Monday, December 10, 2012

Pulling it all together!

Good Evening!

As we approach the end of a quarter --- and the end of another year --- now is an excellent time for you to "pull everything together" for your students to really help them see how the course material you have covered over the course of the quarter works together, builds upon one another, and relates to the students' futures.  While these are the connections we definitely want our students to be able to be making, offering some guidance or a little push in that direction can make a world of difference in reaching that goal.

There are a number of ways you can do this with and for your students:
  • In the discussion boards ask questions where you directly reference a current concept and ask students to discuss how it relates to at least one other concept from the course;
  • Ask questions in the discussion boards about how the course information will benefit each student in his/her direct future - whether personally or professionally;
  • Offer a recap email or announcement showing a progression of the course concepts;
  • Create - or better yet, have students create - a mind map of the various course concepts and post for all students to review;
  • Create - or once again, have students create - flash cards for students to study key terms from as they study for a final exam, but instead of just the term definition, also include a reference to a connected term.
These are just a few ideas, the options truly are endless, but the key is to get your students thinking about how the course concepts work students see the big picture of the course as it relates to their programs, to their professions, to their lives.  Definitely require the students' participation in the process, but as the instructor, you can start that journey by guiding students along the right path.

Good luck with the last couple of units and I'll be blogging again come winter!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

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