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Distance Teaching and Learning Resources

Free/Low Cost Wi-Fi and Other Online Services

Resources for Online Teaching

The iDEA Book: Educational Research and Practical Examples for Distinctive Course Design is available here. In response to faculty needs during this time, iDesign is launching a new Digital Teaching track to its LX Pathways offerings on March 20, 2020 and will offer free course access for at least the next six months. This brief, focused, competency-based certificate program, designed by digital teaching and learning experts, will address how to:

Recognize and debunk myths around online learning

  • Support peer-to-peer interaction and collaboration in asynchronous spaces
  • Communicate expectations and feedback clearly to students with diverse needs and access to resources, and
  • Form meaningful connections with learners in spite of—or perhaps because of—the physical distance.

The Basics - How to Be a Better Online Teacher

How to be a Better Online Teacher (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2019) by Flower Darby, a senior instructional designer at Northern Arizona University, is an advice guide chock full of great tips for someone starting to teach online or looking for ways to improve their online teaching.

Websites, Blogs, Videos, etc.

  • Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository The University of Central Florida offers the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) as a public resource for faculty and instructional designers interested in online and blended teaching strategies. Each entry describes a strategy drawn from the pedagogical practice of teaching faculty, depicts the strategy with artifacts from actual courses, and is aligned with findings from research or professional practice literature.
  • The Learning Scientists A collection of resources created by a team of cognitive psychologists whose mission is to make research from the learning sciences more accessible and relevant to instructors, students and parents. The site includes a blog with weekly summaries of current research topics, a podcast, and other downloadable teaching content such as materials for teaching effective study strategies.
  • On Top of Online Teaching and Learning Kristi Newgarden, PhD, Assistant Director of Instructional Design and COSC faculty member, curates this website featuring articles related to online teaching and learning with the work of COSC faculty in mind. You can follow this site to receive the latest posts by email.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education (Charter Oak State College Access)
    Website link: The Chronicle of Higher Education home
    Website link: The Chronicle of Higher Education "Wired Campus" blog

Academic Rigor - Three Part Series from Quality Matters

Attached Files:

Quality Matters is releasing a three part series of white papers examining Academic Rigor. Here is an intro to each paper along with the papers themselves:

  • Part I: Given the absence of a widely accepted definition of academic rigor, an erosion of academic expectations in the learning context is a threat to student learning. An objective, measurable definition of academic rigor can facilitate high expectations by prompting a review and implementation of research-based practices. Evidential support for decisions made in crafting and maintaining the learning context provides a rationale for educators to uphold standards even when confronted with resistance or pressure to lower expectations. The first in a three-part series from this invited author, this QM white paper provides the reader with background on the concept and use of the term academic rigor, along with a comprehensive definition of the term.
  • Part II: Locating academic rigor in the higher education landscape requires an explicit consideration and detangling of the constructs that are commonly conflated with it. Many definitions of academic rigor confound it with other variables such as curriculum and/or student learning (e.g., see the variety of definitions in Hechinger Institute, 2009). In the second of three white papers on this topic, learn how various elements affect and support academic rigor. Refer to the first paper in the series for a comprehensive definition of academic rigor.
  • Part III: Academic rigor may be poorly conceptualized and not fully aligned with institutional processes because many assume it is an inherent quality of higher education without the need for examination (e.g., Labaree, 1997; Whitaker, 2016), or some may assume that it cannot be objectively assessed.

Conclusion: Aligning institutional processes with an observable definition of academic rigor – one that is based on research evidence and makes central the importance of student learning – requires a critical examination of existing procedures and documents to verify they acknowledge the multiple, evidence-based ways to demonstrate rigor and accommodate the implications of doing so. A more explicit and aligned approach to demonstrating rigor facilitates clear communication with stakeholders regarding the value of student learning to the institution.

Recommended Reading for Faculty

General Tips on Online Teaching

Assessment and Grading


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