5. Emphasize time on task ..2

Teaching and Learning

If the objective is to encourage students to spend more time and energy learning, using technology can facilitate the process by providing access to resources and guiding students to direct their own learning.

Course Organization

In-person classes tend to very linear. Presentation of material processes throughout the semester as directed by the instructor. Instruction that is enhanced with technology is not limited to linear, step-wise presentation – it can be but it doesn’t have to be.

Depending on the subject, it may be desirable to have students direct their own learning and address lessons, or assignments in a sequence of their own choosing. This sounds somewhat chaotic, but it doesn’t need to be. Allowing students to select among assignments, or even topics can encourage students to learn much more on all topics.


Each module has a Note and assignment page. Everything for the module should start there. If you are in a big hurry, all the activities for the module are listed at the bottom of the Notes ans assignments page.

Open Source Content

Rather than having to create everything from scratch, many creative and computer literate instructors have gone ahead and made their work available to any faculty or students who wish to make use of it. One such example of a library of college-level course materials is the Sofia project made available through Hewlett Foundation funded project at Foothill. Sofia initiative includes courses in language arts, art, geography, music and computer programming. http://sofia.fhda.edu/

Other sources of open source content are maintained by MIT, Harvard, Rice University, UC Berkeley and many others. All the materials are available under the Creative Commons licensing that permits any use of the material.

Changing Discussion Posts

You have 30 minutes to edit a posting in the discussion forums. During that time, there will be a link “Edit” next to “reply” at the bottom of you post. It goes away after 30 minutes.

Students can “amend” their posts by Replying to it and adding a note there – the second post will then appear in the “thread” from the original post. It doesn’t change the original post, but the additional information is recorded.

Faculty can delete posts. If you want to make a significant change, post the “correct information. Delete the original, incorrect post.

There are a number of discussion management tools available – move, split. See the faculty guide for more information.

Learn more…

  • Rice University Connexions – view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc.
  • Harvard @home Program List – provides access to special lectures, talks, and public addresses. Topics include the current affairs, arts, social science, events, history, math, and more. You can choose between 3 different media players: Quicktime, Windows Media, or Real player. The clips can be quite long so plan ahead and test. Can be used in class or for personal development.

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