Erika Romero

PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

Coursera Courses Offering Free Certificates for A Limited Time

Looking for out-of-the-box ideas for things to do while stuck at home? Here’s one suggestion: Try out some MOOCs that are offering free certificates of completion if you sign up ASAP. Coursera has a large list of courses that are being offered with this promotion. Here’s the blog post that leads to all the courses. Make sure you use this link or the ones below. You’ll see the promo banner in yellow at the top of each individual course page, once you click on the ones you want to learn more about. Without the promo banner, you can’t get access to the free certificate option. In the following blog post, I offer my brief thoughts on some of the courses I’m currently taking.

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Round Up: College Instructor Resources as the Semester Ends

As a semester comes to an end, there are a few tasks that I recommend completing as a college instructor. With how busy this last month or so gets, I thought it’d be helpful to share a list of these activities along with a list of resources that can help you accomplish them without much additional effort. I’ve also created a checklist with these resources, which can be found in our resource library. But for now, let’s talk about some activities that will help you have a great semester’s end.

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How to Use Atomic Habits to Create a Better Life

Being stuck at home during this time of COVID-19 has definitely given me more time to do some extracurricular reading. Finally getting around to James Clear’s Atomic Habits was fantastic, since it gave me some new ideas on how to work with my bad habits, rather than just trying to get rid of them with no success for years. When reading the concepts in this book, it was so clear (no pun intended) to me that atomic habits can be a wonderful tool for teachers and students. In today’s video (embedded below), I go into detail on how the ideas in this book can apply to our academic life. Since it’s a longer video than usual, I also summarize it a bit in the rest of this post.

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How to Start Teaching Online Without Feeling Overwhelmed

As universities continue going online with their courses as the COVID-19 spreads, I thought it’d be beneficial to offer some tips on how to use your LMS class website and other free digital tools when teaching from home. My university uses a version of Sakai as our LMS software, but I’d assume similar tools are available in other systems. Plus, the free tools I mention in the second half of this post are available to anyone with internet access (and in two cases, a Mac). If you’re required to switch to online teaching unexpectedly, this post is for you.

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Tips for Creating a Group Project that Students Won’t Hate

Today’s blog post is intended to help you design a group project that your students will not only learn a lot from, but also one that students actually enjoy. If you’ve assigned one before, I’m sure you are familiar with the frustration many students feel when completing a good project. I believe this assignment type is essential, though, so I’m not willing to give up using it in my courses. If you’re looking for ready-made group project examples, I already have a post on my literary analysis project and one on my multimodal genre remediation project. The first assignment is the one I mention throughout the video included in today’s post. If you’re unsure about how to grade a group project that involves different elements, you can also watch my video on using weighted unit grading. But, let’s turn our focus onto assignment design.

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14 Benefits of Teaching with Technology (EdTech Tips)

As someone who uses technology in her classroom basically every day, I’m amazed whenever I hear someone say that they are unsure of how to integrate digital tools into their teaching. Sure, they use the projector and computer in the classroom, but that’s about as far as they go. If you’re still collecting tons of paper from your students, I definitely recommend trying out some of my suggestions on integrating digital tools and assignments into your courses. [If you’re teaching online and want some activity ideas, check out this blog post.] I have an older video about whether or not students should be able to use their phones and laptops in class, but the new videos in this post dive deeper into EdTech possibilities and benefits.

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