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Engaging and Effective Student Activities

Using Course Websites as Instructional Tools

Why Have a Course Website?

  • Post syllabi, assignments, written lectures, articles, hyperlinks, etc. online and eliminate the expense and labor of making copies. 
  • Use it as an online meeting space where students take quizzes, participate in discussions, and collaborate on projects. 
  • Create a course site with common materials and “clone” it for multi-section courses.
  • Manage grades, collect papers – even use it to help discourage plagiarism!

After learning some of the simple things you can do with a Canvas course site, read about using the web to teach, planning for web-based learning, introducing students to online learning and more in Chapter 10: Using Course Websites as Instructional Tools of Instruction at FSU: A Guide to Teaching & Learning Practices.

Converting Course Activities to the Web

Your ODL consultant can help you make decisions about the usefulness of current course activities in an online context. In many courses, readings and lectures take up a significant portion of student time, and these can be readily used in an online setting. Other activities may require more planning and even, in some cases, substitution. You may find this portion of the course conversion process the most rewarding for all teaching contexts as it leads to discovery of new content available from publishers and the Worldwide Web, and involves thoughtful consideration of the ways activities fit different learning styles and course objectives.

The TEACH Act of 2002: How the Law Affects Online Instruction

This PDF document prepared by ODL faculty provides information on the permissible uses of copyrighted material under the TEACH Act of 2002. For broader resources on copyright law as it applies to both face-to-face and online instruction, see resources provided by the FSU Office of Inspector General Services as well as the FSU Libraries' Copyright Resources guide.

The FSU Library: Course Reserves

Journal articles and book chapters on reserve in electronic form are available and can be accessed by students from within your course site. Learn more at the FSU Libraries Canvas Integration page. 

Connecting Students with Writing Tutors

Written assignments often reveal deficiencies in student writing that, while not specifically related to a course objective, can still affect the quality of submitted work. Fortunately, the FSU Reading-Writing Center provides online, synchronous tutoring sessions for distance students. When giving writing assignments, you may wish to include a link to the center and/or a direct link to their appointment-making tool.

Designing Online Discussion Activities

How do students discuss course concepts when they're not even logged in at the same time, much less in the same room? Visit this resource article to learn strategies for creating rich and challenging discussions that can rival the liveliest in-class conversation.

Active Learning and Critical Thinking

Turn passive students into actively engaged critical thinkers by employing some of the strategies discussed in the Problem-Based Learning article.

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