Developing Appropriate Assessment Strategies

Assessment Success

When designing a new course, it is necessary to clearly define the course’s learning outcomes.  Every course must have a set of learning outcomes associated with it that anchor its overall design and guide the learning experience.  Read More …

E-Learning Technologies for Any Online Class

Despite the wide availability of technology, educational institutions have not provided adequate training to support innovative teaching practices (Pachler & Daly, 2011).  If e-learning is to fulfill its potential as a collaborative learning tool, then instructors must take the lead in developing their competencies with regard to e-learning technologies.

When teaching an online class, it is important to make use of e-learning technologies that will engage learners and create a sense of social presence within the learning environment.  By taking advantage of available technologies, instructors can instigate peer assessment, cultivate a learner-centered environment, craft interactive lessons, demonstrate the use of applications, encourage peer interaction, and provide rich-media feedback to students.  Classroom Salon, Edublogs, Soft Chalk, ScreenCastify, Facebook, and electronic feedback are technologies that support such innovative practices.  They can be used in any online class to foster an interactive learning environment and build relationships between instructors and students as well as students and their peers.

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Planning and Defining Learning Objectives

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As an educator, I have identified the need for a high quality e-learning course in introductory philosophy for all undergraduates pursuing any degree in any major.  Online introductory philosophy courses already exist at both of the community colleges where I work, so there would be no need to get approval from the curriculum committee to teach them.  Both Lone Star College and Houston Community College allow faculty members a great deal of freedom in how they teach the subjects they have been hired to teach.  Houston Community College’s philosophy department allows faculty members—even adjuncts—to choose their course textbooks (with the stipulation that they must be original texts by philosophers) while Lone Star College, though policies might differ from campus to campus, generally pre-selects a textbook (usually an anthology of philosophers or compilation of philosophical writings) for the introductory course in consultation with full-time faculty members.  The following course has been designed with these limitations in mind.

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