Higher Education

Engagement in Online Learning: Is It A “One-size-fits-all” Approach?

Online engagement

Student engagement is among the most discussed topics in online learning. Many instructors encounter difficulties in creating meaningful interactions and fostering active participation in virtual environments where physical presence is absent. So, how to engage students online? Why Engaging Students Online Matters Like traditional in-person learning, online education demands active participation and involvement of students…

Continue reading

What Skills Do I Need to Teach Online Successfully?

Instructors often assume that teaching online is equivalent to teaching in-person; however, research has demonstrated that online teaching requires a distinct set of skills (Baran et al., 2011). The failure to effectively teach online frequently stems from instructors employing the same teaching practices as in-person instruction (Kreber and Kanuka, 2006), even though online teaching represents…

Continue reading

First 5 minutes of class

The Spring 2016 semester is here, and you’re probably ready to jump into teaching. But first, you have to get your students’ attention!  Here is something that could help – take a look at this advice from The Chronicle of Higher Education: Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class: Four quick ways to shift students’ attention from life’s distractions…

Continue reading

Personalized Learning

This is video series produced by an ed tech consulting company on the buzzy but still hazily-defined topic of personalized learning in higher ed:


The series mainly consists of interviews with students, faculty, and administrators at Middlebury College, Essex County College, and Arizona State University, examining the programs and policies these institutions have adopted to provide their own brand of personalized learning. This series of video case studies has just finished up with a set of videos on UC Davis. Very interesting discussion.

Thinking about Tomorrow

Around the office we’ve been thinking about the future.  We have a new boss, some of us will be relocating to the Library in the next year, the UMass Amherst IT strategic planning process is going full tilt, and the New Media Consortium has just released their 2015 Horizon Report. At our most recent staff…

Continue reading

Join us! EDUCAUSE ELI Virtual Annual Meeting

On February 9 — 11, you are invited to join members of the IT group at ELI Virtual Annual Meeting 2015. This conference is arranged by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. We’ll be projecting the virtual meeting sessions in our 40-seat conference room in…

Continue reading

UMass Instructors- Join us for the EDUCAUSE Online Virtual Conference

Can’t get to Florida? Join us in Lederle Graduate Research Center where we’ll be projecting the EDUCAUSE online Virtual Conference in our 40-seat conference room. When: Monday, September 29 (12-4 p.m.) and Tuesday, September 30th through Thursday, October 2nd, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: LGRC A215. For program and session details, visit  http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/agenda-and-program/virtual-conference-agenda This…

Continue reading

Understanding This Year’s Incoming Students – Beyond the Beloit Mindset List

Beloit has published their Class of 2018 “Mindset List” to help inform instructors about the cultural references that will (or will not) make sense to the incoming class of students. While this list can be amusing, and may offer some useful information on what obscure sitcom lines may no longer make sense to 18-year-olds, it is…

Continue reading

What About the Murky Waters of Copyright?

We all have questions about copyright, what is fair use and what may be in the public domain. Students may be on heightened alert about copyright when preparing presentations and final papers.  However, copyright considerations are equally as critical when putting together promotional materials for club events or updating a social media site. Consider including…

Continue reading

Let Students “Drive” in the Classroom

Suzanne Surina Baur, a Technology Resource Teacher from Southeastern Cooperative Educational Program in Norfolk, Virginia, suggests ways to have students drive their learning in class.  She notes that being lectured to or talked at makes it hard for students to be engage with the material and take ownership of their learning. Read her suggestions at…

Continue reading

New Media Consortium Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition

The Horizon Report The 2014 Report identifies emerging technologies that will influence teaching and learning over the next 1-to-5 years.  Among the key trends encouraging an immediate adoption of technology are the Pervasive use of social media Increased offering of fully online, hybrid and collaborative learning models Acceptance of data-driven learning and assessment Emphasis on…

Continue reading

What were undergraduates thinking about technology in 2013?

The Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) has released the latest version of its annual report, ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013. Key findings included: Students recognize the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics. Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning…

Continue reading