Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday Matinee: Ways to Make Online Learning More Engaging

The semester is over and you've taken a big sigh of relief!  Teaching online is over for now.  

It's a great time to start thinking about summer and fall classes and possibly teaching again online.  You've got the basics down and are delivering the content, but now is the time to start thinking about making your classes more engaging for your students.  

Check out ISTE's (International Society for Technology in Education) blog post showing 3 ways to make remote learning more engaging.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday Matinee: Some Advice for Newly Remote Instructors

Happy Friday!

I recently came across an article that is part of a guide entitled, "Sustaining Higher Education in the Coronavirus Crisis," and wanted to share it with all of you as you begin to get ready to teach online this summer or think about classes for this fall.  The article not only has advice for new remote instructors, but includes a link to a Google Sheet created by Daniel Stanford, the director of the faculty development and technology innovation at DePaul University.  This sheet includes a great number of resources curated from universities.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Friday Matinee: Choice Boards & Learning Menus

Choice Boards are a great way to give your students some choice in how they will complete an assignment.  Some of our students may excel at creating a Google Site, where another student would rather create a video or write a paper.  Some may want to watch a video on the topic and others would prefer to read a chapter in a book.  Choice Boards let us differentiate our assignments and engage our students at where they are.  During these times when we are all teaching online, we as teachers need to create the best learning experiences possible that will keep our students attention, maintain a positive attitude, and keep them committed to doing their best job possible.

Here's a 3 part mini "course" that is entitled "The Ultimate Guide to Choice Boards and Learning Menus" by AJ Juliani.  He talks about why Choice Boards are important, especially now, describes a step-by-step process for creating them, and gives examples of choice boards in action.  This was written for K-12, but can easily be modified for your teaching here at MSU.  It's easy to use Google Docs or Slides (or Word or PowerPoint) to create these menus for your students.
Choice boards are perfect for online learning, student choice, and differentiation.  Here's what Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning says about choice boards/learning menus:

What is a Choice Board?

  • Choice boards are a form of differentiated learning that gives students a menu or choice of learning activities.
  • Learning menus and choice boards can be created in a variety of styles and mediums.
  • They’ve been around for a long time and originated in a static, paper format.
  • With digital tools, we can bring the menus to life with interactivity and creation.
From Dr. Catlin Tucker, a post on Student Agency: What Do Students Want to Create to Demonstrate Their Learning? will help you understand how choice boards allow students to make key decisions about their learning and helps you personalize learning for each student.
I've added several examples of choice boards below.  Have a favorite?  Share it with us!