Best practices for engaging students online — from edtechmagazine.com by Amelia Pang
Norma I. Scagnoli, a higher education instructional design expert, shares her advice on how to humanize online learning.

Excerpt:

EDTECH: How do your instructors strengthen student engagement in entirely online courses?

Scagnoli: We built that engagement by following the Community of Inquiry Framework. This model was created by online learning experts such as Dr. Randy Garrison and Dr. Norm Vaughan, who research distance education and blended learning. This model focuses on cognitive presence, teaching presence and social presence to keep students engaged with online content.

You want to use every opportunity to promote critical thinking and trigger more class interactions and discussions. 

 

 
 

Everything you need to know about animation-based learning — from elearningindustry.com by Huong Giang Bui
When people talk about education, they often stress the formal side of learning like delivering knowledge, getting high scores on exams, etc. But animation-based education is here to up the game, with animation you can get fun, practical, and informative learning all at the same time!

Excerpt:

What Is Animation-Based Learning?
While it sounds like it, animation-based learning is not all about visual materials. Rather, resources such as videos, infographics, and GIFs are used in tandem with existing resources when employing this method. This can be applied to many different fields, from scientific visualizations to corporate training schemes; from motion-graphic narratives used in primary courses to university-level demonstrations.

 

Per Kim O’Leary, here are some resources re: the topic of giving/receiving feedback:

 

Other items re: feedback worth checking out:

How ‘Learning Engineering’ Hopes to Speed Up Education — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

One insight Lepper brought is that when education software tools simply list all the errors students made and points out what they should have done instead, what many end up hearing is, “You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong.” For students, this is a discouraging engagement, Lepper says.

“That kind of feedback would be perfect if you had a robot learner on the other end,” he says. “The robot learner would be delighted to have you say, ‘Okay, you made three errors in problem number one,’ and being a robot learner, they’d be able to take out those bugs and do better the next time. Real kids, especially real kids who are kind of phobic about math and who think they can’t do it, they leave and say, ‘See I can’t do it.’”

Don’t water down feedback to your student — from teachingprofessor.com by John Orlando

RetrievalPractice.org/feedback

From OLC session “Carl Rogers, Teaching Presence, and Student Engagement in Online Learning” Cheng-Chia (Brian) Chen, Denise Bockmier-Sommers, & Karen Swan (emphasis DSC)

  • Use student’s first name in feedback
  • Speak directly to them
  • Paraphrase their words
  • Provide video feedback
  • Sandwich method — Include the strengths of student’s reasoning or responses in addition to your constructive critique(s)
  • Acknowledge student contributions
  • Let them know you care and appreciate them
  • What’s timely feedback? The quicker the better, but whatever your availability is, tell what students can expect, and stick to that. Put that into your syllabus along with communication methods (email, LMS message, phone, other)

Leveraging Feedback Experiences in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Erin Crisp

4 dimensions of feedback

Here are some design tips to increase the probability for success.

  • Structure the course so that there are opportunities for instructors and peers to provide formative feedback several weeks before final projects/papers are due.
  • Identify key time frames in the course when instructors will be heavily engaged in providing written or video feedback that is individualized and moves the learning forward.
  • Create a bank of content-specific feedback comments that instructors can use for common issues and errors.
  • If end-of-course survey evaluations are low, implement strategies to provide feedback that directly connects to learners as individuals.
  • If you teach and grade papers in a professional discipline, provide feedback related to the course and program learning outcomes, and focus less on grammar and language usage.
 

Remote collaboration and virtual conferences, the future of work — from forces.com by Charlie Fink

Excerpts:

Ten weeks ago, Jesse Damiani, writing on Forbes.com, told the story of a college professor who turned his course about XR into a research project about remote collaboration and virtual conferences.

He and his students reimagined the course as an eight-week research sprint exploring how XR tools will contribute to the future of remote work—and the final product will be a book, tentatively titled, Remote Collaboration & Virtual Conferences: The End of Distance and the Future of Work.”

This is a chapter of that book. It will be available on June 15.

The thing everyone wants is not a technology, it’s engagement. The same kind of engagement that you would have in real life, but better, faster, cheaper *and safer* than it was before.

Also see:

 

XR for Learning – June 3, 2020 — from twist.learningguild.net

Excerpt:

Augmented, Virtual, and other mixed reality technologies are rapidly emerging and advancing, creating new and exciting opportunities for training and education. XR for Learning collects some of the best XR content that learning professionals can learn from.

Here’s this week’s recommended content.

 

5 easy ways to infuse learning science into remote teaching — from campustechnology.com by Andrea Hendricks
These practices will help engage students and improve outcomes throughout the online learning process.

Excerpt:

Here again, good organization is essential. I organize my content by units that are aligned to tests, so my students always have a clear learning goal in mind. If I have six tests in a semester, I divide the content into six units. Each unit contains an overview for the module, a submodule for each section, a review of the key concepts from the unit, a set of review problems for the unit, and a test. Within section submodules, I give an overview of the objectives, activities for students to engage with and learn the content (reading assignments, videos, animations, homework problems), and a discussion question. I also include modules on getting started with the course, the technology we’ll be using as well as tutoring information and resources.

 

From DSC:
The article below is meant as fodder for thought for us now…until we get back to holding class in physical learning spaces again. But it caught my attention because I’d like to see us give students “More choice. More Control.” in all areas of their learning — whether that be in the physical realm or in the digital/virtual realm.

 

 

4 reasons to build choice into classroom design — and how to make it work for students — from spaces4learning.com by Deanna Marie Lock
A look at the key elements of a modern and highly engaging learning space

 

providing more choice and more control to students within the physcial classroom

 

From DSC:
For those of you who teach and/or give presentations, you might be interested in a new video that I put together regarding cognitive load. It addresses at least two main questions:

  1. What is cognitive load?
    and
  2. Why should I care about it?

 

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

Transcript here.

 

How do I put it into practice?

  • Simplify the explanations of what you’re presenting as much as possible and break down complex tasks into smaller parts
  • Don’t place a large amount of text on a slide and then talk about it at the same time — doing so requires much more processing than most people can deal with.
  • Consider creating two versions of your PowerPoint files:
    • A text-light version that can be used for presenting that content to students
    • A text-heavy version — which can be posted to your LMS for the learners to go through at their own pace — and without trying to process so much information (voice and text, for example) at one time.
  • Design-wise:
    • Don’t use decorative graphics — everything on a slide should be there for a reason
    • Don’t use too many fonts or colors — this can be distracting
    • Don’t use background music when you are trying to explain something
 

Play is disappearing from kindergarten. It’s hurting kids. — from edsurge.com by  Joe Martin

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In an increasing number of schools, teachers of very young students are pressured to pack every moment of the day with structured, academically rigorous tasks. One recent whitepaper linked the practice to preparing kids for the long road of schooling ahead, in which progress is measured through standardized testing starting in third grade.

Friedrich Froebel, a pedagogue of modern education, coined the term “kindergarten” in 1840 after recognizing the importance of play in the development of young children. Inspired by the idea of a garden, he designed a classroom where the teacher presented children with objects, which they were allowed to play with in any way they could imagine. When they lost interest in one object, they would be presented with a new one to spark curiosity and creativity. Children were encouraged to grow and flourish in this free form, play-based environment.

From DSC:
Given that we are all into a lifelong learning situation now, I vote for more importance being placed on whether someone enjoyed their learning experience. That said, I know there is struggle in learning…and learning in the struggle. But we focus so much on grades and standardized testing. This robs the joy from the teaching and learning environment — for the teachers as well as for the kids.

Also see:

 

From DSC:
When I saw the learning space as pictured below, I couldn’t help but ask a couple of questions:

  • Doesn’t this look like a colorful, fun, engaging active learning space?
  • One that encourages communication and collaboration?

The natural light is wonderful. And the physical setup seems to let the students know that they will be collaborating with each other the second they walk into this learning space…and it does so without saying a word. 

This type of learning setup seems like learning could be very fun and collaborative!

 

From DSC — and with a shout out to Brad Sousa for this resource:
For those involved with creating/enhancing learning spaces as they relate to pedagogies:

https://www.avisystems.com/higher-education-trends-part-one

How Has Technology Impacted Higher Education?
In part one of this three-part series, AVI Systems CTO Brad Sousa talks with Jeff Day, Founder of North of 10 Advisors, to discuss the key ways education and, specifically, pedagogy differs from 10, 5, even 3 years ago.

Discussion Topics

  • The impact of active learning and the introduction of the internet of things (IoT) in the classroom
  • Recommendations for deploying modern learning environments with technology partners
  • Classroom systems design, then and now
Some timestamps (roughly speaking)
  • 5:15 — changes in pedagogy
  • 7:15 or so — active learning
  • 15:30 design needs around active learning
  • 17:15 DE rooms and active learning — software-controlled platform
  • 21:30 — advice; look to outcomes & expectations that want to achieve/meet; uses cases

Media controller w/ intuitive interface to mimic the way someone teaches / way a classroom goes:

  • “Class start” — chaotic; mics on everywhere
  • “Lecture” — gates /mics closed and focus shifts to the professor
  • “Class interaction” — presents roster of who’s there (20:00 mark roughly)

Also see this introductory posting re: the implications of active learning in the higher ed market.

 

Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement — from blog.edx.org by Candace Hazlett and Philip Guo

Excerpt:

In this first post, I’ll share some preliminary results about video usage, obtained from initial analyses of a few edX math and science courses. Unsurprisingly, students engaged more with shorter videos. Traditional in-person lectures usually last an hour, but students have much shorter attention spans when watching educational videos online. The graph below shows median engagement times versus video length, aggregated over several million video watching sessions:

From DSC:
If you have access to a tool like Canvas Studio, then you can probably extend the length of your videos if you are interspersing your videos with a healthy dose of interactivity — i.e., inserting quiz questions every few minutes.

 

Also see:

Live from Bett: What’s new in EDU–Free resources to boost engagement and collaboration — from the Microsoft Education Team on January 22, 2020

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In addition, on the day of a presentation, educators and students now can help every person in the classroom or audience understand what they’re saying by clicking on “Present Live.” Live Presentations enables every audience member to view the presentation on their own device, such as a laptop, tablet or phone. Each audience member can turn on live captioning and choose subtitles from more than 60 languages. They can even navigate between slides, so they don’t miss a single, important detail. The audience is engaged throughout the presentation and sends reactions in real-time. After the presentation, the audience can provide feedback on the content and delivery of the presentation, which educators and students can use to improve skills over time.

Live Presentations will be coming soon to PowerPoint for the web as part of Office Education, which educators and students can access for free. If you haven’t already done so, get started with Office 365 Education now.

 

From DSC:
Might this type of functionality be a solid component of a global, next generation learning platform? Hmmmm…

 

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