284918 Interactive Online Instruction Using Course Management Software and Approaches That Engage Students Actively and Asynchronously

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 4:27 PM
329 (Convention Center )
Paul Blowers, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and Gregory E. Ogden, Chemical & Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Innovative instruction has moved from traditional lecture format to formats that engage students in novel ways, often building on their learning styles and the availability of technologies to support learning.  A series of big question arise when one attempts to port a successful in-person active learning experience to an interactive online environment.  How does one build student accountability when there is no face to fact interaction?  How does one involve students in their real-time asychronously from you to build successful skills?  How can one build rapport with interactions that may not be optimal for success of students?  All of these issues become more critical as education moves more globally and also to realms where engineering may not have considered going in the past.

 Through an Intel and University of Arizona grant, two faculty used their strengths to build a sophomore course that has interactive elements within an online environment.  Course management software (CMS) allows faculty to monitor student progress while also building connections with students with feedback about progress and strenths and weaknesses of answers submitted, some that are automatically evaluated through the CMS, and other feedback coming through synchronous office hours, and other feedback through asynchronous email feedback.  The interactive interface requires students to watch short videos and the respond to prompts through the CMS and then respond to the feedback. 

This effort describes the techologies used, their limitations, and lays out a series of stages that will allow faculty who are considering building interactive and engaging online learning experiences to follow up and accomplish their goals.  As this is a pilot project, clear discussion of problems encountered in this incarnation will be highlighted and discussions held regarding how to move past limitations of technologies, time commitments, and knowledge of how to proceed that will enable faculty to engage in these ways as education changes over time and online offerings for credit become more prevalent.


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