Week of April 19, 2021
Focus Topic: Show Me What You Have Learned
No two students are exactly alike. Learners can differ in their perception and understanding of information. One student may struggle with the ability to organize information so it is easily remembered; another may struggle with learning barriers; and still another may have difficulty navigating a learning environment and expressing what they have learned. Providing students with multiple ways to demonstrate their understanding can help students choose a method that works optimally for them. For example, you might provide students an opportunity to express their knowledge through quizzes, case studies, a poster presentation, research report or creating a video. Here is a two-minute video showing how Professor Kari Kumar incorporates Universal Design in Learning principles in her health science course.
Teaching Tip: Universal Design for Learning: Representation
UDL is a belief that all students should have increased opportunities to be successful learners. One way to achieve this is to reduce barriers and provide multiple means of representation. Representation is the “WHAT” of learning.
Multiple means of representation provide students options for...
Perception (providing information through different modalities or information that can be adjusted by the user). “Learning is impossible if information is imperceptible to the learner, and difficult when information is presented in formats that require extraordinary effort or assistance. To reduce barriers to learning, it is important to ensure that key information is equally perceptible to a variety of learners” (UC Berkeley).
Language and Symbols (ensure that alternative representations are provided not only for accessibility, but for clarity and comprehensibility across all learners). “Learners vary in their facility with different forms of representation – both linguistic and non-linguistic. For example, vocabulary that may sharpen and clarify concepts for one learner may be opaque and foreign to another. A picture or image that carries meaning for some learners may carry very different meanings for learners from differing cultural or familial backgrounds” (UC Berkeley). And,
Comprehension (the ability to transfer new knowledge to the future). “The purpose of education is not to make information accessible, but rather to teach learners how to transform accessible information into useable knowledge” (UC Berkeley).
And speaking of providing information through multiple means, here is a short (less than five minute) video on UDL Principle: Representation from UC Berkeley.
@ONE has opened three more sessions of the Equity and Culturally Responsive Online Teaching course. This course has sold out quickly in the past, so if you are interested, register early.
This course will guide you through a critical journey of becoming an equity-minded educator with the goal of cultivating inclusive experiences that empower all students to achieve their full intellectual capacity. As a participant in this course, you will apply principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CRTL) to your online course. In a collaborative peer-to-peer learning environment, you will analyze your core teaching values, interrogate your online teaching practices, and leave the course with an equity-minded syllabus and an action plan to continue to advance equity in your course and institution.
Duration: 4 weeks
Time Commitment: approximately 10 hours per week, for a total of 40 hours
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate.
Online Teaching Conference- June 21-23 - Mark Your Calendars
Inspirations - The Wisdom Wall
Students often hear and learn more from their peers than from their instructors. Why not use that tidbit to your advantage! At the end of the semester, ask your current students to provide advice for the upcoming semester students on how to best succeed in your class. You may be surprised at what they took away from your class. Join us and discover creative ways to collect student feedback: Inspirations Meeting link
“Providing flexibility with deadlines is a way that we can cultivate more equitable classrooms. Students who work full- or part-time, have children and families to take care of, and who have documented or undocumented disabilities; and first-generation students who don’t necessarily know that asking for extensions is even an option, are disproportionately punished by inflexible deadlines. Finding ways to provide flexibility benefits to all students, but especially to those who live more complicated lives” is one way to level the playing field (Open CoLab).
Ready to take the challenge? Consider a syllabus rewrite that incorporates flexible deadlines. We have heard from several faculty that have flexible due dates and what they are experiencing are high rates of assignment completion and increased quality of performance. Students are worrying less about deadlines and are focused more on meeting learning objectives.
Add a section that says “Class Work” or “Projects” that includes a brief description for each major assignment, the reason/importance of the assignment, and how it connects to learning.
Define a date range in which students will be completing the assignments.
Add a section that explains how you plan to approach deadlines and/or philosophy behind deadlines. How will students communicate their choice of deadlines to you? What should a student do if they are unable to meet a deadline? What are the consequences if they miss a chosen deadline? (Open CoLab)
Check out these additional resources:
Article from The Chronicle of Higher Education “It’s Time to Ditch Our Deadlines” by Ellen Boucher.
Article from @ONE “Incentivize! Don’t Penalize: Revisiting Late Policies for Online Students” by Fabiola Torres.
Office Hours: Let’s Get Ready -
For the Accreditors - check course shells for weekly REC, RSI, and accessibility.
For Final Exams - now’s the time to set up grade categories and weights.
For the start of the semester - Summer and Fall course shells will be available by May 1. They will appear in “All Courses” --> Scroll down to “Future Enrollments”.
For going back to teaching F2F --> Evaluate what worked in your synchronous courses and what you would like to keep once you return to the F2F classroom.
ECampus is available every Thursday from 3:00 – 5:00 pm to help. Join us.
Being online most of every day, I’m constantly finding information and tools that I want to save or bookmark – and now I have several long lists of bookmarks that I must scan to find the gem I saved a month ago. How did my organizational tool get so unorganized! In the spirit of Spring cleaning and organizing my workspace, I’m going to sort and regroup my bookmarks bars based on the tips shared in this video by Scott Friesen of Simpletivity. I’m sure I’ll find some duplicates and some gems in the process.
If you have questions or need assistance downloading your Zoom recordings that you wish to continue to share, check out our Spring Cleaning tips or drop by eCampus office hours.
Notes from Mary
In the spirit of creating opportunities for students to share their success in learning, I like to add this question to my summative assessment: Is there something that you learned or connected with in our exploration of [insert topic, e.g., human learning theory] that was not covered on this exam? Something that you will carry forward with you. Use this question to tell me what you learned and why it’s important to you. Empower students to celebrate their learning!
Boucher, Ellen. “It’s Time to Ditch Our Deadlines,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2016.
CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2.
Open CoLab. “Flexible Deadlines.” Plymouth State University.
Torres, Fabiola. “Incentivize! Don’t Penalize: Revisiting Late Policies for Online Students.” @ONE: Online Network of Educators, March 2019.
UC Berkeley. Universal Design. (Complete Website).
UC Berkeley. Universal Design, UDL Principle: Representation.