7 Ways to Combat Cheating on Online Tests

With online learning being the new norm, cheating on online tests has become increasingly worrying for teachers and parents. Even without expensive virtual proctoring tools, however, there are many ways that instructors can use the inherent features within school’s Learning Management System (LMS) to combat cheating during online examinations. Here are a few ideas to decrease cheating on online tests. 1. Create questions that require higher order thinking. Instead of having students respond to questions…

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The Importance of Compassion in Online Learning

In the wake of stay at home orders and economic collapse, many online students–despite being well versed in Zoom, familiar with the format of online discussions, and already adjusted to learning online–are starting to show strain. Even in the best of times, it is difficult for students to maintain enthusiasm and passion about their learning, but in our era of coronavirus, it is now almost impossible. Compassion in online learning is now more important than…

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Teaching Generation Z: Top Tips, Benefits, and Challenges

Different generations of students have enrolled and graduated from higher education institutions for many decades. Throughout these decades, educators have been using the same strategies despite what generation is present in their classroom. This newer generation of students, Generation Z, have unique characteristics and expectations that must be taken into account in order to teach them effectively. Individuals from Generation Z are born between 1996 and 2012. Like millennials, they were raised with technology, and…

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How to Help Students Find Their Online Voice in At-Home Learning

What is it that makes meaningful dialogue so elusive in online courses? Some practices in online course design and discussion facilitation can actually encourage superficial dialogue. Faculty grading and feedback that require too much formality of language can scare students into virtual silence, sticking to exactly what the text says or saying what they think the professor wants to hear rather than finding and using their unique online voice. Focusing on lower-level writing issues (such…

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Encourage Summer Reading with These 7 Tricks

Books are everywhere in our houses, but sometimes it seems they’re not being read. It’s summer, and kids have so many other things they’d rather do. But we’ve consulted the experts, and these are our top tips to encourage summer reading. 1. Foster an early love of reading. Reading can be a family activity, and instilling this value of reading at a young age sends a powerful message that can be for kids. You should…

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Supporting Students Online is Essential for Success

Supporting students online requires different strategies than that of in-person teaching. Getting it right typically involves a good deal of testing and modification given the wide array of design formats and technology tools available, not to mention the varying needs of students, many of whom are underprepared for their sudden foray into online learning. In online courses, certain student challenges tend to come up time and again, which disrupts learning or impedes completing coursework on…

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6 Fun Ways to Keep Math Learning Alive Over the Summer

Summer is a time for play and rest, family time and adventures. But there’s compelling research to show that kids forget a lot of what they learned during the school year if they don’t have opportunities to continue reading, using their mathematical thinking skills, and exploring the world around them. It’s also been well-documented that the gaps between kids from high and low socioeconomic statuses grow over the summer. There are plenty of low-cost ways…

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Online Extracurriculars May Be More Doable Than You Think

When Jessyka Bagdon set out to offer her tap dancing classes as online extracurriculars, big questions started popping up right away: what about kids who don’t own their own tap shoes? How do you tap dance at home without ruining the floor? Then came the really big challenge. Online programs like Zoom are designed for meetings, not dance classes. “They’re made to pick up voices,” she explains, not the clickety clack of tap-dancing shoes. “So…

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Making the Most of Online Student Discussions

The standard blueprint for online student discussions posts is to write an initial response, then reply to two or three of your classmates’ posts. It gets the job done, but we can do better. Discussions in an online course play a vital role in creating substantive interactions, aiming to capture the spirit of discourse in face-to-face settings. Initial posts can be counterintuitive—in essence, they require students to complete small writing assignments individually before giving other…

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How to Help Teens and Young Adults Feeling Lost Amid Pandemic

For many young people, sheltering at home means missing milestones and public recognition of their achievements. This is especially true for seniors graduating from high school and college, and many are feeling lost. Kendall Smith, a high school senior who lives in Tallahassee, Florida, says her school has many traditions leading up to graduation. One of the most eagerly anticipated events is “Grad Bash,” a rite of passage when all graduating seniors head off to…

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