Resources to Help Struggling Students

Key1.jpgHow can instructors help struggling students who need tutoring and more assistance than the course time allows? For students willing to put in the extra time and energy to genuinely grasp difficult concepts, there are many new websites that can effectively serve in a self-guided tutoring role. These sites provide students with visual and interactive aids that may drive their understanding better than traditional textual explanations.  They also provide instructors with easy access to a history of the students’ activities and progress.

Most people think of the Khan Academy as just a collection of videos on various educational topics. However, it and similar tutorial sites like instaGrok have expanded into much larger interactive platforms that provide students with active learning and assessment tools and instructors with evaluation and tracking tools. These sites span areas of interest from elementary to college levels and cover the majority of academic topics, including the sciences. Plus, they are free!
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5 Steps to Find the Right CMS Product

Choosing a new or different course management system (CMS) can be a difficult and daunting task. With so many CMS products out there and even more available features, how do you know which one to choose? WCET is a great distance education resource that provides independent CMS reviews and comparisons through EduTools. Included in EduTools is the Decision Engine (DE), “a rational decision-making process to assist in selecting a course management system.” We compared several CMS products through the DE to show you how easy it is to decide which CMS is right for your class or institution.

Update: WCET informed us that the EduTools site is no longer being maintained. However, it is still up and can provide some useful information. 

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7 Ways to Create an Engaging Online Science Course

Based on a presentation from the 2012 CoDLA conference by IEDSE, the Institute for Excellence in Distance Science Education, a non-profit organization focused on providing professional development opportunities for online science educators. This article provides 7 helpful tips for creating an effective online science course.

1.Introduce yourself and your course │ A creative and engaging way for your students to get to know you better is through an introduction video. Include background information about your experiences and interests along with a review of the syllabus. Syllabi are students’ first impression of a course and the instructor. In face-to-face classes instructors often add to the syllabus as they go along; this is not possible in online classes where it is considered the students’ bible. Important elements to include in a syllabus are: learning objectives and activities, course contents (texts, labs, discussion board), expectations of students and instructor, a detailed assignment calendar, FAQs and forms of assessment. Including a syllabus quiz is a good way to ensure students read all contents.
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Distance Learning is Proven to be Efficient and Popular

By Laura Yaun

Obtaining a college degree is becoming more convenient and affordable through distance learning. Work and family schedules may not always permit a person seeking higher education to start or finish their college degree program. Distance learning allows the student to do their coursework online, on their own time, and help them reach their goals.
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