Explore the greatest hits of 2023 on the Teaching Innovation Blog and discover something to help spark your next course development project.

As the year winds down and you begin preparing your courses for next semester, what are you hoping to change? In the spirit of “small teaching,” we encourage you to consider making one change to your courses that you can implement (relatively) quickly and will make a meaningful impact on your students. 

Whether it’s revitalizing a stale discussion board, incorporating AI into your teaching practices, or exploring equitable grading practices, the Teaching Innovation Blog has ideas and resources to help spark your course development. Below are some of our greatest hits of 2023, with brief descriptions of how you might use them to rethink an element of your course.

Micro-learning: The Game-Changer in Higher Education

Develop a micro lesson. This is a (fairly) quick task because a micro lesson addresses a specific concept and should be short and to the point. Micro lessons can take many forms:  

  • a short video explaining the concept  
  • an infographic highlighting key points  
  • a brief article or blog post  
  • a simple quiz or set of practice questions 

You Don’t Need to be a YouTube Star

Create one course video. You don’t need to be an editing wizard to make great videos; you don’t even need to be charismatic. What you do need: purpose, passion, and personality. State your ‘why’ in your video will ground the focus of the video. Let your passion shine. Any enthusiasm you can convey will help students connect with you. Finally, be yourself, and don’t worry about re-recording small mistakes. Intrusive pets welcome. 

Creating Space and Connections with Discussion Board Roles in Canvas 

Revitalize a Discussion Board with student roles. If you incorporate online discussion boards in your course, you may have noticed a trend: the same students do the heavy lifting. Assigning students discussion roles can help facilitate equitable dialogue. Discussion roles can include conversation starters and closers, so the students are engaged in co-creating knowledge in meaningful and diverse ways. 

How to Use ChatGPT as an Ideation Partner (for You and Your Students)

Ask ChatGPT a question. Think of ChatGPT as a course development ideation partner. In this blog, the writer outlines helpful ways to give ChatGPT constraints and guidance for quick but focused and useful responses. For example, the writer shares 3 tricks that can help you give more context to ChatGPT. 
Less Worry, More Learning: How Ungrading Has Changed My Student Experience

Explore ungrading, the practice of decentering the grade to recenter learning. This blog provides a student-focused reflection in an ungraded course. Grades never motivated the writer to reflect on their learning, but rather motivated them to produce the minimum standard for an A. In an ungrading model, the writer found joy in learning, and went above and beyond what was expected.

Want to dive deeper? Check out more posts from the Teaching Innovation Blog.

  • Eva Grouling Snider

    Eva joined the Division of Online and Strategic Learning in 2021. Previously, she taught professional writing courses in the English Department, including graphic design and web development. She launched Jacket Copy Creative (now known as Compass Creative), an immersive learning course in which students helped market the English Department (and now the entire College of Sciences and Humanities). She also served as a director of advertising at a social media advertising agency in Muncie. Her interests include UDL, digital accessibility, and design. She’s often busy “hacking” Canvas to do cool things.

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  • Cheri Madewell

    Cheri is the director of instructional consultation on the Teaching Innovation Team. Prior to joining the Division of Online and Strategic Learning, she was a faculty member for the Ball State Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Cheri’s background is in instructional design and technologies and leading international gender and LGBTQ grant projects.

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