Exciting News from Magna

We are writing to let you know about some exciting changes coming to your Online Classroom subscription. Beginning in August, content from Online Classroom will merge with The Teaching Professor and we’ll discontinue offering Online Classroom as a stand-alone product. The new version of The Teaching Professor will be an online-only format and will provide you with more content than what you currently receive. This new online version will include everything you love about Online Classroom—great articles and practical, evidence-based insights—but also feature many new enhancements that will make this indispensable resource even better.

Ways to Improve Relationships in Online Classes

Establishing a healthy learning environment is key to teaching. But opportunities for making personal connections and relationships with students are greatly reduced in online classes. Thus, online instructors need to make a special effort to foster relationships in their online courses.

Tips from the Pros: Improve Student Learning with Collective Annotations

Most faculty think of studying as a solitary activity, especially in an online environment where students cannot simply set a time to meet in the library. But there are a variety of collective annotation systems that allow student collaboration in understanding course material. These systems allow users to post comments on texts, websites, and videos for others to see. With them, faculty can allow students to annotate course resources as they study for others in the class to see. These could be summaries of the arguments, questions, or comments about the issues covered.

Replace Your Expensive Textbook with a Free E-Book

I have taught undergraduate students for nearly 35 years. In the past decade, I have seen an increasing number of students who don’t buy the textbook or, if they do, rarely read it. Many of my non-native English students struggle to understand discipline-specific terminology and complex conceptual passages. To counter these trends, I began exploring alternative ways to present content that Generation Z students would find more engaging and effective in transmitting and understanding content.

What Messages Are You Sending with Your Videos?

Rebecca Yvonne Bayeck and Jinhee Choi of Pennsylvania State University recently did an interesting study examining how MOOC videos convey messages about culture and power through elements such as dress, setting, and character position. For instance, they found that educational videos from France and South Korea tend to focus on one person who is in professional attire and a formal pose. These elements convey a message of authority, and that the speaker is a fountain…

Emotions in Online Teaching

In general, academia tends toward the emotionless, focusing on the content of ideas over feelings. But we are emotional beings, and emotions impact everything we do. Why wouldn’t emotions play into our experiences teaching and learning online?