PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

Category: Teaching Tools/Resources (Page 1 of 4)

How to Use Canvas LMS to Create Your Class Website (Video Tutorials)

I’m teaching at a new university this year. I’m excited to get started, but before I can, I need to set up my new course websites. At ISU, we use a Sakai-based system. [Here’s that video tutorial, with other online teaching tips.] At STU, I’ll be using Canvas instead. Canvas is a super popular learning management system, so there are plenty of tutorials already out there. But, I thought I’d still create my own video tutorials, as well, from the perspective of a newbie getting the feel for the tools available in this LMS. So far, I’ve covered the four major elements of Canvas: pages, discussions, assignments, and modules. You can learn more about these elements in this post or by going straight to the YouTube video series playlist. Additional videos will be created as I gain more experience with Canvas.

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10 Icebreakers for Online Classes (College)

I’ve talked about icebreakers as part of my “Successful Start: Designing Your First Week of Class” blog post and video series. But, not all of them work well in an online context. If you’re teaching an online college course and are swamped by lesson planning, here’s a video and post about five icebreakers for online college courses that you can make your own. Plus, a second video with five more online icebreaker activity ideas that can help students better understand how to use Zoom and your LMS class website. [More interested in online class discussion activities? Here’s a video with seven online discussion designs.] And if you want to see more of my online teaching tips after you read this post, check out my full list of resources.

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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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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 F2F 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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Group Project Activity: Multimodal Composition via Genre Remediations

Recently I’ve been spending most of my time thinking about my dissertation research and my academic job applications. My dissertation focuses heavily on multimodal texts and their new media adaptations. Many of the jobs I’m applying to have a focus on digital texts and composition, which fits well not just with my research, but also my teaching practices in writing and literature courses. I’ve already gone over a literary analysis group project that works well with my literature students. So today, I thought I’d break down a multimodal composition group project that has worked really well in my first year writing courses. If you’re looking for a creative group activity for your composition students that requires a good amount of research and analytical thinking, this post is for you.

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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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