Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - How to Personalize Your Course

Most of you inherited a completed course in Blackboard when you started teaching here at Stevenson.  You don't always have much say in what content goes into that course, what textbooks are being used and what the assignments and assessments are.  Yet there are still a few ways to personalize and make your course your own.

  1. Announcements - Your weekly announcements are a way to humanize yourself to your students.  They show you are there, into the course, care and want the best for them.  Typical announcement posts include a quick view of the module week ahead, and updates or reminders of due dates.  Any other funny quips or personal add-ins are also always appreciated by your students.  Announcements don't have to be very long but they are a very important part of the online learning experience.

  2. Assignment Feedback - In any assignment/assessment that is graded there is an opportunity for instructor feedback.  While this isn't always necessary, giving a quick 'good point' or 'great job' doesn't take up much of your time and goes a long way with your students.  Again, it creates a real life teacher/student experience.  Timely, constructive criticism is also crucial as it allows your students to make the necessary adjustments in time for their next assignment and allows for greater growth throughout your course.

  3. Faculty Information - In the faculty information area that you set up prior to your course being turned on there is an opportunity to add a photo of yourself.  While many feel uncomfortable with this, this actually makes the students feel more comfortable since they are able to put a face with a name and know who they are communicating with.

  4. Course Theme - This is the fun one that not all are aware of!!!  This can best be shown in this video tutorial.

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