Course Design Essentials


This guide applies to a range of course design or revision techniques. You might use the Rule of 2’s: Simple Course Design Template to make…

Organize Your Course for Success


Imagine this: You visit your local market to pick up some peanut butter, but it’s no longer where you expect it. You ask for help, but still…

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Designing a Hybrid or Blended Course


In blended and hybrid courses (with the two terms used interchangeably in this article), students complete activities both in the classroom and…

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Supporting Students Online


Online students can find it challenging to stay motivated and engaged in learning. Here are steps you can take when building online activities to…

Create Engaging Videos


A well-made video can be a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Instructor-made videos can help online students feel more like they are…

DIY Media Tips


OAI offers support around integrated and dynamic media for the classroom. Well-conceived and carefully integrated multimedia can help students…

Building an Effective Syllabus


An effective syllabus is both relevant and accessible for all students. Along with complete information, it needs organization and formatting that…

Active Lecture and Discussion Techniques


Research has long found that students often don’t retain most lecture material. For example, Donald Bligh reported that when students were not…

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Building Community in Your Online Course


A community is a group of people who share a common purpose. In the context of an online course, a community includes not only students, but also the…

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Canvas Student Support and Syllabus Statement


OAI supports only faculty, but here are some ways for students to get help with Canvas. The Learning Center has self-paced learning resources for…

Course Management Timeline


Instructors have a lot to think about before, during, and after each term. Be sure to accomplish these essential tasks. Pre-Term(at least two weeks…

Create Accessible Course Materials


When course materials — readings, videos, slides, websites, etc. — are accessible, all students benefit. Students with disabilities can engage with…

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Create Thriving Online Discussions


Online discussion is a mainstay of online courses, and for good reason. Compared to face-to-face communication, online discussion has many benefits…

Cultivating Student Motivation


Fostering Student Choice and Decision MakingThose who do the work do the learning. If this maxim is true, how can we structure our classrooms so…

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Digital Activities to Support Student Engagement


When educators think of the Internet as an extension of the classroom, the possibilities are endless. Strategic approaches to activity design can…

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM


What are diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how are they related to higher education? You have probably encountered these terms a lot over the…

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Email Templates for the Start of Term


Many students are anxious for information about their classes before the term starts. By communicating early, you can help establish an encouraging…

Encouraging Academic Integrity through Course Design


Academic integrity is not only about holding students to high standards and creating consistent expectations through course policies. More…

Encouraging Student Agency through Alternative Assessments


Research shows that the more we give students qualitative feedback and withhold quantitative grades, the more students are able to absorb that…

Engaging Students in Large Classes


Large classes pose unique challenges for instructors and students alike. Active, personalized learning is often best — but difficult in a large…

Equity and Inclusion Practices: An Overview


This guide introduces a few pedagogies you can adopt into your inclusive teaching practice. They can help facilitate connections and conversations…

Flexible and Affordable Teaching Materials: Using OER


“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and…

Flexible Teaching Strategies


When adapting your course to a new format, it can help to review instructional strategies. This article looks at different ways to provide content,…

Introduction to Universal Design for Learning


Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a flexible pedagogical framework to minimize barriers and increase accessibility for the fullest range of…

Key Things to Know about Your New Canvas Course


Canvas and D2L have many similarities and overlapping functions — but also some important differences. Here are some key differences you’re likely to…

Refresh Your Course for a New Term


This article outlines a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready for the new term. Reflect on Past TermsBefore opening your course to…

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Remote Lab Kit


Science labs often are either integrated components of larger lecture courses (lab sections) or smaller, self-contained courses. Either way, it’s…

Start Your Term Right: Essential Student Communications


Early and regular communication with your students is very important. This guide offers key contact points and ways to help students get the support…

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Staying Present in Your Online Course


Being present in your remote course is key to keeping students engaged, leading to overall student success.  Here are a few ways to stay connected to…

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Stream Class Sessions Remotely


Here are tips for live streaming your class sessions. They may be especially useful if you’re new to remote teaching and/or streaming, or if you’ve…

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Student Voices on Remote Learning


Students had a range of responses to the sudden shift to remote learning during Spring term 2020. While many students expressed appreciation for…

Student-Faculty Partnerships in Curricula


There is a growing movement to not only include but also involve students in curricula decisions. Students in higher education have challenged the…

Supporting Students through Difficult Conversations


The classroom can be a place to explore controversial topics including equity, identity, religious beliefs, and political views. These topics may…

Teaching in Inclement Weather


In inclement weather, PSU may have a delayed start, an early closure, or a full-day closure. Here’s how to: Reduce impacts to class meetings and…

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Teaching Strategies for Digital Class Meetings


Digital class meetings are sessions that some or all students attend via Zoom or another virtual meeting platform. Such meetings may be recorded for…

Understanding Assessment Methods


Assessment is discovering students’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind, and comparing them to what’s expected…

Wrapping Up: End of Term Procedures


As the term concludes, you may want to complete the following tasks. Canvas GradebookIf you’ve been using the Canvas gradebook, make sure you’ve…

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You Don’t Need to Record in a Classroom!


As the campus pivots to remote teaching due to COVID-19, you may be wondering how you can conduct many of your regular class lecture activities…

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