Increasing Participation in Student Discussions with Backchannels

What is a Backchannel Backchannel communication is basically a minimal- or non-verbal response. Traditionally, these have been puzzled or bored looks, nods, smiles, or ‘yeah’, ’huh’, and ‘hmm’. While these are very beneficial, you may not be able to see all of these or interpret them correctly. In a large classroom and in remote/online courses, … Read more

Active and Transformative Learning

Although some people refer to active learning and transformational learning as the same thing, I think we should differentiate… Active learning [emphasis added] is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process. In short, active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about what they are doing… … Read more

Learning Styles vs. Variety for Learning

You may have heard about learning styles and thought you should consider them in planning your course. However, you may also get overwhelmed knowing where to start. A Google search on ‘learning styles inventories’ will get over 110,000,000 hits.  An ERIC search on ‘learning styles inventories’ will get almost 1,000 results. Five of the most … Read more

10 Actions to Help Student Readiness

Both my kids went away to university for their first year. They were both miserable and came home for their second year. Part of this was the complete change in social life, but a major part was that they were lost on what was expected of them academically and how to study. First-year students often … Read more

Do You Need 50 CATS?

Angelo & Cross’s Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS) Most instructors are truly trying to provide a good learning experience for their students. An obvious method for determining success is to look at student grades. However, this is a reactive approach, rather than proactive, and may not tell you WHY the students are learning/not learning. A proactive … Read more

How to Cheat Using ChatGPT

Chat GPT is a free, online artificial intelligence product. You can create a free account at ChatGPT and similar AI tools can be helpful to researchers, but to instructors, they provide yet another barrier to identify student cheating. Instructors keen on determining honest student responses have a difficult task. You could try comparing all … Read more