- About CEE
- In-person instruction: Some classes have already returned
- 813,000 Zoom meetings: How IT Services handled the move to remote instruction
- This math lecturer developed her own open textbook—now thousands of students are using it
- Three students talk about academic integrity
- A different perspective on academic integrity
- Painting the bigger picture of academic integrity
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- Reflections on Inclusion in the Classroom Week
- Fostering connection and practicing kindness
- Can you teach dance remotely?
- A student’s perspective: How two instructors created connection online
- Welcome to your new Zoom classroom
- Kevin Lam: “Students appreciate every little thing we do that shows that we care”
- Sheri Fabian: “I embraced a flexible approach”
- Sarah Johnson: “The biggest change I made was to switch to asynchronous delivery”
- Nicky Didicher: “I’m finding my job less exhilarating”
- Mark Lechner: “You have to be OK with things going sideways”
- Nienke van Houten: “They really valued my clear and upfront approach”
- How can we support remote instruction at SFU?
- Crowdmark: A more efficient way to grade student assessments
- The unexpected benefits of a shorter syllabus
- Photo gallery: Talking shop at Teaching Matters
- Watch the video: Faculty members discuss SFU's new instructor-led online course model
- Bridges and booster rockets: CEE's new senior director talks about teaching support
- Meet the Centre for Educational Excellence leadership team
- A biology instructor rethought her students’ role—and her own
- Photo gallery: SFU’s 24th Annual Spring TA/TM Day
- Photo gallery: SFU's 9th Annual Winter Warm-up
- If you build it, will they come?
- “My students didn’t look like they were having fun”: Three additions to the TA/TM Stories podcast series
- View the furniture, share your thoughts—online
- An upgraded Canvas Gradebook is coming in January
- Share your thoughts on the furniture in SFU classrooms
- DEMOfest presenter slides
- Photo gallery: 5th Annual DEMOfest
- Teamwork needs to be taught
- TA/TM Stories: Three new podcasts explore the teaching experiences of grad students
- Can it be done? A math instructor attempts to indigenize her course
- Answers to your questions about SFU's new approach to online education
- Photo gallery: The CEE Open House
- Do you know your faculty teaching fellow?
- Instructor-led online courses: How one faculty member prepared for the new model
- Photo gallery: SFU's 34th Annual Fall TA/TM Day draws a crowd
- Connecting people and crossing artificial divides: An interview with Elizabeth Elle
- Sessional instructors can now be included in online course evaluations
- Don't say this to your class—a student shares his experience
- How one lecturer is using podcasts to make course concepts more real in her online course
- Photo gallery: Rain, burgers and smiles at the 2019 President's Employee BBQ
- Five questions and answers about the creation of CEE
- A redesign made this course more engaging for students—and the instructor
- CPUTL: A graduate student describes her experience
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In recent years, many instructors have expanded their repertoire of instructional styles to include a larger emphasis on participatory learning, in which students are actively involved in the learning process rather than simply being “recipients of knowledge.” This form of pedagogy can be called active, experiential, hands-on, authentic or real-world learning. Some disciplines have always required participatory learning—think of science labs, fine arts studios or field courses.
At first glance, it might seem challenging to facilitate active learning online. Yet there are many ways for you to create interactivity and provide space for hands-on learning in an online environment. Begin with this two-step process:
- Even if you have taught your course for many years, take time to think about what you would like students to learn through the course and what you are trying to achieve through the learning activities.
- With this purpose clearly in mind, be creative and think outside the box about ways to meet those goals, given the limitations of an online environment. The resources below will help to stimulate ideas.
What to consider
When you design interactive or hands-on activities for your online course, take into account the following factors:
Simulations can require significant bandwidth. Will the activity disadvantage students who lack a high-speed internet connection?
There can be costs associated with home lab activities. Factor in the costs just as you would when considering course texts.
- Accessible location
Can the activities be conducted in or near the student’s home? What are the current health requirements with regard to entering public spaces? Will the kinds of spaces and places required be available to all students?
Some activities should only be done in a classroom setting under instructor supervision to ensure that safety protocols are followed.
- Complexity of instructions
Will students need to discuss instructions with a peer or TA in order to understand what is required? If so, the learning activity doesn’t need to be ruled out, but may require a different type of design.
What are the options?
- Can You Do Experiential Learning Online? Assessing Design Models for Experiential Learning | Online article, Contact North
- Discussion Boards: Valuable? Overused? Discuss | Online article, Inside Higher Ed
- Online Discussions: Tips for Instructors | Online article, University of Calgary, Centre for Teaching Excellence
- 10 Tips for Effective Online Discussions | Online article, Educause Review
- Best Practices for Large-Enrollment Online Courses, Part 2: Managing Groups, Peer Review, and Other Peer-to-Peer Interactionss | Online article, Arizona State University
- Feedback Cultures: A Guide For Teachers Thinking about Moving Student-Centered Learning Online | YouTube video (43 min 00 sec)
- Science Labs | Web page, Harvard University, The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
- Teaching Lab-Based Courses Online & Remote: From “Are You Kidding Me?” to “This is Effective!” | Web page, American Society for Microbiology
- How to Rethink Science Labs | Online article, Inside Higher Ed
- The Magic of Teaching Science Labs Isn’t Lost Online | Online article, Wired
- Moving Labs Online | Online article, Focus on University Teaching and Learning, Dalhousie University
See the section of this website that focuses on Assessing Student Learning.
- Active Learning while Physically Distancing | Google document, Louisiana State University
- Active Learning while Physically Distancing 2.0 | Google document, Louisiana State University
- Teaching with Compassion & Focus Amid Disruption | Google document
- Authentic Engagement in Remote Instruction: Communication, Discussions and Tutorials | SFU video (1 hr 01 min 25 sec)
- Active Learning | Website, Queen’s University