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Using Hotspots

September 24, 2021
​​A unique way to share information, images with hotspots offer online learners the opportunity to interact with course content. Learners can click or hover on particular parts of an image and receive pop-ups giving them more information. Hotspots represent information in a particular context; thus, they fulfill the multimedia principle—use words and graphics rather than words alone—and the contiguity principle—align words to corresponding graphics (Clark & Mayer, 2016).

Game-Based Learning Experiences

February 07, 2022
Game-based learning (GBL) is a learning experience, or set of learning experiences, delivered through gameplay or game-like activities with defined learning outcomes. GBL is often confused with gamification, which is the application of game elements to a non-gaming experience. GBL engages students cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, and socioculturally (Plass et al., 2015). Many factors should be considered when designing GBL, including narrative, player positioning, and interactive design (Dickey, 2005).

Creating Learning Objectives

September 24, 2021
Learning objectives help inform students about what they will learn and how they will be assessed. Objectives are meant to align with course expectations. Therefore, any assigned exercises should be guided by the course’s specific learning objectives. Everything in the course should work together to ensure students master the course objectives.

Ten Ways to Open the Gate to Accessibility

September 24, 2021
According to the United States Census Bureau, over 57 million Americans, nearly one in five people in the U.S. population, report living with a disability. To make certain all your students can have a successful learning experience, it is important to take steps to make the online learning environment accessible. Find below ten strategies for making your online course space accessible to all users.

Backward Design

September 24, 2021
Backward design is, as the name suggests, a process for designing curricula, courses, and lectures by working backwards from big-picture learning goals. The concept, introduced by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (2005), suggests that instructors create assessments, activities, and course content that are explicitly aligned with the broader learning goals of the unit. This is different from the traditional content-driven approach to learning design, which focuses on course content first and only secondarily tries to align that content with learning goals.


September 27, 2021
From time to time instructors may want to include in their courses copyrighted materials like images, print content, audio recordings, or videos. The University of Minnesota Libraries define copyright as “the area of law that deals with creation, ownership, sale, and use of creative and expressive works.”

Emergency Course Build Checklist: A Response to COVID-19

March 23, 2020
Your class was never intended to be online. It was delivered face-to- face to a live audience. Perhaps it followed that same structure for years. Now, with little warning, it’s an online class. Where do you start? What do you prioritize? And what is essential to create a meaningfully engaging learning experience online? Rapidly transitioning a course to online doesn’t require recreating every element of the face-to-face version.

Problem Based Learning

September 27, 2021
Problem Based Learning is a teaching method used to facilitate student knowledge acquisition. This teaching method is often confused with Project Based Learning, which centers on students applying knowledge. The focus of Problem Based Learning is students acquiring the knowledge. Since the two methods use the same acronym, they are easily confused, but have different objectives for students.

Authentic Activities

September 27, 2021
The majority of online learners seek formal education for a multitude of reasons but can be frustrated by the lack of transferrable skills. Online education can bridge this gap by utilizing authentic activities, allowing learners to gain skills that directly connect to their professional lives.

Oral Presentations Online

September 28, 2021
Interestingly, there is little research regarding best practices for incorporating oral presentations into online courses (McDougall & Holden, 2017). When developing online courses, instructors often avoid assigning presentations due to logistical concerns (Kenkel, 2011). However, the benefits of oral presentations as a form of assessment are significant enough to necessitate overcoming these fears.