Erika Romero

PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

Category: Professional Development (page 1 of 4)

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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Get Productive with These 10 Productivity Tips (& The Ultimate Productivity Bundle)

The new year is here, which means a lot of us are thinking of ways to make this year the best year yet. For academics, this tends to mean wanting to find ways to be incredibly productive while still having a life outside of work responsibilities. In today’s post, I thought I’d share a few productivity tips that have worked well for me. I’ve got a video with seven productivity tips related to building routines, goal setting, planning, and more to get us started off. But, I also have a few other pieces of advice that I felt would be easier to describe in written form. Plus, if you haven’t heard about this year’s The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, then I definitely want to share some exciting news about it! It’s a bundle of resources that has made a big difference in my productivity, and it includes my bullet journal course. Let’s talk productivity!

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3 Teaching Reflection Activities to Try Before Next Semester

Now that it’s officially winter break, it’s time to reflect on the past semester and consider what changes you want to make going into the new year. This task can really help improve your teaching practices, along with other elements of your academic life. In today’s post, I go over three teaching reflection activities that you can use to improve your teaching. Each approach is very different from the next, so you can do all three, or just your favorite of the bunch. As teachers, we often ask students to reflect on what they’ve learned in our classrooms. It’s time for us to reflect on our own classroom experiences, as well.

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Creating a Student Self-Assessment to Understand Expectations & Prior Knowledge

We’ve reached the final blog post in the “Successful Start: Designing Your First Week of Class” series. Today’s post follows up on the workbook’s descriptions of various types of student self-assessment activities, the goals of these activities, and how to approach creating one. If you’re just joining us now, here’s the free 60+ page Successful Start workbook which you can use to create your materials for the first week of class. At this point, we’ve covered the syllabus, course schedule, icebreakers, and major class assignments and their instruction sheets. Complimentary YouTube videos for this whole series are also available, with the final video touching upon the benefits of having students complete a self-assessment during week one.

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Major Class Assignment Types and Why I Use Them

We’ve officially arrived at week four of the “Successful Start” series. So far, we’ve covered the syllabus, the course schedule, and icebreakers. Next week we’ll wrap up with student self-assessments. But today, it’s all about your major class assignments and how to introduce them to your students. In the workbook, I cover standard and nonstandard elements when creating your assignment instruction sheets. In today’s video (embedded in this post), I discuss how I introduce my major assignments to students during the first week of class (and why I do so during week one). In this blog post, I’m going over a few of the major assignment types I’ve used in my courses (examples included), in case you’re stuck on deciding what assignments to include in your courses (or don’t know where to begin). I’ve included my perspective on why I think these assignments work well for students and for instructors, as well.

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Icebreaker Activities for College Students

Today’s post will be a quick read, since I’ve already described in detail seven different icebreaker activities that I’ve used in my classrooms in the workbook that accompanies this five-part series. [For anyone who’s just joining us, we’ve already covered the syllabus and the course schedule elements of the first week of class.] Rather than go over the same icebreaker descriptions again, I thought I’d share a few personal experiences I’ve had with icebreakers instead. I’m also sharing a few additional icebreaker games that can be used with larger student numbers (75+). Let’s go break some ice!

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