Learning House offers synchronous workshops on a variety of topics on a monthly basis. These are delivered through Adobe Connect, and faculty are asked to consume a small amount of material on our Center for Teaching and Learning website prior to the live session, allowing more interactivity and less lecture.
Below is the calendar of workshops for 2018:
Student Motivation and Engagement
Thursday 15 March 2018, 1-2 PM ET
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All faculty want their students to feel both motivated to succeed and engaged. This session explores how motivation affects learning, breaks motivation down to its essential components, and presents strategies for how to foster motivation and engagement in students. But it’s not enough to just nurture students’ goal-directed behaviors; students need to have numerous opportunities to engage with each other, the course content, and the instructor to ensure the course remains relevant and interactive. As such, participants will examine theories and effective examples of how to promote engagement to ensure maintenance of their students’ motivation throughout their online courses.
Feedback and Practice
Wednesday 18 April 2018, 1-2 PM ET
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Delivering effective feedback is obviously crucial to your students’ development of skills and knowledge, and is particularly important for creating a sense of instructor presence in online courses. But how can you know that your feedback is helpful, and in the service of your learning objectives? How do you ensure that students have adequate opportunities to implement recommendations you provide them in your feedback? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you maximize the impact of your feedback while minimizing your time spent grading? In our session, we’ll address all of these questions and more.
One of the inherent challenges in online education is the geographical distance between the students and the instructor, and between the students themselves. Whereas face-to-face education easily allows instructors to establish their personality and expertise, efforts to do so in an online environment must be explicit and deliberate. Without any sense of instructor presence in an online course, it’s easy for students to feel isolated, giving the impression that the course is merely a list of materials and assessments to complete, which can hamper motivation, engagement, satisfaction, and, in some cases, retention. This session explores the three kinds of presence that are important for instructors to create, and offers strategies on how to do so.
The use of open educational resources has been a growing trend, particularly for online programs. With the enormous rise of the cost of textbooks within the past 30 years due to a variety of factors, students and faculty alike have been in search of no-cost alternatives whose quality is as good or better than traditional publisher-based materials. In addition to saving cost, however, the use of OERs also helps faculty chunk their material (a pedagogical best practice) and create more individualized courses. In this workshop, we’ll explore the rise of OERs, both as repositories of materials as well as the embodiment of a general movement to lower the cost of – and thus the barrier to – higher education.
It’s important to understand that “engagement” involves three types of student interaction: with each other, with course content, and with instructors. Discussion forums offer a unique opportunity to hit all three areas, offering rich opportunities for faculty to enhance engagement, promote deep learning, and build community. As such, they’re one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of an instructor of an asynchronous online course. In this session, participants will learn about the affordances of online discussion forums and encounter strategies to incorporate them into their online courses.
Using video in an online course seems like a natural choice. It allows you to deliver content as you might have in a face-to-face environment, expose students to your personality and passion, and reuse the assets you create. But how difficult is it to put together a truly effective educational video? What equipment do you need? When is it best to use video? How does the use of video affect learning? In this session, we’ll address these questions, in addition to exploring the neuroscience behind information processing, best practices in designing visual aids, and accessibility considerations.
Budgeting time to create a high-quality, instructionally aligned course can be challenging given all the competing demands on a faculty member’s time. In this session, participants will encounter a scalable process informed by research-based best practices for mapping their online course using measurable objectives that align with carefully selected assessments and instructional materials. By the end of the workshop, participants will develop the start of their own course map and have the opportunity to discusses strategies and challenges with their peers.
Rubrics have a wide variety of benefits in an online course: they make your expectations clear on assignments, speed up grading, reduce students’ grade complaints, and facilitate the teaching of your course by others. In this session, participants will learn about the benefits of rubrics both to instructors and to students and will also hear about a 4-step process for developing their own.
Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Thursday 15 November 2018, 1-2 PM ET
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When designing an online course, you always need to consider the variety of students that you’ll be teaching. Leveraging a basic style guide, you can produce instructional materials that will address the needs of students with most disabilities, be they visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive, and also help protect you from possible legal actions. But good course design practices aren’t merely about designing for the needs of the disabled, but, more broadly, providing options for your instructional materials and flexibility in your assessment instructions that can address both disabilities as well as learning preferences. In this session, we’ll explore what the law dictates about the design of online courses and discuss how designing your course with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in mind can help you kill two birds with one stone.
Building Community in an Online Environment
Thursday 13 December 2018, 1-2 PM ET
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One of the most obvious differences between online and residential education is the physical and temporal presence that the latter enables. What may be less obvious, however, is the strong role that presence can play when it comes to motivation and academic integrity, and ultimately how social interaction can enable and enhance deep learning. In this workshop, we’ll explore how the three types of presence (instructor, social, and cognitive) can be leveraged in the service of building a virtual learning community. We’ll also discuss both the benefits of such an endeavor in addition to specific strategies instructors can use in their attempt to overcome the geographic and psychological distance between them and their online students.
If you are interested in any of these workshops, you can sign up for a workshop now!