I want to experience the concepts we've been exploring through reading.
I need to be able to actually "do it," not just answer questions on an exam.
I need practice to apply these skills I'm learning.
Although students may not express these ideas in writing, most learners want more from a course than readings and tests. They expect to be able to perform, create, and apply course knowledge and skills.
How will students explore course content, become actively involved in this content, practice new learning, and share their understandings?
Active learning is essential in online courses. Students must be engaged in the content. Focus on assignments that involve critical and creative thinking.
You may wish to simply translate your old assignment into a new format. However, it may be time to rethink your assignment given the options for locating information online and creating original products.
Example. You want students to be able to show that they've read the textbook.
Your traditional assignment might ask students to present a summary of a chapter in a textbook to the class using PowerPoint or other presentation tools.
Your direct translation of this assignment would be to have students create and share a podcast of their summary.
Your revamped assignment might ask students to select some aspect of the chapter and share a real-world example that reflects he/she understanding of the key concepts. In an Instructional Theory course a student learning about the use of exemplars in assessment might share the website Assessment Exemplars from Learning and Teaching Scotland and discuss how this website shows real-world examples and reflects the key concepts in the chapter.
There's not a right or wrong way to re-imagine your assignments. The key is focusing on a the development of the best possible distance learning experience.
Explore Ms. Hogue's Online English Resources pages for a wide range of English assignment examples. Notice the varied learning opportunities, activities, and assessments.
Explore other English and Language Arts teacher pages including Web English Teacher by Carla Beard, Valerie Gokturk's English, and Mr. Turtola's CyberEnglish Blog. Also, check out A History Teacher and More from Dan McDowell, America's Math Teacher by Rick Fisher, and The Biology Corner by Shannan Muskopf
Read the following pages to learn about course activities and assignments:
- Thinking Expectations
- Process Approaches
- Product Expectations