Posted on May 14, 2019

Attributes of Well-Written Assignment Instructions

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Fork in Road with Conflicting Right Way Sign

When you are teaching a face-to-face course, you have some freedom to provide assignment instructions to your students that are somewhat imprecise. This is because you have the opportunity to provide further clarification or to answer any questions in person when your students are right in front of you....

Posted on Nov 19, 2018

Google Translate: Freund oder Feind (Friend or Enemy)?

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Google Translate Venn Diagram

Google Translate is an astonishing program. It converts words and even whole sentences back and forth from dozens of languages through multiple modalities; you can type, handwrite, scan, and even say whatever you want to communicate. Its accuracy—at least in French, German, and Spanish, the three languages that I...

Posted on Oct 10, 2018

Confessions of a SMECWID 3: Learning from the Other Side of the Podium

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Recently, I went back to school for the first time in 20 years. Although I was at the university every day teaching until about two years ago and have often taken adult-education courses, I hadn’t been a student in a class for credit since 1997. (In case you’re wondering,...

Posted on Jun 08, 2018

Writing in the Second Person: Addressing Students Directly

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A common concern about online courses is that they can be impersonal, with communication between instructors and students often being faceless and asynchronous. Although there are various collaboration and communication tools available to enable real-time communication, one of the simplest things you can do to make an online course...

Posted on May 23, 2018

21st-Century Content Development: Google Docs and Cloud-Based Content Development Tools

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The rise of email communication in the 1980s and ’90s led to an increase in collaboration on content development projects of all sorts, as it became easy to email word processor files back and forth between collaborators and stakeholders. Emailing files back and forth was certainly cheaper than flying...