Today more than ever students need skills that will help them solve problems and think critically both in and out of the classroom. Thinking critically not only strengthens the brain, but also helps students connect what they have learned in the past to what they are learning today. These connections can help students address higher order thinking problems and also motivate them to engage meaningfully with course content. To help your students achieve higher order thinking skills, refer to Bloom’s Revised and/or Digital taxonomies when you design objectives, assignments, and assessments.
Learning is optimal when it is active and intentional and so keeping students engaged is vital. Faculty draw from a variety of available instructional strategies in their efforts to better engage students and enhance learning opportunities. One approach is incorporating multimedia content to course material.
This fall (2013), Northern Illinois University launched its first Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, titled Perspectives on Disability and led by Greg Long. Building this course has been an absolute labor of love for everyone involved, and we thought it would be helpful to share what we have learned.
NIU Faculty, Deans, and Department Chairs are invited to learn about developing and implementing learner-centered instructional materials, teaching strategies, and assessments by attending Driving Instruction with Data: Assessment on Thursday, November 7, 2013, from 10 a.m. to noon in the University Suites of the Holmes Student Center.
Each May, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center invites faculty to participate in a day-long workshop on “Designing a Writing-Enhanced Course,” led by English professor Brad Peters. Attendees have received a stipend of $250 from Vision 2020 funds to select and develop a course, using the most effective methods of assignment design. They learn best practices in preventing plagiarism, encouraging revision, fostering critical thinking, lightening the paper load, and grading.
In an effort for the campus community to rely less on paper, Blackboard has recently released a new Inline Grading feature which is an enhancement to the current Assignment feature already in Blackboard. Now, instead of requiring faculty to download student-submitted files to view or edit those submissions, they will be able to take advantage of the new Inline Grading feature to view student-submitted files “inline” directly in the web browser without requiring any special plugins. Faculty can view, comment, and grade these assignments without ever leaving the grading page.
The Retention Center provides easy-to-use data visualization and pre-configured rules for identifying at-risk student in a course. This tool requires no set up and automatically notifies the instructor of students who may need attention, making it easy to respond to risk factors quickly. Blackboard has four alert categories Missed Deadlines, Grade Alerts, Activity Alerts, and Access Alerts.
Spectrum is a newsletter for faculty published every fall and spring semester by Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Adams Hall 319, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115. Phone: (815) 753-0595, Email: email@example.com, Fax: (815) 753-2595, Web site: www.niu.edu/facdev. For more information about featured articles or upcoming faculty development programs, please contact the Center at (815) 753-0595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 10/09/2013