Monday, August 6, 2012

Real World Connections - Current Events

Last week I discussed the benefit of connecting the course content to real world examples and experiences.  I specifically focused on how showing your own professional connection to the course material can help students really see the course content in a tangible and usable fashion.  I'd like to continue that discussion this week by discussing another great real world connection, current events.

By drawing from what is currently happening in the world, we can help our students see course content in a more global and practical way.  Whether the courses you teach are in general education, business, accounting, legal, medical sciences, technology, or any of the other programs offered, there are unlimited opportunities to find current events relevant to your courses.  A great starting point could simply be checking in to GoogleNews on a regular basis.

How might you then connect the current events to your current unit?  The discussion boards are a great venue for this.  Adding in your own thread to the discussion for a unit could help students think about the topic you are discussing on a broader and/or deeper level.  Brian Craig, Online Paralegal Program Chair, has shared an excellent example of how he has done this in his own classes:

Subject: Constitutional Rights for Animals?

Hi class,
I read a news article on CNN about a lawsuit filed a few months ago by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claiming that five SeaWorld killer whales are being held in slavery or involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment. What do you think of this lawsuit? Should animals be afforded constitutional rights? Why or why not? For more information, click on the link below for the article from CNN.

Thanks for sharing this example, Brian!  And if anyone has any questions or examples of their own they'd like to share, please just let me know.

Have a great week!
Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

No comments:

Post a Comment