Online Teaching and Learning

How We Cheat Online Students out of an Education

A number of online programs now have a “plain language” requirement for course content. This means that course content cannot use words that might be unknown to some students; institutions enforce the policy by keeping the content language at or below a designated education

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Teaching with Virtual Simulations

Virtual simulations are an exceptional way for online students to get experience applying what they have learned to real-life situations. My colleagues and I created 20-minute virtual simulations that had our online students treat patients for cancer and end-stage liver failure, perform a liver

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Engaging Students in Discussion through

Social annotation tools allow instructors to post a reading to a website and then have students tag it with comments. These provide many benefits for students and instructors. One, they can demonstrate to the instructor that students are reading an article, especially if the

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Stock photo infographic showing global climate vulnerabilities

Getting Started with Infographic Assignments

Infographics have become a nearly ubiquitous accompaniment to written reports and presentations. For today’s students, visual communication skills are as important as written and verbal ones. Plus, adding an infographic to a text assignment gets students to think about the central message they are

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Image of a test dummy in a hospital bed

Four Strategies for Developing Student Simulations

Higher education has traditionally taken students out of the “real world” by placing them in the artificial world of a classroom to learn. But the digital revolution made it possible to reintroduce real-world learning through student simulations. Instructors can now record videos of hypothetical

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A Strategy for Improving Student Reading Comprehension

When instructors assign readings to students, they generally assume that anyone who has done the reading must know the information in it and that if they don’t, they did not do the reading. In reality, students often have a hard time determining the main

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Gather and Discuss: A Backchannel Alternative

Over the past few years, it has become popular in education to broadcast the “backchannel” to students during a large class through a dedicated Twitter hashtag or some other social media app. The idea is that it allows students to make comments on the

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Inviting Students into Your World

I spent many years managing a multimillion-dollar marketing budget for an online program and many years training faculty to be great teachers. One thing both experiences taught me is that institutions too often let marketing encroach on teaching. They do so when they create

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