HOW TO FOSTER CRITICAL THINKING, STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN ONLINE DISCUSSIONS
By Rob Kelly
Threaded discussions can provide excellent opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking. But critical thinking isn’t an automatic feature of these discussions. It needs to be nurtured through clear expectations, carefully crafted questions, timely and useful feedback and creative facilitation.
In an interview with Online Classroom, Texas Tech University instructors Marcus Tanner, Jillian Yarbrough and Andrea McCourt discussed some of the principles of designing and managing threaded discussions that have helped their students engage the material and each other in productive discussions.
CREATING VIDEO LECTURES
Many instructors are diving into the realm of creating video lectures either for flipped teaching, hybrid or online courses. The most frequently asked questions Teaching and Learning Technologies gets regarding this endeavor is what type of computer to use, what software is available and how to upload lectures into Canvas. In order to answer these questions, Teaching and Learning Technologies now offers short-term equipment checkout. The equipment inventory includes tablet PCs, document cameras and a GoPro camera. Equipment checkout is short-term (24-48 hours) and is designed to help instructors test our tablets and other equipment before making a significant purchase. Buying a tablet PC is expensive, so TLT’s hope is that instructors will be able to try out and experiment with different types of tablets and other equipment before making an investment in video lecture equipment.
TLT also offers training for those unfamiliar with the hardware or software provided. If you would like to see the inventory and check out equipment, see the form on our website tlt.utah.edu under “Request Service” titled “Flipped Teaching Equipment” or click here.
If you would like further information, here are a couple of links to a flipped teaching course created by Cynthia Furse and Donna Ziegenfuss in regards to the types of hardware and software used to create video lectures.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at 801-581-6112 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teaching, Employee and Faculty Resources
Visit utah.edu/faculty and utah.edu/staff for essential teaching tools, trainings, reference material, health, safety and business resources. Keep your skills up-to-date and learn some new ones with help from these university resources: