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For iSchool Instructors:

Students interact directly with course content through lectures, individual assignments, readings and in-class activities.  The matrix below lists methods of interaction and the descriptions of the activity to engage your students with your content in both the main campus and online formats.  The online activities listed below can be used in both asynchronous and synchronous modes.

Student-to-Content Engagement

 

All student activities, including assessments, should be aligned to the outcomes of, and objectives within, the course. Activities should also be designed to meet the needs of students with different learning styles.

 


Method of interaction

Description of the Activity


Main campus

Online

How-to within Blackboard 

Class discussion

Class discussions can relate to the topic(s) of the module. Students can be required to not only discuss their opinions, ideas, and experiences, but also interact with their classmates. The instructor can ask questions relating to the textbook, presentations, etc.

Each module can contain class discussions relating to the topic(s) of the module. Students can be required to not only post their opinions, ideas, and experiences, but also reply to their classmates’ posts. The instructor can pose questions relating to the textbook, online presentations, websites, etc.

Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Instant Engagement – Bell Ringer/ Current Event Activity

Upon entry to the classroom, individually or in small groups – have students respond in writing to a question posted on the white board or in Blackboard.  This should be a writing prompt, a current event topic/statement, a quote, a statement – anything to get them responding in writing related to the content topic for that class time.  Combine this with pair/share to discuss.

Upon entry of the weekly module – use the blog to set up individual entry points or a small group – have the students respond in writing to a question, writing prompt, a current event topic/statement, a quote, a statement – anything to get them responding in writing with each other on the content topic for that weekly module.  You can also use a discussion board to accomplish the same concept.

Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Think – Pair – Share

After lecturing on a topic, present a prompt to encourage engagement or reflection time.  Present a prompt such as 

  • Explain the main idea behind
  • How does what I just talked about (or demonstrated) compare with

Summarize in your own words


Mid week - present a prompt in the discussion board such as


  • Explain the main idea behind
  • How does what I just talked about (or demonstrated) compare with


Summarize in your own words


Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

One Minute Reviews

Student can write these down and share out with the entire class, in small groups or in pairs:

  • The 1 thing that I learned is
  • I still have this one question

3 Things that I did not know before


Asynchronous – do this in a discussion forum.  Synchronous – have them do this in Blackboard Collaborate Chat.

Student can write these down and share out with the entire class, in small groups or in pairs:


  • The 1 thing that I learned is
  • I still have this one question


3 Things that I did not know before



Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Jigsaw

-       The instructor presents a list of possible topics for developing expertise, making the division of the material into component parts clear.

-       Students from a group through either teacher assignment or by their own interest areas.

-       Students work in these expert groups to master the topic. They also determine the ways to help others to learn the material, exploring possible explanation, examples, illustrations, and applications.

-       Students move from their expert groups to new jigsaw groups on which each student serves as the only expert on a specific topic. In these groups, experts teach their material and lead the discussion on their particular topic. Thus, each new jigsaw group consists of four to six students, each prepared to teach their subject to their peers.

The whole class reflects on the group discoveries in a closure activity.

-       The instructor presents a list of possible topics for developing expertise and creates forum for each of these topics.

-       Students will be included into the forums through either instructor assignment or by students’ own interest areas.

-       Students work in these expert groups to master the topic. They also determine the best ways to teach the topic online to other students using online materials, web pages, illustration, graphics, and etc.

-       Students move from their expert groups to new jigsaw groups on which each student serves as the only expert on a specific topic. In these groups, experts teach their material and lead the discussion on their particular topic. Thus, each new jigsaw group consists of four to six students, each prepared to teach their subject to their peers.

-       The whole online group reflects on the group discoveries in a closure activity.

As a closing activity online instructor can provide students with a list of the key points to address. Analyze the whole class discussions on how they fulfilled the assignment, where they felt short, and where they exceeded the learning requirements.

Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Team Matrix or

Common-Sense Inventory

-       Write 5-15 interesting true false statement related to the course/syllabus/instructor or whatever topic you want for the first day of the course;

-       Ask students to form pairs or small groups and mark statements as True or False. The group gives the final decision together and explains their decisions.

-       The instructor can state the question using different program such as Poll Everywhere. By the end of the discussion the instructor either can give the true answers or can tell students they will learn the answers during the course.

 


 

The screenshot was taken from the book Barkley et al., (2014). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty (p. 217).

-       Write 5-15 interesting true false statement related to the course/syllabus/instructor or whatever topic you want for the first day of the course;

-       Ask students to form pairs or small groups and mark statements as True or False. The group gives the final decision together and explains their decisions, then post it on discussion board.

-       The instructor can state the question using different program such as Poll Everywhere. By the end of the discussion the instructor either can give the true answers or can tell students they will learn the answers during the course.

 


 

The screenshot was taken from the book Barkley et al., (2014). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty (p. 217).

Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Sequence Chain

This game requires students to create a visual map of the logic within a series.

-       Choose what information/items students should organize into a sequence /series,

-       Decide whether students will generate the items to be organized, or whether you will provide them with a scrambled list of items. 

-       Organize students into groups, set a time limit, and either provide students with a scrambled list of items, or have them generate their own list of items. 

-       Ask students to work together to arrange the items into a sequence. If students will do additional activities such as explaining the relationship between items, give them directions and clarify your expectations.

Close the activity with a group discussion, asking teams to use their Sequence Chain as the basis for helping you create a class-generated Sequence Chain. Alternatively, ask students to draw their sequences on flip-chart paper, then post these around the room and have students wander around to look at other teams’ solutions.

This game requires students to create a visual map of the logic within a series.

-       Choose what information/items students should organize into a sequence /series,

-       Decide whether students will generate the items to be organized, or whether you will provide them with a scrambled list of items. 

-       Organize students into groups, set a time limit, and either provide students with a scrambled list of items, or have them generate their own list of items. 

-       Ask students to work together to arrange the items into a sequence. If students will do additional activities such as explaining the relationship between items, give them directions and clarify your expectations.

Close the activity with a group discussion, asking teams to use their Sequence Chain as the basis for helping you create a class-generated Sequence Chain. Alternatively, ask students to draw their sequences on flip-chart paper, then post these on the discussion board and have students reply and discuss.

Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Case Study

Write several good case studies. The cases can be real or hypothetical.

-       Ask students to form a group or form group of students and to pick up one case study to work on.

-       Students sort out factual data, apply analytic tools, articulate issues, reflect on their relevant experience, draw conclusions, and recommend actions that resolve the dilemma or solve the problem in the case by a specific deadline. You may use following questions to guide students in their approach to the case: What is the problem? What might have caused the problem? What evidence can be gathered to support or discount any of the hypotheses? What conclusions can be drawn? What recommendations?

-       Students can report the final product in written or oral presentation or however instructor requires.

-       If the case really occurred, students may ask questions on what happened; therefore, it would be better to be prepared to share the real results of the case with students.

 

Give one case study to all class and them to work on it in a group.

Every group communicates between each other and complete and write up their analysis by a specific deadline.

Once every group has posted their analysis, ask each group to evaluate or comment another group’s work. (the instructor can also use a specific evaluation rubric)

Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Group Assignments

Assignments

 

Group Investigation

First, decide what kind of resources you would like your students to use: popular and/or scholarly resources? Online and/or library books/periodicals? Interview with experts?

Specify reporting method: construct a mode? Act out a skirt? Give a presentation? Create a video? Build a web page? etc.

-       Have students to brainstorm potential topics that fit within your parameters.

-       Select the topics for investigation from the list that students have generated. Or you can ask students also to participate in election process. You can ask them to vote for their top three choices.

-       Form teams based on topic interest.

-       Give team to organize their way of investigation. What resources they are going to use and how they will use them. How they will formulate their research questions, identify goals, etc. OR The instructor can assign student different roles to do this investigation.

-       Ask groups to begin their investigation, gathering information, reviewing it, deciding whether more information is needed, and analyzing and interpreting the information. Following steps can be applied:

  1. Identifying a topic
  2. Preparing a prospectus that states the investigation’s title, purpose, intended audience, major points, and a schedule of group and individual tasks.
  3. Gathering sources, data, references
  4. Developing an outline
  5. Planning the presentation
  6. Revising the final report or presentation

-       Have groups prepare their final reports. The instructor can ask students to be more creative in their presentation and present the final product using multiple ways of presentations.

NOTE: Do not send an entire class to investigate the same information.

 

Break down the research process into its various parts and outline tasks so that each student is clear on their responsibilities

Provide a specific deadline to work on the task

Have final reports posted in a public forum for all members of the class to view.

For closure, create an assignment that requires all students to view the various reports. For example, evaluate each group final report base on a rubric provided by the instructor; answer a specific content questions posted by the instructor for the final reports.

Discussions

Groups

Group Discussions

Group Assignments

Assignments

 

Learning cell

Ask students to individually develop a list of questions and answers dealing with the major points raised in a reading or other learning assignments. For example, Explain why _____? Why is__ important? Compare __ and __. Summarize__., etc.

Form student pairs

Explain the process of activity:

-       Student A begins by asking the first question, and Student B answers the question. Student A offers corrections and additional information until a satisfactory answer is achieved.

-       Student B asks the next question and Student A answers and the process repeats until all questions have been asked and answered.

By the end of the activity, students can emphasize the question that interest, puzzle, or inspire them.

 

NOTE: you can encourage student to create different type of questions such as 5 True/False, multiple choices, etc.

Ask students to individually develop a list of questions and answers dealing with the major points raised in a reading or other learning assignments. For example, Explain why _____? Why is__ important? Compare __ and __. Summarize__. , etc.

Form student pairs

Explain the process of activity:

-       Student A begins by asking the first question, and Student B answers the question. Student A offers corrections and additional information until a satisfactory answer is achieved.

-       Student B asks the next question and Student A answers and the process repeats until all questions have been asked and answered.

By the end of the activity, students can emphasize the question that interest, puzzle, or inspire them.

 

NOTE: you can encourage student to create different type of questions such as 5 True/False, multiple choices, etc.

Asyncronous:
Groups

Group Discussions

 

Syncronous:

Collaborate Ultra

 

Collaborate Ultra – Start a Session

Collaborate Ultra - Recording

Collaborate Ultra - Breakout Groups

 

Test-taking teams

-       Form groups of students. Make sure each group contains diverse or ability-balanced members.

-       Depending on the complexity of the materials groups can meet for fifteen minutes, for a full class session or longer.

-       Administer the test for students to complete individually and to submit to the instructor for grading.

-       Before returning the individual grading results, ask students to rejoin their groups to reach a consensus on the answers and submit a group response to the test.

Consider averaging individual test grades and group test grades to determine individual grades. For example, two-thirds for individual plus one-third for group.

Due to issues of academic honesty, it is best to create essay or problem-solving exams for online course.

-       Form groups of students. Make sure each group contains diverse or ability-balanced members.

-       Give groups time to work together to pool information, resources, and ideas to prepare for the test.

-       Administer the exam for students to complete individually and to submit to the instructor for grading.

-       Before returning the individual grading results, ask students to rejoin their groups to work on collaborative exam responses to submit.

-       Assign one student submit the group test result for her/his group.

-       Ask students to write down an individual reflection on group members contribution.  At the same time, the copy of the material they used to organize their discussion.

-       Consider averaging individual test grades and group test grades to determine individual grades. For example, two-thirds for individual plus one-third for group.

 

Group Assignments

Assignments

Exams

References

  • Barkley, E. F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C. H. (2014). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. John Wiley & Sons. 
  • Belanich, J., Wisher, R. A., & Orvis, K. L. (2003). Web-Based Collaborative Learning: An Assessment of a Question-Generation Approach (No. ARI-TR-1133). ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ALEXANDRIA VA. 
  • Cross, K. P., & Angelo, T. A. (1988). Classroom Assessment Techniques. A Handbook for Faculty. 
  • Kagan, S. (1989). The structural approach to cooperative learning. Educational leadership, 47(4), 12-15. 

iSchool Short-Term Course Conversion Toolkit

Additional Consulting and Support

Syracuse University Academic Continuity Resources: For recommendations from Central SU regarding implementing Blackboard fully as a teaching platform start to finish:

James Powell/iSchool Tech Services - ischoolit@ot.syr.edu Questions regarding choosing, implementing, or trouble-shooting any other instructional technology.  

To help with your iSchool Lab Services:

Brenna Helmstutler - A guide from SU Libraries to support faculty, student, and staff resource needs: https://library.syr.edu/coronavirus.php.

  -  iSchool research guides offering tips and resource links are available here: https://researchguides.library.syr.edu/prf.php?account_id=152875.