Building Community

Avoid These 5 Big Problems in Online Teaching

What are some of your biggest challenges with online teaching?  Here are some common problems that we hear about, and how you can easily avoid them. 1. The Absent Instructor. After all the upfront work required to prepare an online course, it can be tempting to let it run on “auto-pilot” once the semester starts. This is one of online students’ top complaints; they may feel isolated and alone in […]

Inspiring Student Learning: The Five C’s

Looking for tried-and-true ways to get your students motivated? Joe Ruhl has found some effective methods that will inspire new generations of students. He calls them the “Five C’s” and in a nutshell, he recommends these five easy-to-remember elements that you can integrate into your course design to help inspire student learning: Choice (e.g. a variety of different projects) Collaboration (teamwork) Communication – […]

Educating Generation Z

Consider the characteristics of Gen Z students coming into your classes, comfortable in their digital world, and ready to fully engage online to prepare for their future career. Are your courses providing the kinds of experiences, projects, and skills-based practice that will motivate and challenge these students? Or are you playing it safe with old-school lecture and testing? Taking risks […]

Quality Matters

Exciting news! We adopted Quality Matters to guide our online course quality and review criteria. Here’s a quick rundown on why, and what this will mean going forward. Why Quality Matters? Thousands of colleges and universities worldwide subscribe to Quality Matters’ online course quality standards and peer review process. As we work to expand online program offerings, we want to use evidence-based, widely recognized quality assurance standards […]

No Syllabus Needed

Imagine a course with no syllabus, where students run the class, create their own learning projects, and, essentially determine their own outcomes. What would that look like? For University of Idaho Business majors, it looks like the “Vandal Solutions” course. Students enroll and run the class as an actual business. They hire and train student employees and managers. They determine the viability of project proposals, […]

Collaborative Learning

The topic of group work came up several times recently in my discussions with faculty and I noted hearing the same things from faculty as I heard from students: Everyone hates group work; or we hate group work for some very specific reasons. This gets me to some thoughts on how we can get past […]

Real World Experience

The following discusses the real world experience of Jenine Cordon who was a student at Penn State World Campus during her employment at the University of Idaho: My courses are upper division and the students are typically professionals who have day jobs. Thus, this program attracts people who really want to learn (i.e., it’s not […]