• 9x9x25

    Textbooks

    I’m so excited that the topic of the luncheon on November 20th will be textbooks. One of the most frustrating parts about taking a college course for students can be the textbook! For one, textbooks are ridiculously expensive. Options like buying used and renting from Chegg are great options for students, but texts can still make a huge dent in students’ budgets. Even more trying is the fact that, due to textbook companies continually releasing new versions of books, students may take their book to the bookstore at the end of the semester only to find that it is now worth nothing! In my own classes, I allow students to…

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    Greeting Cards for Students!?

    Over the past nine years, I have learned how important a simple greeting card can be. In my ‘other’ life, I help businesses create relationship marketing strategies to help them retain customers. One of the most important tools in a business toolbox for this purpose is the simple greeting card. This might be simply because greeting cards are so rare, but I tend to think that, in this age of technology, people are longing for a personal touch. A few semesters ago, I thought I might apply what I’ve learned in helping business owners to my own students. After all, my goal is to increase retention and to keep my…

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    My Survey…

    At the end of the Spring 2015 semester, I sent my students a link to an optional online survey using SurveyMonkey.com. I wanted to find out more about what my students needed to help them learn and stay connected in the classroom. The survey was a short, six question survey. How many online classes have you taken? What is your favorite aspect of taking a class online? What is your least favorite aspect of taking a class online? Would you rather a) have an online text with extra resources but pay more, b) have a physical textbook, or c) have the option to purchase an older version of the text,…

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    Using Videos in the Online Classroom

    Several times over the past few semesters, I have had students turn in papers that had absolutely nothing to do with the given assignment. It was quite obvious that they had not read the assignment AT ALL. Of course, if they hadn’t taken time to read the assignment, they also clearly hadn’t taken time to read the example papers or the other instructions for the assignment. Of course, this might be because these students simply don’t care. Or they see the title of an assignment and assume they know what it is. Or they just didn’t have time and turned in something they hoped might work. But, it could also…

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    Teacher Participation

    One of the goals of teaching an online class should be to keep students engaged in the course. Getting student to interact with each other and feel like part of a community helps to increase retention. Students who feel alone are more likely to drop a course. Often, teachers tend to set up all kinds of activities (like discussions, group projects, etc) to help students interact with each other. However, sometimes we forget that we have to be involved, as well, to keep students together. Our students will do what we do. So, what are some ways to improve our own involvement in our courses? First, we should be active…

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    Canvas Course Organization

    Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to speak to two adult students who are taking online classes with YC. Both are returning students after several years, both are also working full-time, and both are excited to be working toward their dreams. Unfortunately, both of them are also experiencing difficulties with at least one of their online courses because their professors have failed to properly set up and organize their classes in Canvas. In both cases, these students have logged into their Canvas course (two different courses and professors!) to simply find a hodge-podge list with no rhyme or reason. Having an organized course in Canvas helps students to succeed…

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