With the continuing growth of online learning in the past few decades, one significant argument against it has been the perceived loss of non-verbal communication and human relationships within the course. Instructors new to the modality often believe that the online delivery format is less interactive than face-to-face, and therefore assume it’s harder (if even possible) to get to know the other participants. Some university instructors even hesitate to teach online because they feel there is a lack of connection and communication, which then creates more room for misinterpretation, negative reviews of the experience, or even failure for some students. Today, I’d like to share the data behind this topic and help to point to the fact that this is not as worrisome as these instructors assume.Continue reading “But what about nonverbal communication?—A look at interactions online”
In November 2019, several members of our eLearning team attended Michigan State University’s (MSU) 5thannual Accessible Learning Conference (ALC). The theme of the conference was storytelling, emphasizing that the core of accessibility is “people and their stories.” As someone who’s been a student in the communication and theatre fields for almost a decade, this theme struck a chord with me. Often, at both private and public universities, the majority of students’ disabilities are often unidentified, so their stories go untold. These untold stories create a roadblock in these students’ ability to succeed in learning environments.Continue reading “Sharing Accessibility Stories: Making eLearning for Everyone”
You can have a well-designed course with relevant content and an expert instructor, yet the course can still be perceived as a negative experience by students. Why? The instructor was not “present” in the course.
It takes more than grading to create instructor presence. Bangert defines instructor presence as “the ‘methods’ that instructors use to create the quality online instructional experiences that support and sustain productive communities of inquiry” (Bangert, 2008, p. 40). Without instructor support, courses quickly become barren.Continue reading “The Importance of Being Present in Your Online Course”
When thinking about the demographics of students currently enrolled in colleges and universities, we often first consider traditional students, between ages 18-24. However, enrollment trends in traditional, blended, and online programs are revealing that nontraditional students, those ages 25 and older, are becoming more and more prominent in the classroom. Today I want to discuss the dynamics of nontraditional students, the pressures they face, and what it means to go the extra mile in order to understand their needs and enable them to succeed.Continue reading “Going the Extra Mile: Understanding Non-Traditional Students”
It’s that time of year again (if you work in education anyway). Students are returning. Classes are starting. Here in the Midwest, we’ve got crisp fall mornings and dew on the ground. Syllabi are being doled out like (unwanted) candy, and expressions of eagerness and anticipation will soon be replaced by glazed eyes and existential dread.
And for the first time in about a decade, I’m joining the crowd.Continue reading “Back to School: The Next Step to Becoming an eLearning Expert”
What if you entered a face-to-face classroom and found no instructor to welcome you to class, give you an overview of the semester, or guide you through your projects? Or what if your instructor made an appearance the first day of class, but slowly became less and less engaged as the semester progressed?
You’d be in the dark for most of the semester and probably pretty frustrated with your instructor, right?Continue reading “Announcements: Finding the Balance Between Posting Too Little or Too Much”
Kurt Hoffman is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Spring Arbor University (SAU) in Spring Arbor, Michigan. He has two Master’s degrees from Arizona State University: Master of Public Administration and Master of Social Work. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Humanities, with a concentration in the anthropology of human flourishing and the philosophy of social issues, racism in particular. Kurt lives in Concord, Michigan with his wife and three children.
This is only a tiny slice of Kurt Hoffman.Continue reading “Empowering Students to Seek and Find: An Interview with Kurt Hoffman”
Wendy and Ann have often worked together on rubrics sent to them by instructors. Today they’d like to discuss the importance of effective rubrics and walk you through the process of creating one that visually communicates your expectations. Ann’s going to start by discussing the importance of rubrics.Continue reading “Creating Effective Rubrics”
In 1959, Peter Drucker, a well-known and an influential thinker, coined the term “knowledge worker” and predicted the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning. In many ways, his vision of lifelong learning forecast the rise of online learning and instructional design.Continue reading “Are We There Yet? Peter Drucker, 2020 and the BOT”
Wouldn’t it be terrific to know that your students are motivated and confident in their abilities to learn what you teach them? Rest assured, you can guide students towards self-directed learning by capitalizing on the synergy found in self-directed learning, self-regulated learning, and student self-assessment (SSA).Continue reading “Student Self-Assessment to Empower Learning”