Blog Archives

Are You Using the UTC Learn Grade Center?

As we enter into the midterm grading period, it’s a good time to evaluate your use of the UTC Learn Grade Center. Why is now a good time? Because students want to be able to keep track of their grades throughout the semester. Using the grade center helps them stay informed and engaged in the class. Whether you are you an avid user or just getting started, the Walker

That’s the Beauty of the Midterm Survey!

Traditionally, faculty receive feedback from students only at the end of the semester, when it is already too late to address their comments or concerns. What if you could get a feel for their experience while there is still time to do something about it? That’s the beauty of the Midterm Survey! By adding a short survey to your course midway through the semester, you can find out from

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Preparing to Teaching Online – a spring 2017 seminar series

Just as online learning is different for students, online teaching is different for instructors. This spring, I will be offering a series of sessions on the topic of preparing to teach online. The first session is – Is Online Teaching for You? In this session, we will talk about how online teaching is different from teaching in a physical classroom. What is the role and responsibilities of the instructor?

UTC Learn Key Dates

Welcome back!  We hope that everyone was able to get some much needed rest during the holiday break. In this blog entry I wanted to provide you with the timing of several key events in UTC Learn that recur every semester.  I will present each event, and then provide the applicable date for the Spring 2017 semester in parentheses, Summer 2017 semester in brackets, and Fall 2017 semester in

Keeping Students Engaged Immediately Before and After Spring Break

March is upon us and Spring Break is right around the corner! While this is a welcome break for many, it can also bring about certain challenges for instructors. Although the expectation is that students will be present in class the days leading up to Spring Break, this is often not the case. Some students will choose to start their break a few days early, and in anticipation of

Smartphones and Tablets: Should you be using them in your course?

Imagine this: You’re standing at the podium, giving the biology lecture you spent hours preparing, and out of nowhere you hear the random sounds of the latest viral YouTube video being mistakenly played through a phone. You immediately know that one of your students was browsing social media instead of learning the material. Recreational phone use during class time has become an epidemic. Many instructors have a difficult time

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Best Grading Practices: A Student’s Perspective

One of the biggest areas of concern for students is their grades. Many students incur a significant amount of stress agonizing over their scores on exams or assignments. Although students must work hard to obtain good grades, there are a few things you can do as an instructor to alleviate a bit of the stress. Providing clear instructions for assignments and providing accurate, specific, and timely feedback are critical

Fostering Engagement and a Feeling of Community in your Online Course

Distance learning courses conducted through online platforms such as UTC Learn can be an extremely valuable asset to universities looking to expand their student reach. Online learning allows students to complete courses from any location and use technology sometimes not available in a traditional classroom setting. However, advantages of distance learning courses do come at a cost. One of the greatest disadvantages is a lack of student engagement and

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Ideas for Faculty: Making the Most of your Summer!

By the time Spring semester ends, most faculty are ready for a short break. Whether you teach in Summer or not, just having a lighter load can make all the difference and allow you to time to recharge. One of the best ways to fight that burned out feeling, is to set aside a little time to learn something new. That way, when you go back to your classes,

Team-Based Learning

Over the past year and a half, we’ve hosted two campus workshops on team-based learning, also called TBL.  Bill Roberson of the University at Albany does a great job on getting your buy-in on the method, and many folks, including one entire department, have implemented it extensively at UTC.  TBL is much more than “group work”; it is a strategy on which you plan your entire course.  There are