An Introduction to Critical Thinking by Steven D. Schafersman
This article explains best practices for instructors to teach students critical-thinking skills inside and outside the classroom. Some instructors do not teach students how to think, but what to think about. If instructors teach from the book, students only memorize facts and don’t apply critical-thinking skills outside the classroom. When instructors teach students to critically evaluate and assess what they learn, skills are developed that enhance learning.
Applying Cognitive Load Theory to the Design of Web-Based Instruction by Susan Feinberg & Margaret Murphy
This article explains how effective cognitive-load theory enhances the design of web-based instruction. Cognitive-load theory is mental energy needed to understand a particular amount of information. As the amount of information increases, so will cognitive load; however, if the amount of information exceeds a student’s capacity to understand information, learning will not occur. The author provides three web-based recommendations which do not strain the students’ cognitive load.
Arousing and Sustaining Curiosity: Lessons from the ARCS Model by Marilyn P. Arnone and Ruth V. Small
This article explains how incorporating curiosity-design elements into the ARCS (attention, relevance, curiosity, satisfaction) model are beneficial for instructors. There are two types of learners, and they include students who want relief from boredom and students who explore outcomes to problems. Curiosity can be difficult to incorporate in the classroom, but the authors provide recommendations to achieve positive learning outcomes.
A “Best of” List that Celebrates the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning by Maryellen Weimer, PhD
Eight of the top pedagogical journal articles.
Blended Learning and Teaching by Liz Pape
The author explains how blended classrooms and use of Web 2.0 tools encourage student learning. Incorporating online tools helps students develop critical-thinking and communication skills, and allows them to receive and exchange information outside traditional classroom environments.
Blogging and RSS by Will Richardson
This article explains how blogs and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) are incorporated in online and face-to-face classrooms. They allow students to engage in discussions and exchange information. The author explains how blogs can announce assignments or engage students in discussions. An RSS feed automatically distributes new content from a website to an individual, which he or she has marked as a favorite.
Designing and Instructional Design by Gordon Rowland
If the basis of instructional design is understood, it is easier for instructors to create effective lessons, assignments and syllabi for students. Design is never the same since designers and outcomes have different objectives and processes. The author provides four fundamental definitions of design for instructors to reference: purpose or goals of designing, relationships to other processes, factors that influence design and the nature of the design process.
An Educational Mobile Blogging System for Supporting Collaborative Learning by Yueh-Min Huang, Yu-Lin Jeng and Tien-Chi Huang
This study explains how mobile blogging in a classroom enhances student learning. With an increase in mobile technology, students frequently turn to the Web and digital devices to communicate with one another. Results showed this method helps students work collaboratively, participate in discussions and engage in learning.
Exploring Instructional Design Issues with Web-Enhanced Courses by Andra K. Goldberg
This article explains how to use web-enhanced tools in face-to-face classrooms. Adding web tools promotes effective learning and strengthens relationships between an instructor and students. If designed effectively, web-based tools provide additional outlets for students to give and receive information and communicate with one another.
Facebook: The New Classroom Commons? by Harriet L. Schwartz
A professor at Carlow University explains how she uses Facebook to interact with students and alumni. Facebook provides immediate responses, but helps the professor connect to students and answer questions more quickly. However, the professor only uses Facebook as a way to interact in educational and professional manners. Recommendations are included as how to use interact with students through Facebook.
How Elementary is Wikipedia? by Kristin Fontichiaro and Carl A. Harvey II
Wikipedia is a resource for students to obtain easy-to-access and navigable information, but some instructors do not consider the site to be an acceptable resource for research. This article explains to instructors how to show students to use Wikipedia for initial research and what steps to take if an article is not edited or lacks sufficient information for a subject.
Intercultural Internet-Based Learning: Know Your Audience and What It Values by Joanne P.H. Bentley, Mari Vawn Tinney and Bing Howe Chia
Instructors should be aware of international students’ different learning styles and cultures. The authors provide eight recommendations that can be used to effectively communicate with students. They include understanding differences in language difference, educational culture, technical infrastructure, learning style, locality, reasoning pattern and social, high and low context.
Is It OK to Poke You? by Kurt Soller
Millions of students use Facebook to connect with friends or use it for classroom assignments. Like any form of communication, etiquette must be followed. This article explains guidelines and rules for proper Facebook netiquette.
Learning in 140-character Bites by David Zax
A professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign asked students to Tweet what confuses or interests them in the class. This micro-blogging helps the professor realize what lessons or materials need further explanations so students can comprehend materials. The author explains how it is beneficial to utilize this tool since it encourages student engagement and collaboration in the classroom.
Online Forum Instructional Guide by Ismail Elmahdi submitted by Susan Bonzi
This article provides recommendations for instructors to create effective student discussions and content. Four best practices included are pedagogical, social, managerial and technical. Pedagogical techniques include the creation of an atmosphere that motivates students to form meaningful conversations that build community. Building community and avoiding isolation of student involves social ideas. Managerial tips include providing a syllabus that establishes guidelines for participation and assignments, and allowing sufficient time for implementing lessons plans and discussions. Instructors should be aware of computer software used, and should know what department to contact if the system malfunctions.
Research on Cognitive Load Theory: Application to E-Learning by Gary R. Morrison & Gary J. Anglin
This article explains best practices to reduce students’ cognitive load in the classroom. Cognitive load is the energy needed to understand information. Students in face-to-face classrooms understand course content more easily because they have immediate feedback and contact with an instructor. This speed of interactivity is not as fast in online classrooms, and it creates frustrated students with an overload of information.
Rubrics for the Classroom: Assessments for Students and Teachers by Stacy Reeves & Barbara Standord
The learning process is enhanced when students receive feedback from instructors. This is accomplished through rubrics, which measure instruction and evaluate student learning. This article explains how to create a rubric that has solid objectives for students to follow.
Rubrics in Education: Old Term, New Meanings by Bruce S. Cooper & Anne Gargan
This article explains the history and background of rubrics. Today, educators use rubrics to categorize factors that assess behavior and performance in classrooms. The author explains how rubrics provide clear expectations for students’ assignments.
Running a Classroom Blog by Margie Gelbwasser
Blogs serve as an area where students receive and exchange information. This article provides answers to commonly-asked questions when instructors begin a blog in the classroom. Answers include how to respond to content, what is appropriate content, privacy issues and tips how to grade blog grammar.
Should There Be a Three-Strikes Rule Against Pure Discovery Learning? by Richard E. Mayer
This article explains how guided discovery is more effective than pure discovery. In guided discovery, some instruction is given to students when they learn new materials, and pure-discovery has none. With guided discovery, students understand principles and outcomes to problems. Learning is active, and students retain information and build a larger knowledge base. The author suggests enhancing learning through constructivist teaching, which includes active participation and hands-on activities.
Single Point Rubric: A Tool for Responsible Student Self-Assessment by Jarene Fluckiger
The author explains how single-point rubrics are effective as multiple-point rubrics; they help students assess work performance more quickly and effectively. Single-point rubrics assess the following criteria: “I know where I’m going,” “I know where I am now,” “I know how to get there” and “ I know how to go beyond.”
The Spread of Social Media Encompasses the Classroom by Andrew Davis
At first, instructors believed social media a fad that would go away. This article explains how social media is here to stay in the class, and how it is popular among students. Social media helps students improve writing skills and provides alternate ways to communicate. It also provides instructors with innovative ways to design courses.
Students Push Their Facebook Use Further Into Course Work by Alexandra Rice
Study results that surveyed the use of technology in college showed that students would like to see social networks, like Facebook, incorporated into the classroom. Students communicate with peers through Facebook to talk about assignments and course materials. If instructors include technologies students understand and use in the course, student participation and engagement increases because they are comfortable with the social networks.
Teachers Make the Move to the Virtual World by Katie Ash
This article explains benefits and challenges teaching online courses, and provides recommendations how to be an effective instructor. It is recommended instructors ask open-ended, creative questions, emphasize collaboration and cooperation and provide effective evaluation and feedback to students. Instructors must be comfortable with technology and handle simple technical malfunctions.
Twitter App in Classroom Increases Involvement, Research Finds by Purdue University
A study was conducted that allowed students to Tweet and text-message during and after class. Results showed that students become more engaged in materials and increased participated with classroom activities. The study explains how Twitter allows professors to provide students feedback and answer questions or clarify lessons learned in lectures.
Twitter as a Learning Tool by Pat Galagan
This article explains to first-time users the benefits and inside scope of Twitter. Besides providing a detailed explanation about the site, the author explains how Twitter enhances learning among students, improves communication and acts as a networking tool.
The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring by Benjamin S. Bloom
The author explains how group instruction can be as effective as one-to-one tutoring. The author provides four recommendations to optimize group instruction in the classroom, including the learner, instructional materials, home environments and the instructor and instruction process.
Using Rubrics to Promote Thinking and Learning by Heidi Goodrich Andrade
Rubrics help students develop thinking skills, and provide criteria or guidelines for an assignment. They provide information about students’ strengths, and show what skills could be improved.
What’s Right – and What’s Wrong – With Rubrics by W. James Popham
This article explains how rubrics improve instructional quality. If rubrics aren’t organized in an effective way, they do not serve as optimal guidelines for students to follow, which results in inadequate performance. Effective rubrics include specific evaluative criteria, skills or ideas assessed and outline of what the project goals encompass.
Wikis and Blogs: Your Key to Student Collaboration and Engagement by Catherine Imperatore
This article explains the difference between blogs and wikis and how both enhance learning. Blogs encourage engagement when questions or thoughts are posted onto the site, and this causes students to think and reflect about questions and answers. Wikis provide students a repository to add and delete information and content in one forum.