Three simple strategies to bring new life to discussion boards

The amount of participation and interaction students experience in their online courses is highly correlated with success.  This can be challenging to keep up with as an online instructor, especially as the semester is in full swing with grading, teaching, service, and more vying for time.  Fortunately, discussion boards can leverage technology's ability to connect …

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What does persistence and resilience look like at Ferris?

Local area schools are at a record 20+ snow days and many parts of Michigan were declared a "State of Emergency" in the last month.  Nothing like a good "Snownado" or "Thundersnow" followed by a full-on blizzard to start your week off! Rather than share ideas on improving how we teach or strategies to incorporate …

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Teach like a dog: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

5:51am     Manton Consolidated Schools will be closed due to the impending storm...My first thought (like many humans), an hour extra sleep!  I'll work from home rather than risk the 55 mile drive to work.6:45am     Gypsy, my dog, expressed different thoughts. "Mom, mom, time to get up for our walk!  We are going, right?  …

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Teach Technology, Teach Democracy

There is more to the digital divide than simple ideas of those with technology and those without (DiMaggio, P. & Hargittai, E., 2001; Warschauer, 2003), or conceptions of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants (Prensky, 2001).  If those of us in education do not teach how technology is used to communicate information, we inadvertently become assistants …

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Using Social Media to Foster Class Culture and a Sense of Community in Online Courses

Building a sense of community and reflecting university culture in online courses is a consistent challenge for higher education faculty. Although it’s clear that student-faculty interactions both in and out of the classroom enhance student learning experiences and success in college (Astin, 1993; Pascarella, 1980; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005), faculty often struggle with replicating …

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What’s all the Fuss About Feedback?

Last week’s “Engaged!” article discussed how instructors can “show up” to class online by providing and receiving feedback. Why is feedback so important? Feedback could be considered a dialogue, interaction, or a communication process to gather information. The practical purpose of communication is to get others to behave the way we want. If your students …

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Have you engaged your students today?

“Are you there, prof?  It’s me, online student.” When teaching face-to-face (f2f) classes, engaging our students and letting them know we care about their learning is simple.  We show up early for our classes, stay late, offer office hours, look them in the eye and talk to them.  Showing up when teaching online courses is …

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