Empowering Students to Seek and Find: An Interview with Kurt Hoffman

Kurt Hoffman clasps his hands close to his face and looks directly toward the camera.
Photo credit: Colleen Anderson, SAU 2019 Photography grad

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”

Creating Effective Rubrics

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.

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Student Self-Assessment to Empower Learning

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”

eLearning Feedback: Enhancing Instructor to Learner Feedback

In my last post on relevant and relational feedback, I mentioned how adding a human factor into your online courses creates another dimension of building relationships with students. Constructive, relevant, and relational feedback helps students develop an awareness of their learning as well as the ability to recognize and address their weak points on their own. Today we’ll look at audio and video feedback tools you can use to build relationships with your students and help them take these important steps in their learning.

Continue reading “eLearning Feedback: Enhancing Instructor to Learner Feedback”

Facilitating an online course: Five ways for getting it right

The first online course I developed and facilitated was Fundamentals of Speech. I was determined to get it right, because I had graduated from an online program and understood first-hand the pitfalls and frustrations students go through with a weak facilitator. In the very first week of the course I realized that it takes a lot of work to facilitate well! The second thing I realized was that it was so worth it—and so rewarding.

Since then, I’ve developed and facilitated many online courses, and enjoy being the eLearning certification trainer for new online and blended faculty at Spring Arbor University.

Continue reading “Facilitating an online course: Five ways for getting it right”

Dear Instructor—Take This Test

The next time you sit down to write a test, to place a quiz in your online course, or send off a test key to your instructional designer, ask YOURSELF some questions:

  • Will the quiz motivate your students?
  • Can you explain why each question is on the test?
  • Are you using your test to promote learning?

Punitive to Positive

Which of those words has a better ring to it? Consider making the quiz a vehicle for delivering a sense of purpose and motivating your students.

Continue reading “Dear Instructor—Take This Test”

Remove Barriers to Learning with Design and Plain Writing

Over the summer, we updated our online general education syllabus template using learning theory, universal design for learning (UDL), plain writing, and accessibility principles. Recently, Dave, Tara, and I presented this process at Continue reading “Remove Barriers to Learning with Design and Plain Writing”

Symposium on Universal Design for Instruction and Learning

While we planned to have content for you this week, we’ve spent most of our time preparing to present at IUPUC’s Symposium on Universal Design for Instruction and Learning. In our session, we’ll discuss “Why, What, & How: Using UDL in Course Materials to Enhance Learner Experience.” Don’t worry, we’ll share our research on the blog!

Since next week is Thanksgiving, we’ll be back with new content in two weeks.

Are you going to be at the Symposium? Stop by to see us!

An Overview of Universal Design for Learning

A Heightened Awareness of Accommodations

At a recent Toastmasters officers meeting in a popular coffee house, the club secretary asked me to switch seats with him. While I didn’t have a problem switching, I was curious why he wanted me to move. He informed me that as our meeting’s notetaker—and left-handed person—he needed a space conducive for taking notes. My seat was the only space at the table that met his need.

As an Instructional Designer, his request made me think about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the importance of designing environments to meet the needs of everyone. Continue reading “An Overview of Universal Design for Learning”

Communities of Inquiry (CoI): Cognitive Presence

Throughout this series, we’ve unpacked the three presences of Charles Sander Peirce’s Community of Inquiry (CoI) model. In my previous posts, we’ve looked at social and teaching presence. Cognitive presence, the final presence, combines both social and teaching presence. Today we’ll discuss how you can incorporate cognitive presence in your online course. Continue reading “Communities of Inquiry (CoI): Cognitive Presence”