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Midweek Mentor Blog

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How to Get Started with Community Engagement

By Michelle Catalano (Department of Philosophy)

November 27, 2017

  How Do We Do It?
“What was your favorite assignment in college?”
The presenter asked this question to a group of higher education professionals at a session called “Awakening learning through community engagement activities: An easy 6-step method” at the Teaching Professor Conference that I attended this past summer.  All the responses to this question had a common theme: they involved words such as “doing” and “making” and &#8...

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Providing Meaningful Feedback

By Tori Reany (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

November 01, 2017

Do you ever feel like your students are not taking your advice?  Do you get frustrated at all the hours you put into grading just to have students seemingly ignore your comments?

Perhaps students are reading your feedback, but they don't know what to do with it.

You can take key steps to make your feedback more meaningful to students and increase the chances that the work you have put into grading will be put to use.

First, we want to make sure that feedback...

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Online Discussions - Interview with Dr. Wrobbel

By Emily Keener (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

October 17, 2017

Last week’s Midweek Mentor topic was on effective questioning strategies for online discussions. Dr. Jean Mandernach of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University suggested several components that lead to good online discussions: meaningful prompts, effective facilitation, and an organized classroom environment. (If you haven’t watched Jean’s 20-minute mentor video, be sure to check it out in the Mentor Commons!)

For faculty just getting star...

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Adding Interactivity to Your Online Content

By Jennifer Albat and Wayne Nelson (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

September 21, 2017

Interactivity is an important aspect of the learning process for online students. There are many ways to assure effective learning interactions, including online discussions, intermittent checks for understanding (e.g., quizzes or polls), and strategies for making video or audio “lectures” interactive. Any effective interaction strategy helps learners encode information from working memory in order to store it in long-term memory. Without such strategies, information will not be read...

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Engaging Students in the Diverse Classroom

By Sonia Zamanou-Erickson (Applied Communication Studies)

August 22, 2017

Student engagement is an important contributor to motivation and learning in the classroom. Students who are engaged are more curious, attentive, interested, and passionate about what they are learning and they ultimately perform better.  Even though some students are consistently engaged and thrive in the college environment, not all students share that experience. How to increase engagement of all students in a diverse classroom remains a challenge for many professors. Two ideas that may ...

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Tips for Making Online Course Material Accessible

By Emily Keener (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

April 12, 2017

At last week's faculty development workshop on online course accessibility, we covered several formatting issues with online content that could pose an accessibility issue for students. We also talked about some solutions to these problems (and got a little into the principles of Universal Design for Learning), which are summarized below. We hope you find these useful as you continue to prepare, edit, and revise your course materials. If you have any additional tips for making your online course...

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Reduce Student Apathy and Increase Motivation

By Tori Reany (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

March 15, 2017

We've all been there. You are in the front of the class teaching the day's lesson when you look out and see a student sleeping in the back row, someone working on assignments from another course, or a student pretending to pay attention while holding their phone under the desk to text. At this point, you have two options: continue with your lesson as planned or stop to evaluate how you can regain the students' attention. But let's back up a step. How did we get in this situation in the first pla...

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