Designing For Visual Learning

When thinking about ways to improve your course design, don’t underestimate the power of visuals. As we learn more about cognitive science, it’s becoming clear that visual learning should have a very significant role in instruction. There is some compelling evidence on the benefits of incorporating meaningful visuals to enhance learning. Educational studies show that we are “wired” to quickly comprehend and remember […]

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 […]

What is academic rigor?

Academic rigor is something we hear thrown around with other educational buzzwords, but not often defined. What does it mean in a practical sense? Rigor is not just about giving harder tests, assigning more homework, or providing extra credit for overachievers. Academic rigor is about creating challenging, engaging, and engrossing lessons that encourage each student to think in new ways. Dr. Robyn Jackson, an educational author and speaker, breaks it down into […]

Improve Lectures With Stories

With Summer here, and light at the end of the tunnel, maybe there’s time to think about course improvements for Fall. With better lectures, you can enhance both online and face-to-face courses. Here are 3 easy ways to make your lectures more effective and memorable: Improve lectures with personal stories: Humans are wired to hear and remember stories. Adding your own personal anecdotes […]

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, […]

Winners of the 2014 “Education Oscars”

The winners of the 2014 University of Pennsylvania Re-imagine Education contest (considered by some to be “Oscars” of course design) have been busy innovating and developing new data-driven student engagement models to help students succeed. Even if you’re not ready to buy into to the winning companies’ services, you can employ similar pedagogical strategies to improve learning outcomes. From the winners list below, we’ve gleaned some easy, practical takeaways you can use in […]

Survey Says: Students prefer hybrid courses

Are hybrid courses the best of both worlds in higher education? According to recent research, around 70% of students seem to think so. In their 2014 review of undergraduate students, Educause Research found that students prefer and learn the most in blended learning environments. Students still value some degree of contact with instructors, along with effectively integrated online technology. Read more […]