Enhance Your Online Course

Enhancing your course with learning objects and activities will help to communicate course content beyond static readings and lectures. Content presented in a memorable and meaningful way will stimulate the learner making the course more dynamic and successful. Discover the most suitable tools and enhancements for your course objectives.


New - "Ready to GO" Modules and Resources

Are you interested in adding different instructional strategies in your online course? Do you need a place to start? The Instructional Designers at Global Online have created and shared several modules to the UWF Canvas Commons that can help! These modules include ready-made sample assignments, instructor notes for implementation, and resources and technology guides for students. Using these elements helps you focus more on developing an engaging course and less on creating support resources and instructions for students.

Available content includes but is not limited to:

  • Begin Here: Course Welcome, Overview, and Instructions - Module is an outline of the introductory pages you should present at the beginning of any online course. Information, best practices, and templates for your meet your instructor page, course syllabus, course schedule, course learning outcomes page, and course communication page are included in this module. The module also includes a Meet Your Classmates discussion activity with a sample prompt and how-to information for students. 
  • Online Student Resources - Module includes pages about self preparation, technology resources, how to find help, netiquette, basics of academic integrity, and a special section about blended courses. This module is also part of the GO ACT Template.
  • Panopto Instructions for Instructors - This module includes resources for instructors who are interested in using Panopto and video based lectures.
  • Panopto Student Presentation Module - This module contains videos that demonstrate how to use Panopto as an Instructor for student engagement. It also provides instructions for students who are creating videos as part of an assignment.
  • Portfolium ePortfolio - Portfolium is a space where you can curate your achievements, projects, and competencies and use them to wow your instructors, peers, and potential employers. The Portfolium module contains an instructional video for you or your students to create ePortfolios.
  • UWF Libraries Resources – Scholarly Information Tutorials
    • Academic Integrity Tutorial - This module expands the previous Academic Integrity module developed by the University Libraries to include APA 7th edition citations and expanded discussion of academic integrity within the framework of UWF's values and the ACRL framework.
    • Algorithm Literacy - This module introduces students to algorithms, how algorithms influence Internet search results, and how bias in algorithms effect society.
    • Finding a Scholarly Article - This updated version of the University Libraries' How to Find a Scholarly Article module includes updated screen shots of the library website.

Canvas Commons is a learning object repository that enables educators to find, import, and share resources. A digital library full of educational content, Commons allows Canvas users to share learning resources with other users as well as import learning resources into a Canvas course. Learn more about how to import content from the UWF Canvas Commons

Request other modules or assignments by emailing GOLDHelp@uwf.edu with your needs or ideas. 

Graphics

Research supports incorporating visuals into online course content for two reasons: brains process visuals faster than they process text and today’s students are used to viewing multimedia. We can help you design graphic elements that are both appealing and accessible.

Banners and Homepages

 

Video

Using video as a learning tool isn’t a new trend. But what used to take a lot of time and money to produce (with varying results) has become easier with modern technology. In fact, you’ve already got the tools you need to make your video. Your cellphone, your tablet, even your laptop or desktop. Everything has a camera and it’s incredibly easy to shoot and edit video. Here are some best practices you can use when making your own videos:

  • Keep them short – Your videos shouldn’t last any longer than 7 – 15 minutes each. Anything beyond that and you start to lose your audience. 
  • Keep on target – Since you’ve only got between 7 – 15 minutes for your video, make sure that you keep on target. 
  • Engage your audience – Learning is all about engagement. If your audience is interested in your content they’re more likely to absorb it, and watch future videos from you. Use Panopto Quizzes as learning checks at both half way and the end of your videos. These quizzes can even link to the Canvas gradebook! 
  • Quality over quantity – Don’t inundate your audience. Think before you post and make sure you’re putting your best content out there to your audience.
  • Allow for feedback – Feedback is so important, especially if you’re just starting out. Offering students an opportunity to provide feedback allows you to find out what works and adjust what doesn't.

I use videos to “walk” students through the website and the assignments. A comparison study I conducted found a 30 percent reduction in questions from pre-to-post video instruction. These videos save me time, and students say my videos make class feel like a “real class.” I appreciate that students feel lonely and insecure late at night with only printed instructions to guide them.

Dr. Lela Hobby, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Synchronous Web Sessions

Synchronous sessions via Webex can be used to:

  • Field question from students. 
  • Screenshare to demonstrate tasks or navigate documents. 
  • Feature guest speakers.
  • You can also have students take the lead by delivering group and individual presentations. 

When you are planning to hold a synchronous session, it’s not enough to know what you will do in the session. You must also be comfortable using videoconferencing software, which will almost certainly include troubleshooting with students. Consider these logistics before you begin.

  • Get to know the ins-and-outs of the software. 
  • Give students the opportunity to practice with an optional session.
  • Join the call early to field access questions and stay on the call late to answer any follow-up questions.
  • Think about how you will appear on screen. Ensure that the lighting is clear, not dark or over-bright. Dress as you want to be perceived: serious, laid-back, quirky. The same goes for your background. Will you set yourself up in front of a bookshelf? At the kitchen table?
  • If possible, silence your phone and go to a room where you can close the door. Be sure to consider white noise, too. Is there an air conditioner, fan, washing machine, or dishwasher that will make it difficult to hear you?
  • Be sure to record and post your session to your class after it is over.
  • However… Don’t reuse recordings from previous classes. It is important not to use recordings of past students in classes with future students, as this could be a FERPA violation. A saved video conference of students participating in your class may constitute an education record.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

The resources below are great places to look for media elements to use within your course that are openly licensed in a way that freely permits education use.

Media Repositories

  • Creative Commons is a non-profit that helps sharing & Reuse of creativity & knowledge via free legal and technological tools. These tools are not alternatives to copyright laws, rather they work alongside them.
  • NASA - Search NASA's image and video libraries.
  • Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through our discover pages.
  • PixaBay is a repository for stunning public domain pictures. Your source for free vectors, free drawings, and free photos. You can use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications.
  • Storyblocks is a one-stop-shop for high-quality stock media. CDL pays for the rights to use these images.
  • The UCF Marketing Tandem Vault is managed by UCF Marketing. All photography is available free of charge for editorial usage, viewing, and presentations. However, advertising or commercial use by non-UCF entities is prohibited.
  • Wikimedia Commons is a database of over 19,000,000 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.
  • Use the Library of Congress to access to print, pictorial and audio-visual collections and other digital services.

Repository for Vector Images

  • Freepik of a repository for free vector images. You can use Freepik to search for vector images, PSDs, icons, and photos.