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Midweek Mentor Blog

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How do I design innovative assignments to foster learning in the online classroom?

By Jennifer Albat (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

September 18, 2018

Last week’s Midweek Mentor session featured a video called “How do I design innovative assignments to foster learning in the online classroom?” by Dr. B. Jean Mandernach, Executive Direction or the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. Not only was this video helpful for online, but for hybrid or face-to-face courses as well. No matter the format of the course, designing holistic learning experiences increases the students’ ability to ...

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Maintaining Academic Rigor in the Classroom

By Gary R. Hicks (Professor, Mass Communications)

September 14, 2018

Maintaining academic rigor in the classroom is an issue that is – or at least should be – on the minds of university instructors from the beginning of their careers to well after their days at the academy are over. Just how likely this is to occur depends on many factors, including whether the instructor received any kind of training in pedagogy in graduate school (highly unlikely), pressures of the tenure track (usually very high, given what is sometimes the inordinate importance at...

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Engaging Videos for Teaching

By Suman Mishra (Associate Professor, Mass Communications)

July 18, 2018

We are living in an era where an enormous amount of high quality videos is being produced and consumed. Most of our “digital native” students are watching videos on a daily basis through social media or other web-based platforms to learn something new or to just entertain themselves.

Videos (short clips, full length feature films, and documentaries) can be a highly effective pedagogical tool when used appropriately. Incorporating videos into lectures and courses can help address nee...

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Engaging Generation C

By Niki Glick (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

April 02, 2018

We’ve all heard of the Millennial generation, but have you heard of “Generation C”? Unlike most cohorts, Generation C is not an age-based demographic. It’s actually anyone who is constantly connected. Most likely, this demographic encompasses you, your students, your kids, and some of our parents and grandparents.

Being constantly connected is not necessarily a bad thing. Being connected means we have access to a wealth of information whenever we need it. It also provide...

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Strategies for Online Engagement: A Conversation with Dr. Melissa Thomeczek

By Matt Schmitz

March 22, 2018

Thank you to everyone who attended last week's MidWeek Mentor session "What Three Things Should I Do Each Week to Engage Online Students?" Dr. Melissa Thomeczek, faculty in the School of Education, Health, and Human Behavior's Educational Leadership department, was one of the moderators for the session. Melissa has also taught online at SIUE for many years so I asked her about personal experience engaging with students in the online environment.

Matt Schmitz: During the MidWeek Mentor video, Je...

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Asking Students for Feedback

By Jennifer Albat (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

February 22, 2018

How’s It Going? No, that’s not a question for you. Is that a question you ever ask your students? Are they finding assignment instructions to be clear enough? Are the course materials aligned with the exams? Is there anything you can do to improve the course? Other than formal end-of-semester evaluations, do we really take the time to ensure that our students are okay with the design of the course?

Course design is hard work, especially the first time. You may have really good inten...

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Student Preparation for Flipped Classroom

By Dr. Chaya Gopalan

January 30, 2018

Flipped teaching is a hybrid educational format that shifts lectures out of the classroom to transform class time as a time for student-centered active learning. Essentially, typical classwork (the lecture) is now done elsewhere via lecture videos and other study materials, and typical homework (problem solving and practice) is done in class under the guidance of the faculty member. This new teaching strategy has gained enormous attention in recent years as it not only allows active participat...

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