Monday, April 1, 2013

3 Little Things That Make a Big Difference!

Good morning and welcome to a new quarter!  Last quarter we explored various teaching tips from various faculty members, and I have received wonderful responses to these posts so will be continuing with this theme into the new quarter.

Just as many of you have learned from one another, I too have implemented strategies and have seen great success with these in my own classes!  Here are 3 little things I tried during winter quarter that worked great and will continue to use:
  1. Each week I move both the Discussion Post and the Content Folder for the current unit to the top of the listing so students can access them quickly and easily.  Students have really appreciated this and it even streamlines things for me too.  Thanks for the great tip, Warren Eck!
  2. Whenever I hear from a student about a personal issue, concern, or obstacle, I have always made note of it and keep record of all student communications, but this past quarter I went one step further thanks to Katie Adams' suggestion and checked in with students periodically on these different variables and my teacher/student connection got even stronger.
  3. I use my iPad and iPhone on a regular basis to stay connected with my students even when I'm away from my computer, and I love the Blackboard App that is available for these mobile devices.  Thanks to Dave Alldredge's tip about using the microphone feature on the iPad/iPhone, I have been able to really engage in discussion participation no matter where I am and in a very streamlined fashion. 
Thanks Warren, Katie, and Dave for helping me to (1) make things easier for my students so they can focus more on the course work, (2) connect with my students even more, and (3) streamline the overall course facilitation process. 

And thank you to all faculty members who have shared wonderful tips and strategies, many of which I have tried myself and hope all of you try out also.  I encourage each of you to try 3 new things this quarter that your fellow faculty members are doing and I think you too will find great successes and benefits.  And don't forget, tell me what you are doing and the successes you are experiencing!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

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