Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Strategies for Online Discussion Forums

Do you have a strategy for managing discussions in your online courses? Some discussion topics seem to foster polarization and animosity. Online discussions of contentious issues can lead to "flaming" or emotional and anonymous venting. Online discussion forums may be one of the few places, however, that individuals have to discuss important issues with others who are different from them.

Anastasia Salter from ProfHacker has some suggestions for making online discussions safe and productive. Some suggestions include setting rules early and dealing with disruptive students.

Do you have some strategies that you think are effective?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Faculty Learning Communities Available through OFE

The Office of Faculty Enhancement announces two Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) available for the Fall 2015 semester, FLIP - Flipping Learning Innovation Panel and TIME – Teaching Innovations for Multi-faceted Engagement.

Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) are groups of approximately 6-12 faculty members organized around a theme or cohort who commit to meeting regularly and to working collaboratively on issues relevant to all members within the FLC.

Below is a description of each group with meeting times and dates. FLCs will meet in the Faculty Lounge, Building 16, Room 4202

FLIP – Flipping Learning Innovation Panel
A flipped classroom is one in which lectures are delivered online and face-to-face time is devoted to student projects and homework. If you are interested in learning more or if you have experimented with various forms of class flipping, this FLC is for you. Come and share your ideas and hear from others who are working on flipping their classrooms.
RSVP to ofe@unf.edu
Friday, Sep 25th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Friday, Oct 30th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Friday, Nov 20th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Friday, Dec 11th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

TIME – Teaching Innovations for Multi-faceted Engagement
Time is precious in the classroom. It is best to make the most of that time in maximizing student learning. This FLC will focus on innovative ways to provide engaging and active learning experiences for students in small and large classrooms. The TIME FLC is targeted toward new faculty. Come and share ideas about engaging activities and hear from others who have creative ideas to support student learning.
RSVP to ofe@unf.edu
Friday, Oct 16th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Friday, Nov 13th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Friday, Dec 4th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Transformational Learning Workshop

The Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Faculty Enhancement (OFE) will be hosting two workshops to help faculty plan for Transformational Learning Opportunities (TLOs) and to apply for the TLO Grant Program.
The first session will provide an overview of the program and foundational perspectives. The second session will provide a hands-on workshop for developing effective assessment strategies.

The TLO Application Deadline for projects taking place in 2016-2017 (July 1 2016 - June 30, 2017) is Friday, October 16, 2015 by 5:00 p.m. Find more details on the TLO Application webpage.

Designing Successful Transformational Learning Opportunities (TLOs)
Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Student Union, Building 58W, Room 3805
Faculty and staff interested in applying for Transformational Learning Opportunity (TLO) funds are invited to attend the TLO workshop titled, "Designing Successful Transformational Learning Opportunities (TLOs)." This session will provide an overview of the TLO concept, some examples of past successful TLOs, and guidelines for applying for financial support.   

Manageable and Meaningful Measurement of Transformational Learning
Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Student Union, Building 58W, Room 3805
RSVP to ofe@unf.edu
UNF Faculty who apply for TLO funding design a wide variety of truly transformational learning experiences for students. Designing an assessment plan both enhances the TLO application and provides an important way to maximize student benefit from the experience.  Yet assessing transformational learning objectives can be difficult because the objectives can be difficult to define, and because TLOs may not include graded assignments in the same way as other classes do. This workshop will help participants define transformational learning objectives and develop manageable assessment strategies for determining the impact of the TLO experience. Faculty and staff interested in applying for Transformational Learning Opportunity (TLO) funds are especially encouraged to attend.

Well-designed Online Courseware Facilitates Attention, Learning

When faculty take the time to put in extra effort to the online components of their courses, it pays dividends in the engagement of their students. Although details of the layout of an online course, such as its level of visual appeal and amount of stimulating or relatable images, may seem purely cosmetic, they offer real value to the student experience in the course by making the course material more compelling.

Other qualities of online courses that recent research has has identified as positive are simple and user-friendly navigation formats and depth in terms of having a variety of features (i.e. discussion forums, content links, files, and assignments) that are used with consistency throughout the course.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Quick Tips to Help Learn Students' Names

At the beginning of the semester, teachers in higher education often are faced with a large room of new faces. Past research suggests that teacher verbal and nonverbal behaviors, including calling students by name, were associated with student motivation and student learning.

Below are a few useful links containing some practical tips to help learn students' names at the beginning of the semester and remember them throughout!

Not Quite 101 Ways to Learn Students' Names

Tomorrow's Professor: Learning Student Names

Protecting teacher immediacy and social presence can be especially difficult in online classes.
Past research links social presence in online classes with learning.

New Research on Student Motivation, Success

Researchers have found new evidence that the motivation and success of students impacted by teaching and learning environments. In a series of studies, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has found that two factors can alter student performance and success, in particular for minority students. The perception that their teacher cares about their improvement and overall well-being and performance, as well as the perception that they belong in their learning environment have significant effects on student motivation and subsequent performance.

Additional research by Stanford researcher David Paunesku demonstrates the importance of a "growth-mindset" to a students' motivation to succeed, which of course strongly impacts actual success. When students believe that success is based more on one's level of effort and dedication rather than unearned talent or raw intelligence, students were able to perform above their expectations and succeed in academic challenges.

The conclusions center around the following: 1) students who feel they belong and are supported in their efforts for success are more likely to succeed, especially if they are part of a group that historically has not been supported; 2) students who believe the key to success is being hard-working will perform more successfully than students who believe the key to success is being intelligent.

Click To Read The Article Here