Learning on the Go
Learning on the Go
These guides are here to help you advance your teaching practices whenever you have a minute to spare. They are self-paced interactive web pages, recorded workshops, infographics, videos, and library guides with research-based effective practices and techniques crafted to meet your professional development needs.
OSCQR Strategies to Update Your Course:
What is OSCQR?
OSCQR Level 1: Foundations of Course Design
Learn how to set up your course navigation and organization with our handouts and videos
OSCQR Level 2: Take You Course to a New Level
Learn how to make your course more student friendly and accessible to ensure effective learning
OSCQR Level 3: Pro Course Design for Your Course
Register for OSCQR Level 3 webinar series and become OSCQR certified! Learn how to design an active learning online course which is centered on student engagement.
Request an OSCQR Review
Assess whether your online course meets all federal, state and accrediting regulations using a national online course quality rubrics. OSCQR is used by more than 4,000 institutions. OSCQR will also verify that your course meets RSI.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI):
Creating Transparent Assignments for Student Success
The TILT Higher Ed Framework
- Download the Micro-Guide.
- Take the Creating Transparency in Course Design for Student Success
- Attend the 2023 Spring Webinar (coming soon!)
Communicating assignments in a clear, structured, and accessible manner has proved to be an integrated part in increasing pass rate, especially for historically minoritized, disabled and first-generation student populations.
To scaffold student experience, consider employing transparent assignment techniques, like:
- Step-by-step instructions
- Annotated examples.
So let’s investigate together how transparent assignments can boost student grades!
Active Learning @ CCRI
New Active Learning Classrooms
Active learning is a student-centered approach to instruction where students are invited to be active participants in co-creating knowledge through:
- problem solving
- case studies
- role plays
- other methods.
Active learning can vary from short activities (e.g., jolts and energizers) to activities that span multiple weeks or even the whole semester!
As a result, students have a greater degree of responsibility for their own learning unlike passive learning approaches of listening to a lecture as part of a "traditional" classroom. However, it is also important to remember that instructor guidance is still crucial to make active learning effective!
Frequent Low-Stakes Quizzing
"One of the frequent comments from faculty new to teaching online is that it can be difficult to know whether students are “getting it.” Assessing learning in an online environment often requires re-thinking how students can demonstrate mastering learning objectives in this environment" (ACUE, 2023).
An effective approach that has a proven track of increasing student confidence, performance, and self-regulation is - quiz early and often. Students learn and remember the information better (i.e., retrieval of information) when they can practice and self-assess their own progress. That is why it is critical to have low-stake quizzes distributed across time and tasks. But remember that the key element of low-stakes testing is that students be given the opportunity to try, make mistakes, and to learn from those mistakes with little or no penalty. Here are more detailed recommendations:
Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
UDL improves learning for all students.
"UDL is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. The UDL Guidelines offer a set of concrete suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities." - CAST.org
ULD guidelines focus on the three main domains:
- The WHY of learning - or how to purposefully engage students;
- The WHAT of learning - or how to present information to scaffold learning experiences;
- The HOW of learning - or how to help learners share what they have learned.
Let's review key strategies that you can implement in your online class right away!
Using Inclusive Language Everyday
Learn how positive and inclusive language will help share values and make strong social connections with students, staff, and faculty. In this workshop, we will explore user-centered language guidelines and tips. Inclusive and positive language can be used in departmental documents, CCRI website, correspondence, procedures, forms, knowledge bases, marketing materials, academic coursework, presentations, syllabi, etc.
Voices: Finding Diverse Materials
Bringing multiple perspectives into a course is paramount to help students grow as emotionally intelligent and educated professionals. This allows learners to get exposed to different ideas, traditions, and voices from a variety of sources. By providing diverse rich media in a course, students will be able to critically examine different perspectives which culminates in a well-rounded world view.
- Ensure Your Course Visually Reflects a Diverse Society
- Set Expectations for Valuing Diverse Viewpoints
Designing Inclusive Syllabi
Using the Syllabus for Equity
Research has shown that students from underrepresented groups often face additional challenges. By implementing inclusive teaching practices and culturally responsive instruction, faculty can create learning environments where equity gaps can be closed and all students feel they belong and have the opportunity to achieve at high levels.
Using Zoom for Access and Equity - John Vota
This workshop will explore settings and tools that maximize the flexibility of Zoom. See how Zoom integrates with Blackboard into your course, including:
- setting up breakout rooms
- other features.
Zoom is accessible to all students.
Get to Know Your Students
The Power of Inclusion
Getting to know your students helps them increase their confidence, performance, persistence, feedback loop in order to become self-regulating. You as an instructor taking your time to get to know your students also shows them that you respect them and their efforts in your classes. Here are several key considerations for effective inclusion practices:
Assessment Planning and Design:
Alternative/Authentic Assessments Online
Alternatives to Closed-Book, Timed Exams for Online
Exams in classrooms are a staple of many courses and a frequent topic of conversation when moving to a remote environment. While technology has several options for exerting control over the testing environment online, we can do so much more to effectively assess student progress knowledge acquisition using a variety of other ways. When planning for your next assessment for learning (i.e., formative assessment) or of learning (i.e., summative assessment), consider the following more equitable solutions:
Frequent Low-Stakes Quizzing
Frequent, low-stakes quizzing will allow for assessing students learning throughout the term, allowing for both you and the student to know whether they are understanding core concepts. They are an effective alternative for mid-course exams because there is less pressure to cheat on a low-stakes exam, especially if they are something to learn from.
Intentionally planning an assessment for a take-home approach (open-book, open-note, etc.) requires thinking about assessing learning using application of concepts, synthesis of knowledge, and creation of unique answers. Consider essay questions, case studies, or similar instead of multiple-choice style questions.
Replacing an exam with a requirement for creating a unique product that demonstrates learning allows for a good differentiation between students who understand course information at a surface level or a deep one. Asking them to apply concepts to a ‘messy problem’ (one without a fixed, correct answer) requires creating a novel solution.
Using SafeAssign in combination with this kind of assessment will ensure that papers are not shared among students or copied from external sources. The most effective assessments will use personal and/or current situations, require unique answers, and/or incorporate personal experiences.
Keys to Creating and Using Rubrics
Learn how to build rubrics and checklists to improve student work, increase learning, and ensure grading reliability. Students can use a rubric to organize their efforts to meet the requirements. Examine how checklists can reduce the amount of mistakes students can make when submitting complex assignments.
Scaffold Learning to Increase Performance
Scaffolding can be used for structuring content from simple to complex and introducing new technology. Technology or complex content should not get in the way of learning including content delivery, interaction, and assessment components of an online course. Learn the four step process for scaffolding content and technology in your courses.
Three Tips for Teaching Content Effectively
A lecture has been a traditional component to any class. It takes the content from the textbook and places it in context to the other information previously learned. The lecture helps take new knowledge and build a relationship with the student’s established knowledge. Yet, the key is to make sure that your lecture is not a place for students to snooze. Let's talk engagement!
Often in class, a lecture may be broken up with class discussions, questions, group activities, or other pauses. The same applies online. Recording a whole week’s worth of material into one video makes it difficult to consume in one sitting. Break up the topics you want to present in a week into chunks and create learning around those chunks. When posting any videos – yours or from other sources – it is good practice to include the length of the video in the title to allow students to plan their time.
Integrate mini-lectures, readings, and/or videos by others into a chunk. Combing the content ‘chunk’ with an activity such as discussion, reflection, quiz, or blog post -- to allow students to recall and apply the knowledge immediately to solidify learning and make connections with the information.
2. Scaffolding Content
Scaffolding is stacking content so that learning builds, one on top of the other, towards a course outcome. The key to scaffolding content includes the chunking described above with creating context and connections under Establishing Your Voice. Together they create an interconnected structure of learning elements that all support your students’ journey to mastering course objectives.
Scaffolding includes orientation, demonstration, modeling, and practice and may use the I Do, We Do, You Do model.
3. Embrace Content Variety
In the area of course content, variety can be seen in different areas. It can mean combining text, images, videos, and interactives. It can also mean highlighting your voice, introducing other voices in your field, even finding space for student voices. Providing variety in the course content has many advantages. Presenting information in different formats (text, graph, video) requires students to remember the information in multiple ways (dual encoding), reinforcing and deepening understanding.
Including a variety of voices, especially diverse perspectives, demonstrates the range of knowledge and skills being created in your discipline. It allows learners to recognize where there is an agreement or further discussion is required; and provide ways for students to connect with their place in the discussion. A variety in voices, especially students’ voices, can also bridge the ‘expert’ gap where their explanations to each other (i.e., peer learning) can make sense in a different way than your explanation.
Three Tips for Establishing Your Voice Online
You Are the Most Influential Part of Your Course
- Take the Faculty Voice: Strategies to Improve Your Online Course Communication from Academic Impressions.
Your role, particularly in an online environment, is more than lecturer, it includes encouraging students, providing support for how to learn, and managing the process of learning (learn about your different roles). Much of that emerges organically in a classroom. In an online or remote environment, this often needs to be planned and intentional. Try these ACUE strategies to create a vibrant course environment that will engage and motivate students.
Tip 1: Create Context and Connections
Guiding students through the learning process is key to student success. Share your expertise and passion for the subject matter by introducing a new topic, explanations of why you are choosing the activities and content in the course, and making connections between concepts and the course goals, program needs, and the world. Use the Announcement Tool and the Text Editor to make sure that whenever students go in the course, they are feeling your presence. Build a rhythm to each week of the course using suggestions from ACUE.
OSCQR Tip: Record short 30 sec. overview videos for each week, it improves students’ engagement.
Tip 2: Personalized Feedback
Coaching students through their learning journey is a rewarding part of teaching. Remotely this can be feedback on submitted work, meeting students during virtual office hours, and sending kudos through Starfish. Providing feedback within a few days has an outsized impact on the motivation of the student. Knowing how they did, what they can do better, and that you care about their success is a powerful effect. ACUE provides a guide for giving constructive feedback.
OSCQR Tip: Use the audio or video feedback function for ensuring that your encouraging tone and nuanced feedback is conveyed.
Tip 3: Respond to Student Contributions
Students can feel isolated in an online course, particularly if they feel they are contributing, through discussions or submitted work and not any feedback. Balancing facilitation in a discussion while allowing students to engage with each other is delicate. Try creating regular summary posts or announcements that capture key points of what was discussed and include your input. Asking questions that extend the conversation (e.g., that’s a great point, have you considered this...) can give a boost to a discussion as well. Learn more about managing your online presence from ACUE.
OSCQR Tip: Early and often feedback lets students know you care about their work, increases performance and helps them transition to a self-regulating learner.
Student Success & Wellness:
Burnout: Understanding Burnout and How to Prevent It
COVID has affected our lives in innumerable ways. It has multiplied stress in our
work and home lives, in some cases, making simple tasks overwhelming. Managing multiple
life/work stressors at once may lead to headaches, fatigue, and an increasingly cynical
outlook on life and work.
Burnout is a condition in which you develop depression-like symptoms, which may manifest as signs of physical, mental and/or emotional exhaustion as a result of stress. It affects your quality of life and health. In this workshop, we will learn the signs and stages of workplace burnout and strategies to mitigate some of the effects.
- PowerPoint for the Webinar
- The Path to Wellbeing: Overcoming Burnout and Reigniting Your Teaching
- Helping Staff and Students Avoid Burnout
- ACE Webinar Program to Combat Burnout for Managers
- Book: Unraveling Faculty Burnout: Pathways to Reckoning and Renewal
- Employee Assistance Program
- CCRI Athletics Facilities
- Christina Rondeau Kickboxing
Starfish for Faculty
Starfish is a platform that creates a network of communication between faculty, students, and student services staff to support student success. Starfish provides a central location to connect students to the people and services that can help them be successful. Learn how to use Starfish to engage students in their own learning.
Use Kurzweil 3000 to Increase Comprehension
Kurzweil 3000 is educational technology that brings all pieces of the literacy puzzle together with one easy, proven solution to ensure instruction and learning become personal — and meaningful progress becomes possible. All CCRI students have access to Kurzweil from any campus computer lab.
Cami Griffith from Kurzweil demonstrates the impactful software. Watch the video Unlocking Student Potential with Kurzweil 3000 to learn more about Kurzweil 3000.
The Writing Center - Dr. Karen Petit
In this webinar, Dr. Karen Petit, the CCRI Writing Center Coordinator, talked about the writing center's tutoring services and online resources. The CCRI Writing Center helps students with online resources, in-person tutoring, and online tutoring.
Why Does a Community College Need a Social Worker - Shanna Wells
Learn with Shanna Wells, the Coordinator of Community and Social Resources (CSR) at CCRI, who CSR serves, how they serve them, and what you can do to help your students persist until completion.
Supporting Students with Reasonable Academic Accommodations in a Remote Learning Environment
DSS staff welcome the opportunity to work with faculty to support students who have academic accommodations. We will discuss the process for students to access accommodations, student and faculty responsibilities and rights and best practices while working online with DSS students.
The Tutoring Center: Here to Help - Joanne Galliano
The The Tutoring Center is eager to assist faculty members in their efforts to help students meet classroom and program expectations. Learn about the college’s Tutoring and Academic Coaching programs and how to request an organizational or study strategy workshop for your classes.
Library Services During Remote Start - James Austin and Katie Holcomb
Faculty and students have full access to all library services while the college transitions to remote classes. Learn how to connect with librarians and access library services and how to incorporate information literacy and library instruction in your remote or even asynchronous classes.