First impressions matter! Check out this brief video for some tips to getting your online class off to the right start.
Good assignments for online classes share many of the same qualities as good assignments for on-campus classes, but may require the use of some different tools or different approaches. If you are looking for ideas for improving or creating assignments for your online course, check out this video, which includes suggestions about different types of assignments to use, tools you and students may need for online assignments, tips for creating and managing group assignments, as well as some tips for evaluating assignments in online classes.
This is an example of a introductory video to a weekly module.
A great way to engage students is to first capture their attention with something interesting. From there keep your videos short, 10 mins or less is ideal for modules.
Gaining students’ attention is the first of Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction. A great way to gain attention is to provide a catchy animated video about the topic you are presenting.
What’s that? You’re not a trained animator? Don’t let that stop you! If you can choose items off a menu and type some dialogue, you can create an animated video for free at www.xtranormal.com. The animation below was created for an upcoming professional development workshop at Ecampus. The whole project took about 10 minutes to create.
Project Name: Whale Migration
Media: Flash Vector Drawings
Design Team: Warren Blyth, Thomas Emery
This interactive flash application lets you follow the migration of gray whales off the west coast of North America for 2 years. It follows a pregnant mother, calf, and a male. Numbers came from OSU researchers.
This project was directed by Warren Blyth, programming by Thomas Emery, I was in charge of animation, art, and layout.
Click the image to launch the application. Hit the play button in the bottom left corner to start it.
Part of quality online course design is ensuring that students have opportunities to practice with course content in active, engaging ways. Providing students with lectures to read and hear passively is a start, but is generally not enough to help learning happen. To make real learning happen online, it’s important to encourage students to engage with the concepts they are learning actively.
Another best practice of online course design and teaching is providing opportunities for formative assessments, that is, low- or no-stakes practice activities with feedback that lets students know if they are on track for summative assessments, such as final exams.
Yes, but who has the time?
These kinds of practice activities and formative assessments are great, but they can take time to create, facilitate, and respond to, and most of the instructors we know don’t have excesses of time!
Thankfully, there are tools available to help create quality learning activities quickly and easily. StudyMate games are a quick and easy way to include these sorts of activities in your classes. Furthermore, the feedback is built into the game, so once they are created, they don’t require additional time for facilitation. Best of all, students find the games to be enjoyable and effective ways to study course concepts.
StudyMate games are built using one of three types of questions:
- Single answer (such as a term and its definition)
- Multiple choice
- Calculated (math problems)
Instructors provide the questions, and the OSU instructional design team can help create the games. Games include flash cards, matching, crossword puzzles, and a Jeopardy! – like challenge game.
You can even use this software to create a glossary of terms for your class:
Try some StudyMate games used in Charisse Hake’s Math 105 class.
To learn more about StudyMate and to see other sample games, visit the StudyMate Sample Games Page.
To learn how to create StudyMate games for your class, contact instructional design specialist Shannon Riggs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We worked with some Fisheries & Wildlife instructors last year to develop a sperm whale dive simulation in Flash. This was designed to bring their data to life, and give students a deeper understanding of what was happening as a sperm whale dove to great depths, hunted food, and resurfaced. This was delivered as a simple 2D animation, with some limited interaction (which I’ll post later, if the instructor approves).
Soon after delivering the 2D version, PDT started experimenting with a 3D version of the dive that was closer to an fully interactive video game. The plan was to make this game using Unity3D instead of Flash. At the time, we had a student worker, Wes Starr, who was learning to use Autodesk’s Maya (a popular 3D modeling program). The two videos featured in this post are samples that he generated (output from Maya) so we could seek feedback on the whale’s motion.
We are still experimenting with the Unity3D version of this simulation (or game), but since the 2D version works – this notable revision has ended up a low priority project. I thought it would be nice to share these work-in-progress videos. 🙂