We can learn a lot from seasoned online educators. Let’s face it, most of us are not “professionals” when it comes to creating and delivering an online course that would pass muster with Quality Matters — a rigorous certification process that Ecampus uses to distinguish the highest quality online courses from the rest.

Even if our feedback from students is satisfactory, how do we know if our remote classes are really the best they can be, or are there simple aspects to our course design that can be tweaked at Week 5 to make the last half of our classes even better?

An article published by our own Shannon Riggs, Executive Director of Academic Programs and Learning Innovation at OSU-Corvallis in the EDUCAUSE Review last week, encourages all faculty teaching remote to think about teaching from a student-centered perspective. She describes three forms of interaction for students: Continue reading

The OSU Instructional Support teams have really stepped up and used this opportunity to strengthen the cadre of resources available to faculty to support teaching excellence. They are now putting out bi-weekly “Timely Teaching Tips” with new ideas for you to consider implementing in your classes and timely reminders to help keep both faculty and students as engaged as possible while we’re remote. Here is a list of recorded training sessions as well as the Timely Teaching Tips for weeks 4 & 5! I especially like the reminder to solicit mid-term teaching feedback (you can set up a non-grading, anonymous survey using the “quiz” feature in Canvas), how students can set up remote study groups, and the instructions for creating rubrics to grade work submitted through Canvas. Rubrics are extremely helpful for students to understand how they will be assessed and make your grading work much easier and more objective.

Recorded Sessions

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I have been reflecting on the types of students we have in our classrooms this term, especially as it relates to their level of “comfort” with technology as their primary tool for learning. “Comfort” is a tricky word in this context. For most of us as instructors, we learned in an environment completely or mostly devoid of technology as we know it today. In middle school, the first PET computer I learned on required me to insert a cassette tape and wait up to an eternity for the program to load. Then came the first Apple computer, dot matrix printers, and the rest is history.

The difference between “then” and “now” is pretty obvious when it comes to technology. Think about the difference though, between Gen Z students and millennial students. The last birth year for millennials is 1996, with Gen Z-ers born in 1997 and beyond. (I’ve heard that those born today may be called “Gen C.” I can’t even imagine what life will be like for them yet). Continue reading

The last three weeks have been…interesting. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be where we are, but nonetheless, here we are. My inbox has been flooded with questions from students, questions from faculty, strategies from teaching organizations and our Center for Teaching and Learning, IT, OSU-Cascades’ Leadership, and the Provost’s office. My head has mostly been spinning trying to reconcile all of these “tips and best practices” with actually delivering an individual lecture to my students in a way that will keep them engaged and learning. The implementation of the strategies is what ultimately matters the most.

At this point in our collective “learning how to do this,” I would like to provide a platform for us to share with each other what we are doing as an OSU-Cascades faculty, to engage with and teach our students. Please share freely what you have learned during this past week of content delivery that might help someone else. What did you plan or try that bombed and what has been successful so far? What will you change and how will you do it better? What are you planning to do that you would like some feedback on?

Please share anything from a technology tip to a paradigm shift. You can click “reply” and post to the blog page, OR you can email me directly and I will compile a list this week. I will share our collective thoughts via email or something else internal for those who don’t want their comments publicly viewable. If you have a document to share I will post it to Box for the group to access. Let’s hear it!