Lee Williams

Lee Williams

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Plan! Plan! Plan! Go through the cycle when designing and developing courses. Be sure to use the appropriate media to deliver the message. Review, evaluate, improve.... it's a continuous process.

A syllabus should be included to provide the students with a roadmap of where to go, what is expected, how they will be graded, etc. The course lectures, discussions, and quizzes/tests are all used to provide knowledge, assess, and evaluate the knowledge. Take into consideration that some revision and tweaking is often needed to turn a traditional F2F course into a hybrid or fully online course. This requires quite a bit of planning and work on the front end, however, frees the instructor up to really engage with the students and work toward deeper learning.


Course planning is crucial to good course design. The organization of material, simple navigation, and content that ecourages critical thinking and problem solving are important. There are many learning activities available, such as synchronous and asynchronous discussions, guest lectures, and readings. Choose the most appropriate for your course. Link rather than upload files to steer clear of copyright infringement.


Stuctural integrity and simple navigation is essential to course development. Additionally, providing content with opportunities to engage in critical thinking and problem solving is important for learning.


Value added assessments are useful for providing even more information about student learning. Rubrics are a great tool to provide studens with expectations of what is required to acheive a specific grade. Additionally, the use of alternative and authentic assessment provide additional opportunities of assessment that other types of assessments do not offer.


The difference between norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments are used for comparisons. Objective assessments are used to determine correct or incorrect. Subjective assessments are used for opinions. All assessments should be sound and free from bias or distortion. Must be both reliable and valid.


Choosing the appropriate type of assessment is important. Choose the assessment based upon the need. For example, use a diagnostic assessment when you need to obtain knowledge about a student's skills, misconceptions, or prior knowlege knowledge before beginning a learning activity. Use ongoing, formative assessments throughout the learning activity to measure growth, determine what the student has mastered and what still needs work. Use a summative assessment at a specific point in time to measure competency.

1. Always choose the best tool for the job.

2. Always test out the tool with as many use cases as possible.

3. Only choose the functions you need and do not add bells and whistles just because you can.


Critical thinking skills are crucial to learning. Students often struggle with critical thinking because they may not have been taught how to think critically or encouraged to do so. Providing guidance and opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking is key to successful learning, espeically active learning. The goal is to teach our students how to think rather than what to think. 

Problem-based, cooperative, and collaborative learning are all examples of active learning. When creating activities to engage students, choosing the right strategy to acheive the learning objective is important. These types of learning translate into the real world… >>>

Active learning requires learning to be student-centered. Assessments and constructed, targeted, timely feedback is important. Students do not learn from "Good job." They need to know specifics, espeically for areas of improvement. 


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