View this great slideshare by Jackie Gerstein which is chock full of strategies for developing online communities.
How can you teach a course to 40,000 faceless students and still maintain some semblance of a teacher-student connection?
This was the challenge that Professor Mitchell Duneier of Princeton University faced last year when he offered an online course in introductory sociology. The non-credit course was offered free of charge through Coursera, and had an enrollment of 40,000 students from 113 different countries.
A word cloud is a collage of words, often displayed in interesting shapes, colors, and fonts.
To create a word cloud, simply type (or copy and paste) some text into a word cloud generator, such as Wordle. Whichever words are repeated most frequently within the text will be displayed larger and more prominently within the word cloud.
In recent years, educators have come up with numerous ways to use word clouds within their lesson plans.
Here are a few ideas…
For a resource of ideas for online educational activities, check out the Online Teaching Activity Index from the Illinois Online Network.
The website suggests 49 activities that can be used in either online or hybrid courses, including some creative activities such as Internet Scavenger Hunt, Concept Mapping, Fishbowl, and Socratic Dialogue.
Active learning is an engaging form of learning that involves higher-order thinking skills such as evaluation, synthesis, and analysis. It is much more effective than the passive learning that occurs when students simply listen to a lecture or watch a powerpoint presentation. When engaged in active learning, students are forced to process and apply the information that they learned.
Watch this video to understand how professors of online courses can create opportunities for active learning.
This well-developed presentation outlines 6 characteristics of effective online courses: access to technology, clear guidelines and procedures, participation, collaborative learning, transformative learning, assessment and evaluation. Six Characteristics of Effective Online Courses by Christopher T. Davis, Ph.D.