Intelligent agents are automated notifications within learning management systems that can be scheduled to run automatically or manually to track activity within a course. Intelligent agents can be used in a multitude of roles, whether it be as a digital teaching assistant, a digital tutor, or a digital secretary.
Tools embedded in most learning management systems can simplify faculty workload while intentionally engaging students in course content. One such tool is conditional release, which releases online course material contingent upon a student meeting a particular condition or reaching a predetermined criterion.
It’s proven that feedback is one of the most important influences on improving performance and student learning. Screencasting provides faculty a simple, efficient, and effective way to provide personal feedback, which allows the student to better understand the nuances of the comments and the points the instructor is communicating.
Virtual reality is an effective enhancement to classroom instruction that brings experiences to students beyond the lecture or textbook. Many teachers assume the equipment to view virtual reality content is expensive, however, there are dozens of free educational apps, containing hundreds of virtual reality videos that can be viewed through an ordinary cell phone and low-priced Google Cardboard viewers.
Perception is critical to online learning. Not only that, online learning is difficult to navigate if students don’t understand online learning basics. This difficulty is compounded when acculturative stress is present. Ensuring inclusivity and a sense of community is often much more difficult to do in the online setting, as face-to-face interaction is limited.
The most common complaint students have about online courses is that they felt their instructor wasn’t there. In other words, they felt their instructor was missing, they felt left on their own with no content expert, and that they were expected to just figure it all out for themselves. What students enrolled in online courses really want is a “visible” instructor—one who is present, engaged, active, and is consistently facilitating the course.
One common misperception students have regarding online courses is that these courses are easier, less time consuming, and less rigorous than traditional face-to-face courses. This can lead to a major disconnect between expectations and outcome.
About 60-70% of faculty believe that teaching online courses is more work intensive than teaching face-to-face courses. Factors include course preparation before teaching, managing sometimes unwieldy online discussions, and even fielding student questions around the clock.
Authentic assessment can be difficult when you are faced with a vastly diverse audience of students. How can we best meet their needs when each of their learning styles, skills, and passions widely vary? The answer to this challenge may live within the concept of choice.
Research shows that in order to be successful in online classes, students need to be able to manage their time, motivate themselves to work on schedule, and seek help when needed, among other executive functioning skills. One major online learning challenge occurs because many online students are still developing these life skills.
Despite the efforts of excellent online instructors, there’s still a widespread misperception among faculty that online classes are like slow cookers: set and forget. However, neglecting interaction with online students eliminates the best chance of actually teaching them online, of guiding their learning, and helping them make new meaning.
Standards-based grading and specifications grading are forms of mastery grading, which is an alternative to traditional percentage or points-based grading scales.This program provides specific instruction about the relationship between backward design and mastery grading, while leading to how to implement mastery grading into your course.
In order to truly advance the careers and lives of adult learners, educators need to understand the importance of adult learners to universities, the complex lives of adult learners, and the appeal of online courses among this learner group. Not insignificant to this goal is the fact that many of these learners are now millennials with distinct learning preferences and life challenges.