Pre-instructional activities to prepare students for online learning
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
-Retrieve a paper from library e-reserves
-Participate in a discussion forum
-Make a plot with graphing software
-Submit an assignment to a dropbox
-Take a quiz housed within PSU's course management system (ANGEL)
Description of the activity/assignment
Adaptations that allow this activity to be successful in an online environmentThis activity was created specifically for an online course. As more and more face-to-face courses incorporate technology for reserved reading and turning in assignments, this kind of activity could be useful an any course.
Elements of this activity that are most effectiveThis activity is extremely instructive for me to have an early gauge regarding the skill level of my students in terms of general online savviness as well as a bit about their quantitative skills and content knowledge.
Recommendations for other faculty adapting this activity to their own course:Make sure you tailor an activity like this one to your own specific course management system. I also recommend making it completely low stakes. I grade only on participation. Log in frequently during this activity to offer help, advice, and encouragement because this is very important at the beginning of an online course when there is the most confusion. I usually make this activity last for the first whole week of courses in case some students register at the last minute.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Teaching materials and tips
- Here is a link to page 1 of the pre-instructional activity in my course EARTH 501: Contemporary Controversies in the Earth Sciences
And here is a link to page 1 of the pre-instructional activity in my course EARTH 520: Plate Tectonics and People.