10 Creative Online Assignment Ideas That Promote Critical Thinking, Engagement & Deep Learning
Challenge - Designing engaging online assignments
Webinar will address the challenge of designing assignments requiring students to engage meaningfully with course content. The ease of “looking up answers” or copy/pasting information from an Internet search challenges the value of traditional in-class assignments. Simply put, assignments that work well when students are face-to-face do not always translate to the online classroom. In this environment, tests and quizzes focusing on memorizing information are ineffective. Likewise, activities that require engagement to identify the “right answer” do not work well when the answer can be found via an Internet search. In this webinar, instructors will explore creative, novel ways to get students to research, synthesize, analyze, and apply information via assignments uniquely suited for an online environment.
The nature of online learning challenges the value of assignments that students can quickly complete with a Google search or that are prone to an amalgamation of cut/paste information. In this webinar, we explore 10 creative online assignment ideas that require students to actively, meaningfully process course content to foster learning and skill development.
The Internet has undoubtedly changed the nature of teaching and learning. Yet, despite the revolutionary ways that the Internet facilitates access to and sharing information, many of our higher education assignments are still based on traditional approaches to assessing understanding. With an endless amount of information available at the touch of a button, assignments (such as tests, quizzes, or worksheets) that can be quickly completed with a simple Google search fail to produce meaningful learning. Similarly, traditional activities (such as term papers) may fail to engage students to do more than compiling a series of cut-and-pasted information. Learning – true learning – requires that students actively engage with course material. This engagement may involve curating novel insights, synthesizing various sources, critically analyzing content, or applying the information in new contexts. To be effective, online assignments must meaningfully engage students in actively processing information. In this webinar, we will explore 10 creative online assignment ideas that promote critical thinking, analysis, engagement, and deep learning--all in a manner that can be realistically integrated into the online classroom.
- Design assignments that require students to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information
- Identify creative assignments uniquely suited to the online classroom
- Understand the intersection between learning objectives and skill development in assignment creation
- Outline implementation considerations when utilizing creative, novel assignment types
- Engage online students via more meaningful, innovative assignments
- Faculty (fulltime, adjunct, campus and online)
- Online Learning Administrators and Developers
- Curriculum Development
- Faculty Development and Training
- Any educator interested in learning more about online assignment ideas
It is no surprise that students’ time and attention are directed towards grades and assignments. As such, it is critical that instructors design engaging assignments that require students to interact meaningfully with course content. This requires more than regurgitating memorized information or Googling answers… it mandates creative assignments that force students to truly think.
B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. Her research focuses on enhancing student learning in the online classroom through innovative instructional and assessment strategies. In addition, she has interests in the development of effective faculty evaluation models, perception of online degrees, and faculty workload considerations. Jean received her B.S. in comprehensive psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Western Illinois University and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Bio current as of October 2022.
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