Podcasts are an easy way to liven up an online course. Podcasts are nothing more than audio files, and have been found to enhance student learning, satisfaction, and feelings of connectedness in online courses. One use of podcasts is to deliver course content. Instead of writing out a “lecture,” an instructor can record it for the students to download and listen to through their cell phones and earbuds while walking to class, riding a bus
Many of us in online education preach that instructors should be active in discussion, but not monopolize it, but we do not have any real research that says how instructor involvement affects student participation in discussion. Cheryl Murphy, associate professor of educational technology at the University of Arkansas, has done research on this subject, and found that the quantity of instructor involvement did not affect the quality of student postings, but it was negatively correlated
Traditional measures of teaching effectiveness (i.e., student evaluations, peer review, or administrative evaluation) provide summative feedback that may be useful for enhancing future instructional strategies, but fail to help current students. Instructors need to use formative evaluations to gain feedback about the effectiveness of current instructional strategies in order to enhance teaching during the current course.
Social media is one of the hottest topics in education. Look at any teaching conference program, and you will find that a large percentage of the sessions are on how to incorporate social media into your teaching. This can lead instructors who do not use social media to feel like they are missing the boat.
The flipped classroom (or “blended learning”) has become a hot topic in education over the past few years. The concept makes perfect sense. Traditional courses are set up to “push” content out to students during the face-to-face meeting, and then have them apply that content to assignments done outside of class.