Celebration of Learning: Online Showcase-Organized & Efficient Sites

Presenters: Cathy Bowen, Business; Darlene Cornelius, Travel; Ann Mitzelfelt, Business; Phil Harris, Math

Cathy’s Tips
See usability principles;
Provide specific due dates for assignments, following chronological order, providing students with details (even if you are not a detail-oriented person);
Provide students, from the start of the class, with a complete list of all assignments, tasks and due dates.

Darlene’s Tips
Indicate to students they should check the course site once daily to catch announcements;
Provide an announcement with an overview of “housekeeping issues” for the site;
Identify the “3 most important things” students should look for in the site, such as announcements, assignments and tests;
Use media, sound and pictures, when appropriate;
Continuously review, edit and revise content;
Provide a complete calendar of tasks at the start of the course;
Be explicit about expectations for discussion board postings, number of times to post, when, etc.;
Use mini-quizzes only posted in announcements to keep students reading announcements on a regular basis.

Ann’s Tips :: Summary of Ann’s tips [PDF]
Learn and take strategies from classes on online learning, such as the MVCR series, peers and the TLC staff;
Be flexible, adapt when change is necessary (handling illness, emergencies, etc. with students as well as the instructor);
Develop a structure and approach for one class and when it works, apply it to others;
Train students on the ‘how to’s’ of the course from the very beginning;
Provide all performance guidelines for assignments up-front;
Use emails and announcements as brief notifications, mirroring the format of “texts”; notify students of new content, changes, updates, etc. in the site by a brief notification message vs. a detailed message duplicating what can be found in the site;
Set the course time line to a start/stop pattern that works for you, and for students – Ann uses Wednesday to Tuesday to incorporate a full weekend, accommodate her own work schedule and provide students with assignment launches and assignment due dates at times she is available to respond if needed;
Change discussion prompts over time, considering student responses and feedback;
Administer a pre-course survey, assessing students’ knowledge and understanding of the course and content; post the correct answers to the survey at the start of the course;
Communicate your style, translate caring, carry your personality through your tone, style, content and communication in your online classes.

Phil’s Tips
Use a fill-in-the-blank template to structure projects;
Embed links to Jing videos, how-to illustrations on how to complete portions of the project – these videos allow students to play, pause and review instructions on how to complete the project.

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