Online Programs Workshop Registration Workshop Descriptions (Summary)
Featured Workshop
Brown Bag | Part 1: Effective & Efficient Feedback | Part 2: No one left behind. Tips and strategies for maintaining scholar engagement in an increasingly disconnected world.

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Part 1: In the first part of this Brown Bag, Dr. Alex Feldt, Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, will highlight the varied ways in which he approached student feedback in the development of his asynchronous bioethics course. In the initial course development, it was clear that some assignments and things needed to be broken apart in smaller chunks or new activities needed to be created to adjust for the asynchronous nature of the course. However, this also led to significant concerns on his part about his ability to give feedback to help guide the students – as his courses in person are driven by discussion, allowing him to give immediate feedback and help nudge the students in the right direction. These concerns were not just about how he would provide effective feedback, but also how he could do it in an efficient manner (especially since he was creating more moments of submitted work). Dr. Feldt will highlight how he initially worked to create feedback opportunities in the first iteration of the course, and adjustments that he has made since. While he has achieved a reasonable balance between efficient and effective feedback, he’ll highlight new concerns he has discovered that open the door to strive for continued improvements and adjustments. Part 2: In the second part of this Brown Bag, Dr. Jeremy Chandler, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology/ Division of Biology will cover scalable tips, strategies and tools employed in large lecture classes to make certain scholars stay engaged in course materials and are motivated to put forth their best efforts.

Brown Bag: Maximizing Student Engagement and Satisfaction in an Online Class | Engagement Strategies in Asynchronous Courses 

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In the first part of this session, Dr. Amy Billone, Professor in the Department of English will cover the means by which instructors can achieve the highest possible levels of student learning and student satisfaction in asynchronous classes. Dr. Billone will discuss different strategies she has used in her asynchronous classes that students have identified as contributing the most significantly to their learning outcomes. She will also highlight which methods she has used to give the students what they have identified in their course evaluations the greatest level of satisfaction. Dr. Billone will explain how these particular methods have made her students feel that her asynchronous classes have many of the benefits of face-to-face classes and she will illustrate how other instructors might make use of some of the same instructional strategies. In the second half of this session, Dr. Brad Areheart, Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law will discuss strategies for engagement in courses where the format is largely asynchronous. Dr. share some of what he has learned in teaching asynchronously over the last year, from tips on structuring modules to making use of discussions to providing individualized feedback

Brown Bag | Part 1: Gone Fishin’ - Building a Hook to Reel in your Students | Part 2: Creating Optimal Conditions in Student Team Learning

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Part 1: Getting students engaged in remote (zoom) and online (asynchronous) classes can be a challenge! One way to get students thinking about the content is to start with a question that gets them curious and then build the conversation on what your students say. In the first half of this session, Benjamin White, lecturer in the Department of Psychology, will discuss the use of the Assertion-Evidence Model to help promote engagement in your students and introduce a few strategies to help get you started using this model in your online classes. By creating a thought-provoking question and listening to your students (and them listening to each other) you can create an environment where students are more curious, more engaged, and ready to learn Part 2: In the second half of this session, Dr. Gregory Kaplan, Professor of Spanish and Distinguished Professor in the Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies will present strategies for facilitating online group work that have been successfully implemented in Spanish 331, a required course for majors and minors that is currently being delivered at UT in an asynchronous format. Dr. Kaplan will open the brown bag by describing the design of asynchronous 331 and the components of the course that involve group work before turning to the topic of Student Team Learning. Scholars have demonstrated that Student Team Learning can occur in the physical classroom when “new material is presented by the teacher and then the students work within their groups to master the lesson. Teammates must assist one another in learning because the success of the group depends on the mastery of the lesson by each member” (Carolyn Szostek, 1994, 254). Dr. Kaplan will explain how Student Team Learning can also occur in the virtual classroom during activities that groups complete using Google Docs.

Brown Bag | Part 1: A Vol from afar: Insights from OLAP’s “Demographics+” survey | Part 2: Using a Universal Design for Learning Framework within Online and Hybrid Courses to Meet the Needs of all Learners

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Part 1: What do we know about the students who enroll in UTK Distance Education programs? In Fall 2021, the office of Online Learning & Academic Programs conducted a demographics survey to learn more the outside the classroom lives of the university’s DE students, receiving more than 400 responses (over 20% response rate). In the first half of this session, Josh Steele, Assistant Vice Provost for Online Learning, will discuss what we learnt about the survey results, including demographics, motivations for enrollment, and student feedback on support services that can help them be successful. Part 2: In the second half of this session, Dr. Lori Caudle, Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies, will focus on creating and facilitating online experiences for all learners that are built from a Universal Design for Learning (CAST, 2013) set of principles. Specifically, attendees will explore how to intentionally design and facilitate activities that provide learners with various ways to acquire information through multimodal cycles of inquiry. When students engage in this type of inquiry, it fosters comprehension of course-specific knowledge through acquisition, application, reflection, and identification of connections across concepts. This session will also highlight ways to keep online learners motivated and engaged by providing options for recruiting interest, sustaining effort and persistence, and promoting self-regulation.

Brown Bag | Part 1: Delving the Dungeon of Virtue: Using Game-Based Learning to teach Ethical Theory in the Asynchronous Classroom | Part 2: Leveraging Canvas Quizzes and Discussions as Study Tools

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Part 1: In the first part of this Brown Bag, Dr. Windeknecht , Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, will show participants how he transitioned his PHIL 244: Professional Responsibility course from an in-person to an online environment. He’ll explain how he uses “dungeon crawls” (i.e., gamified quizzes) to help students conceptualize and understand the course material; “monster encounters” (i.e., gamified cases) to help students experiment with and apply the course material; and “quest logs” (i.e., gamified journals) to help students reflect on, analyze, and evaluate the course material and their own beliefs. By the end of this session, participants will see how an intentionally designed course, like a game, can be both fun and educational! Part 2: Providing a student with tailored, timely tools to identify and bridge gaps in understanding can take an already successful student to the next level and, for a struggling student, can be the difference between success and failure. Creating such individualized tools for a small class can be a daunting task and can seem impossible when working with hundreds of students in a single semester. In the second half of this session, Dr. Shel Swenson, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, will discuss scalable strategies to provide students with valuable, detailed feedback on their course work and encourage them to engage more deeply with challenging material as they prepare for assessments.

Brown Bag | Part 1: Distracted: How to Win the Battle for Students’ attention in class | Part 2: Engagement and Accountability in an Asynchronous Course

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Part 1: In the first half of this session, Dr. Beth Cooper, Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, will lead a discussion based on the book “Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It” by Dr. James Lang. Lang provides several concrete steps we can take to improve student attention and engagement. Dr. Cooper will share her experience of having implemented some of Lang’s advice after many years of banning electronics in her classes. Lang’s advice is relevant for both face to face and online courses.  Part 2: In the second half of this session, Dr. Heidi Stolz, Professor of Child and Family Studies will discuss strategies to encourage and reward student participation with course materials and ideas in an asynchronous course. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ organizational and time management skills, creating accountability-based assignments, offering flexibility within bottom-line limits, and maintaining a culture of high expectations, personal responsibility and fairness.