Page 3 - Distance Education Best Practices
P. 3

• If possible, try to have all instructional materials housed in the
                                      learning management system in a repository.  That way, students
                                      only need to access a single repository for all the materials.
                                    • Have all the "need to know" materials with "nice to know" materials
                                      as supplemental so students are not overwhelmed.
                                    • Make sure to have a variety of instructional tools.  Don't just have
                                      narrated PowerPoints, but try to include YouTube videos, TedTalks, or
         Instructional                audio files, if possible.

            Materials               • Videos should be short in length and connect with the content.
                                    • Consider if the assignment being used is the best assignment for an
                                      online course.  Assignments may need to be rethought to fit the
                                      distance education format more appropriately.

                                    • Introduce yourself via video and encourage the students to do the
                                      same, if possible.  It is always nice to put a face to the name.
                                    • Use discussion forum assignments wisely.  One idea for utilizing
                                      discussion forums is to do so in a way in which students can identify
                                      areas in which they are struggling and for other students to try and
                                      explain it in their own words.  Some instructors allow students to
                                      respond to discussion forums in a variety of ways, such as
                                      PowerPoints, concept maps, or original videos.
                                    • Include activities that enable students to interact with both faculty
                                      as well as classmates.  Think of group activities other than
                                      discussion board forums.  This is a good place to use Zoom, Teams,
                                      Flipgrid ©, Eduflow ©, whiteboards, etc. depending on if the course
                                      is synchronous or asynchronous.  Incorporating both synchronous
                                      or asynchronous activities facilitate both student engagement and
                                      course flexibility.*

           Course                   • Break down content into smaller "chunks" or utilize "microlearning."
                                      This keeps the attention of students and increases the possibility of
        Activities                  • Provide review exercises during and after to reinforce learning and
                                      identify any gaps in the students' knowledge.
                                    • Pair students up for assignments. This is an excellent way for
                                      facilitating student engagement with each other and the material
                                      being covered.
                                    • Provide activities for faculty members to enable formative
                                      assessment and intervene, if needed.
                                    • Provide immediate feedback, if possible, to students for corrective
                                    • Do not reinvent the wheel!  If there is an effective resource that
                                      already exists and is available for public use that covers the topic in
                                      a quick and concise manner - use it!
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