Engaging Students with Weekly Video Announcements

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Last week, we discussed three techniques to use to “invite” your students to an online discussion – a means of increasing engagement, an essential variable in online student (and teacher) success. This week, I’ll add another tip for increasing engagement, as reported on the Blackboard Blog (2016): Increase student engagement by posting weekly video announcements…. Read more »

Crafting Good Discussion Questions and Facilitating Fruitful Conversation

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We know that the discussion board is the heart of any online classroom. One of our responsibilities as online instructors is to craft and facilitate quality discussions that will help students meet the learning objectives of the course. But what types of questions make for good discussions? What are some ways to ensure that the… Read more »

Hosting Contentious Discussions Online

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As a social science online instructor, I’ve seen my fair share of politically-charged discussion board posts. Especially these days. Hotly debated topics are welcomed by a lot of in-class instructors, as it livens the classroom environment and may help drive home some important learning objectives. However, hosting such discussions online can be a bit more… Read more »

The Role of the Online Teacher’s Personality

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I just finished reading an interesting, brief article on the role of the online instructor’s personality in the virtual classroom. The author makes the point that we’ve long understood the role of instructor personality in the face-to-face classroom (with dynamic, humorous, “fun” instructors often receiving higher student evaluation scores than the stereotypical drudge of an… Read more »