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Category Archives: Fall 2017

October 19, 2016- Communicating with Your Students Online

Today’s discussion focused on strategies for good communication with your students outside of class, These strategies can be effective for those teaching face-to-face, online or hybrid classes.


  1. Have the entire semester planned and as much information posted on Blackboard as you can.
  2. Even though you might have distributed your syllabus and posted in on Blackboard, it is helpful to give students an overview of what will be taking place in the course for any given week.  For example, post an announcement stating the reading for the week, and reminders of any assignments that are due or upcoming exams/quizzes.
  3. Discussion Board is another way to get students “talking” and engaged with the course content
    • limit responses to two-three sentences so you can read the entire discussion
    • discussions that ask students definitions don’t really lead to many responses.  Design a discussion that requires students to apply topics to their lives.
    • request that students post their own response and then respond to one or two other students.
    • if the discussion is graded, make the grading rubric available to students so they know what a good response entails.
    • if you want your discussion to be student centered, let students know you will not be responded until a particular point.  For example, you will only join the discussion if there is a misconception that needs to be clarified.  However, students should be aware that you are reading the posts.

September 21, 2016- Discussion on Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Today, Mark Eaton from the Library talked about OERs.  The library has an OER content page and they are will to working with faculty on development of an OER.  Contact Mark Eaton to get you started.

OERs provide benefit our students because they increase their access to educational materials since they are low cost and sometimes free.  Faculty are able to customize their materials by mixing and matching resources, reconfiguring texts, and sharing the materials with the broader educational community.  To share your OER, the material needs to be licensed.  The staff of KCeL as well as the library can assist you with the licensing.

OERs can be as simple as providing students with a pdf of their readings on Blackboard.  However, this is not truly “open” since only the students in your class would have access.

Some resources to support the development of OERs:

  1. CrashCourse:  https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse      A YouTube channel of educational videos you could incorporate into your class.
  2. MindTap: a product of Cengage that provides you with a source of content that you can use as part of your OER.  Text from MindTap can be read using mobile apps.
  3. Candela: another source of content that can be used and adapted for your course.
  4. Creative Commons:  a site to share/publish your OER.

A KCC OER Advisory Board is forming.  If you are interested in joining, please contact Mark Eaton.  Also, if you are interested in developing your own OER, Mark can get you started.


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