Teachers

Why Student Deadlines and Late Penalties Should Be More Lax

It’s common practice for teachers to use deadlines and late penalties as deterrents for students who request extensions or turn in late work. One teacher, however, provides a peek at how and why she morphed from a rigid to a more flexible deadline/late penalty policy and what she observed as a result. When Brenda Thomas began teaching online in 2015, her policy was to deduct 10% of the grade for each day an assignment was…

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4 Strategies for Forming an Inclusive Classroom

Are you ready to make a truly inclusive classroom? To do so means challenging the status quo, removing curriculum barriers, and presenting educational goals in interesting ways to engage all learners and serve all students equally. Inclusive learning provides all students with access to flexible learning choices and effective paths for achieving educational goals in spaces where they experience a sense of belonging. In an inclusive education environment, all children, regardless of ability or disability,…

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4 Tips for Building Community in the Online Classroom

Building community among students and teachers is more important now than ever, but it’s also probably never been more difficult as all learning moves online. Teachers can still build strong communities of learners and strong rapport with students, however, even without seeing them in person. Here are four tips for building community in the online classroom.  1. Frequent communication is a must to begin building classroom community. Sending a welcome email at the beginning of…

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3 Tech Tools to Keep Online Learning Current

Online learning is the new norm, which means it’s time to mix things up! Here are three tech tools you can use to keep online learning current.  Adobe Spark Adobe Spark is a web- and mobile-based tool that allows users to design visual content in the form of posts, videos, and web pages. Adobe Spark has three components: spark post, spark video, and spark page. Spark post creates a visual storyboard that represents what the…

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Encouraging Online Students is More Important Now Than Ever

Perhaps the most essential part of learning online is connecting with and encouraging online students. Merely copying and pasting the course content into a learning management system cannot be the extent of online course development. Encouragement can come in many forms, including positive feedback on assignments, emails, phone calls, and video messages. To encourage online learners, teachers can create short video messages that can be used to help students persevere through academic and personal challenges.…

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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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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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