Blog Posts

A Journey Toward Online Teaching and Learning

Tracy Smith Appalachian State University I had to do it. Enrollments in teacher education were dwindling, and as program director, I was feeling the heat: increase enrollments or risk administrative program cuts. I was told that delivering the program online might be the answer. The emerging business model for higher education asserted that online degree programs increase enrollments and reduce costs (Bach, 2007; Davidson-Shivers, Savenye, & Rasmussen, 2012; Rubin, 2013). Still, I was reluctant. I knew how to teach in brick and mortar classrooms, with movable furniture, white boards, handouts, projectors, and the occasional shared snack. In my view, I used technology to enhance my t

Students Who Don’t Participate in Class Discussions: They Are Not All Introverts

Todd Zakrajsek Associate Professor - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill As a faculty developer, research showing that both active and engaged learning leads to better long-term learning outcomes (Freeman, et al., 2014) is omnipresent in my mind. Students benefit from working in groups and actively participating in class sessions. Given these benefits, there remains a major challenge in all of this: getting all students to participate in class discussions.  In essentially every class there are those who resist participating, and getting those students to talk remains a challenging aspect of teaching. For years I incorporated strategies designed to get introverts to participat

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