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Assignments

How to Write Compelling Final Project Prompts

Writing Prompts

A good final project incorporates everything the student has learned in the course. It lends structure and meaning to the assignments that precede it, and it offers the student a chance to demonstrate mastery of course material in a way that is authentic to the subject matter. In an introductory nutrition course, for example, a good final project might ask students to complete an educational flyer or develop a blueprint for a blog. Both of these assignments help students cultivate skills they will use in the discipline.

A bad final project is unrelated to course material. It fails to provide context; that is, it does not explain why students should complete the project besides simply fulfilling a course requirement. It asks students to complete rote, uninspiring work. It does not engage or inspire; it requires only a dreary slog to the finish line.

 

Writing Great Assignment Instructions: Tips for Success

Writing Great Assignment Instructions

The development of creative, authentic assignments that align with course objectives is always an exciting process. However, guiding students with clearly written assignment instructions can be challenging.

We owe it to our busy online students to provide clear, concise instructions that prepare them for success. This week’s blog will provide some tips to help you to do just that.

 

Creating Effective Writing Assignments: The Discourse Community Framework

Crumpled note paper

Using the writing process – often a complex, messy and mysterious process for students – is crucial for graduate-level success.

Students not only need to grapple with understanding course concepts, but they must also be able to express them professionally and intelligently.

Well-designed writing prompts, with the addition of writing support, can provide the extra guidance many students need.

 

Writing Discussion Forum Prompts

Discussion Forum Prompts

Discussion forums are a hallmark of asynchronous online courses like those at UNE. Previous posts on this site have offered an excellent introduction to Best Practices for Discussion Board Facilitation, and an overview of current conversations around learning outcomes and instructional implications of online discussion forums. In this post, I aim to provide a closer look by offering practical tips for writing discussion forum prompts and instructor posts in relation to intended learning outcomes. In a future blog post, I will propose a two-level discussion model as a way to meet the competing goals of discussions as a space for creative exploration of ideas, versus discussions as a venue for more formal academic discourse.

 

Look at all these Writing Tools in Blackboard

Blackboard

One of Blackboard’s strengths is the variety of tools it has that allow students to express themselves in writing. I’ve divided these tools into two camps, Individual and Social. Tools in the Individual camp are designed for writing projects that only the student and the teacher see; tools in the Social camp are designed to engage the class as a whole or students in groups.

 

Tips for Improving Paragraph Integrity

Resource Articles

People often talk about personal integrity, but what about paragraph integrity?

An essential part of clear prose, paragraph integrity means each sentence within a paragraph follows from the one that came before. Oftentimes a piece of writing is unclear because it lacks paragraph integrity.

 

Scaffolding Webinar

Assignment Scaffolding for Faculty and Student Success – A Recorded Webinar

The College of Graduate and Professional Studies, the Center for the Enrichment of Teaching and Learning, and the Student Academic Success Center, came together to weigh in on the benefits of assignment and course scaffolding, as discussed in the video below.

 

It’s all in How You Ask – Posing Questions to Engage Learners

Learning Questions

Good questions require thought and careful word choices.

TYPES OF QUESTIONS
In their simplest form, there are two very basic categories of questions: closed-ended questions and open-ended questions. Each question type has a place in education as well as its own benefits and drawbacks.

A closed-ended question can be answered with a simple one-word answer (i.e. Good, yes, no, blue, 42) or a very specific answer. Closed questions are typically less stimulating than an open-ended question. These tend to be questions that ask the responder to recall a fact or choose from a selection of answers. The answer is typically correct or incorrect, with little room for ambiguity.