Helping Your Students

ENGAGE

Questions about student engagement are common across institutions and higher education. Educational researchers, cognitive scientists, and psychologists continue to learn new things about cognition, learning, and motivation, and some of those best resources and strategies can be found here.

To Flip or Not to Flip? That is the Question.

Whether you call it inverted instruction, classroom flipping, or some other term, the concept behind this kind of instruction is basic. Students get the foundational knowledge they need outside the classroom and class time is spent on higher-level learning. Properly...

Halting Plagiarism before it Starts: Teaching Strategies

In a previous blog post, I made a brief case for not using plagiarism detection software. I also argued that we could partially resolve some of our concerns about plagiarism by designing writing assignments that offer authentic writing challenges related to our fields...

The 2021 Last Lecture

The 2021 LAST LECTURE – Dr. Candy Noltensmeyer, Communication Department WCU students vote to determine the Student-Nominated Faculty of the Year Award, the recipient of which delivers a “Last Lecture” of her own during the following academic year. This year's Last...

New Canvas Features for October 2021

Canvas New Features October 2021 Canvas provides updates to the platform every month without disruption to service. Some of them are minor fixes and others provide additional features and functionality to users.  As we reach the middle of the first full semester with...

Classroom Discussion – Planning Tips for Online, On-Ground, and New Faculty

Looking for some new ideas for classroom discussion? Seeking an idea for an online discussion? What about a guide for setting norms/expectations related to discussion practices? We have identified some resources to help you think through these questions.   Tips for...

Canvas Course Analytics and Quiz Statistics

Canvas offers instructors some incredibly powerful tools to view course analytics, individual student analytics and quiz statistics. The wealth of information provides instructors with a comprehensive view of student engagement as well as insight into areas for...

Rubrics in Canvas

Rubrics can be used to grade assignments, discussions and quizzes in a course.  Rubrics can be used to as an efficient way to evaluate assignments, quizzes and discussions with more effective and valuable individual feedback and expectation for students.    Why...

Discussions in Canvas

The Canvas’ Discussions Feature - How does it Fare?  Of all Blackboard tools, the Blackboard Discussion Board may be the most utilized by instructors and students. Many faculty rely on the discussion board as a central aspect of their teaching and learning...

Lessons Learned: Back to School in the Time of COVID-19

Author - Lisa Bloom is the Jay M. Robinson Distinguished Professor at Western Carolina University where she has been a member of the faculty since 1989. Her current research interests include using technology to personalize learning environments and to promote...

Faculty Can Register for Video-Conference Mid-Semester Course Analysis

Faculty may now schedule Coulter Faculty Commons staff for a mid-semester course analysis for a fall course. The Quick Course Diagnosis (QCD) takes about 20 minutes and helps faculty better understand challenges their students are facing with content, pacing,...
students learning collaboratively in a lab

Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning involves students working in groups or pairs to discuss concepts and topics or solutions to problems. Through collaborative learning students are more engaged and develop higher-level thinking with an increased understanding of diverse perspectives.

Groups in Canvas

Faculty will be pleased to know that Canvas has a Groups function, just as Blackboard did, and is more functional and flexible.  Faculty can create a variety of groups (e.g. a working group, study...

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Active Learning

Active learning provides students with effective methods for learning by practicing, reinforcing, explaining and solving important concepts, complex questions and skills with intentional alignment to learning activities and learning outcomes for a course.

Students active learning outdoors

Motivating Honors Students

Guest Blogger ~ Dr. April Talent       Whether you're teaching an Honors Section of a course, working with an Honors Student one-on-one through an Honors Contract, or just thinking...

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students learning collaboratively in a lab

Problem Based Learning

(PBL) is a student-centered approach where students learn by working in groups to solve complex problems. This learning concept encourages critical thinking skills, analysis, problem-solving, self-awareness and evaluation often through real world examples for increased motivation, understanding and engagement.

Groups in Canvas

Faculty will be pleased to know that Canvas has a Groups function, just as Blackboard did, and is more functional and flexible.  Faculty can create a variety of groups (e.g. a working group, study...

read more

Flipping the Classroom

Using a blended learning model where the traditional ideas about “in-class” activities and homework are reversed or flipped can be a creative way to effectively increase engagement. This method offers students exposure to new concepts and topics prior to class so that typical class time dominated by lectures of material can be used to enhance student understanding through effective active learning activities.

student reviewing class material prior to class
Student discussion

Dynamic Discussions

Using discussions offers students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge and ideas on a topic while also hearing other perspectives and viewpoints as they relate to the same topic. Students develop greater awareness and enhance their position on a topic while learning to evaluate their views and the perspective of others.

Discussions in Canvas

The Canvas’ Discussions Feature - How does it Fare?  Of all Blackboard tools, the Blackboard Discussion Board may be the most utilized by instructors and students. Many faculty rely on the...

read more

Designing Effective Discussion Questions

ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS OVERVIEW A good question is both answerable and challenging. It will inspire analysis, synthesis, interpretation, and critical thinking. Below are several types of questions...

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Feedback

Increasing student engagement with effective feedback by providing useful guidance and instruction to your students is a key component to their own improvement. Timelyness and frequency plays an important role in effective instructor “pressence” while balancing thoughtful support and motivational challenges.

hand writing with pen on paper

Rubrics in Canvas

Rubrics can be used to grade assignments, discussions and quizzes in a course.  Rubrics can be used to as an efficient way to evaluate assignments, quizzes and discussions with more effective and...

read more
desk with computer and chair

Teaching with Technology

Effective use of technology can improve teaching and learning by creating more accessible and inclusive experiences for your students. Rather than using technology for the sake of using the next best tech tool we encourage the intentional use of technology. With a deeper understanding of how to use technology for enhancement of course material, assessment and analysis becomes more streamlined for instructors while providing multiple avenues of engagement for students based on their learning styles.

New Canvas Features for October 2021

Canvas New Features October 2021 Canvas provides updates to the platform every month without disruption to service. Some of them are minor fixes and others provide additional features and...

read more

Canvas’ Gradebook and SpeedGrader

What’s Different about the Canvas Gradebook?  The Gradebook in Canvas and the Grade Center in Blackboard are similar in many respects. The Grades link is how you and your students access the course...

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