Moving Forward: Teaching in Uncertain Times

Community Blog on online, hybrid, and F2F teaching during the pandemic

Instructional discourse: Language Functions and Classroom Practices

By Viviana Cortes, Ph.D. (Applied Linguistics and ESOL) Perhaps the best way to start a discussion about functional language is to look at written language. When we write, we need to make sure the language we use is communicating what we want to convey. This language is not only related to the information we want…

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Creating a More Inclusive Space for Our Students on the Autism Spectrum

By Jennifer Hall, PhD, CETLOE and Department of English In the US, April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance month. This month is set aside to encourage awareness and acceptance of friends, family, colleagues, and other community members on the autism spectrum. To honor this month, I’d like to  share some ideas on developing an inclusive…

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The Value of Mid-Semester Feedback

By Diana S. Barber, J.D., Lecturer in the Dean’s Office of Robinson College of Business teaching large asynchronous online sections of 750-800 students, mostly freshman and transfer students (March 31, 2021) I have found that one of the most important aspects of refining and improving a course is the mid-semester feedback received from students. Not…

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Spring has sprung: Or, How to Compete with Sunshine and Fresh Air

Let’s be honest with ourselves about the second half of spring semester. Under normal circumstances, it’s difficult to keep students (and maybe even ourselves) on task and in the zone after spring break. The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and no one wants to be stuck inside. Just like everything else during Covid,…

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Grading Efficiently and Effectively using Gradescope

By Laura Carruth and Martha Fulk Using authentic assessments is increasingly encouraged as one way to develop “cheat-proof” assignments. Authentic assessments are also much more effective measures of student learning. One complication though is that they may require more time to grade and provide timely and useful feedback. In addition, the pandemic has resulted in…

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High-Impact Practices and Online Learning

As most of us moved to fully online asynchronous courses in the summer and fall, we were understandably more focused on how to deliver content than how to engage students. The experiential and active learning approaches that we had developed over time in our physical classrooms were difficult to translate to a new modality, and…

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VoiceThread for Interactive Online Teaching

By: Ashley J. Holmes, Ph.D. (Department of English & CETLOE) In recovery from 2020 technology overload, I’ve tried to slow down this semester to be more intentional with how I’m using technology in my teaching. I wanted something that would help make my online classes more interactive–something to get students turning on those webcams! I…

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The art of asking questions in the classroom

By Viviana Cortes, Ph.D. (Department of Applied Linguistics & ESOL and CETLOE) When we teach classes in real time, face-to-face or online synchronously, we do not often reflect upon our language practices in the classroom. When we teach blended courses or asynchronous online classes, we may have a little more time to think about the…

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Synchronous vs. Asynchronous?

Prior to March 2020 the differences between synchronous and asynchronous teaching may not have been something you thought much about.  However, as online teaching continues, we need to put more thoughtful consideration into which online modality will work best for our students and courses. Synchronous instruction promotes consistency for student schedules but there are concerns…

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Stop Fighting the System

Now that I have your attention with my vague and slightly troubling title, maybe I should elaborate a bit. A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak as part of a panel on the concept of “systems thinking” in the academic world.  I probably should have declined the invitation, given my limited knowledge of…

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