Ideas and Strategies for Course Sites
Parent Page(s): Course Sites (Connect, edX, and WordPress)
Connect, edX and WordPress help you to create, host and share course materials, interact with students, manage assignments and assessments, and offer options for open education delivery. Each platform has unique affordances and features, and it can be difficult to make informed choices about how they might work best for you. Explore examples from our work with faculty, then come and talk to us about your ideas so we can help you with your choices.
FREN 122 – Contemporary French Language and Literature I
Instructor: Anne Scott
Department: French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies
Course Coordinator Anne Scott teamed up with designer, graduate students and other instructors to create a new online open textbook for multi-sectioned courses French 122 and French 123 (Contemporary French Language and Literature). This blended format was developed to respond to the needs of students and the ubiquitous presence of technology in their environment, as well as to the absence of a suitable textbook at their level.
The modular structure of the courses gives instructors as much flexibility as possible to suit their individual teaching style, while maintaining a common level of competence across the sections. Finally, instructors are able to continuously modify the content, every time creating new material and quickly adapting to emerging teaching and learning needs.
The course, hosted in Connect, is paperless and represents considerable cost savings for the students. Free online apps, such as Screenchomp and Quizlet are being used to create online Grammar lessons and for review and practice.
Comment from student survey: It is great to have online tools. For those of us who like to work and practice on our own time it is very useful.
SPAN 206/207 – Conversational Spanish I
Instructors: Maria Carbonetti, Sylvia Bascou Vallarino, Iris Escuer Riera
Department: French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies
The instructors used Connect to deliver course material and supplement students with more language practice. This site incorporates the use of instructional videos hosted on Youtube, as well as Quizlet, an online flashcard tool featuring Spanish words and phrases. Lecture material is organized by units.
CHIN 100-level courses – Chinese Language Material Sharing
Instructor: Dr. Qian Qang
Department: Asian Studies, Chinese Language Program
Dr. Qian Wang used Connect to create a resource site comprising of student created videos, practice comprehension quizzes, and question pools pertaining to the CHIN 101 Course material. This Connect site is shared with other instructors from the Chinese Language program, where they can request to have specific content copied over to their own Connect courses. They may choose to copy over individual items, entire content areas, or entire sets of tests and question pools.
HIST 106 – Global Environmental History
Instructor: Dr. Eagle Glassheim
Dr. Eagle Glassheim used Connect to create a flipped classroom environment in which course material was taken out of lectures and organized into online course modules. As a result, a significant portion of lecture time could be allocated to interactive exercises and classroom discussion. Additionally, students were able to go through the online modules and review the course material at their own pace.
LAST 100 – Introduction to Latin American Studies
Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Beasley-Murray
Department: French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, Latin American Studies Program
Jonathan Beasley-Murray used the WordPress platform to create a course site that integrates course content, a video and podcast library, and student blog posts. The site has an embedded Twitter widget, taking on a more modern approach to updating students with course activity. He also uses a tool called Tag Cloud so that students can easily find posts related to a certain word or topic. This interactive site allows students to access course material from anywhere and be more proactive in their learning.
LING 100 – Introduction to Language and Linguistics
Instructor: Dr. Martina Wiltschko
Dr. Martina Wiltschko used the WordPress platform for the Linguistics Video-site as a video library for hosting both instructor and student-produced videos. An instructor video is featured for a particular topic taught in the course, leading the discussion for students to create their own videos on a similar topic. Videos are added to the website from term-to-term as students create them.
She also uses the WordPress platform for LING 100, a course management site that hosted the syllabus, course content, lecture notes, and a discussion area for students to collaborate and discuss.
PHIL 102 – Introduction to Philosophy II
Instructor: Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks used the WordPress platform in PHIL 102 to develop six sites, each corresponding to a discussion section. Posts created by students in each of the individual section blogs are then syndicated into one main course site. The main course site also hosts course material such as syllabi and assignments in addition to student work. Christina emphasizes that students sharing work should be voluntary and allows her students to post both anonymously and privately.
Arts One Open
The vision for the Arts One Open course was to open learning to virtually anyone. That’s why Christina Hendricks used WordPress to create this website containing video recordings of lectures, podcasts, blog posts written by students and instructors and many more. With all these resources readily available, students are able to learn at their own pace and observe their peers’ progress. The site has now also implemented Badges, to reward students on reading, writing and participation accomplishments.
GEOB 370 – Geographic Information Science
Instructor: Dr. Arthur Green
Arthur Green used the PulsePress theme to deliver a forum in UBC Blogs to encourage student discussion and interaction. PulsePress acts as a Twitter-like feed for real-time posting. The course site forums has seen great success with students helping and learning from one another. This will also help prepare students for future interactions with GIS professionals and communities on online forums.
Keywords: blogs for teaching
China 300x – Chinese Thought: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science
Instructor: Dr. Edward Slingerland
Department: Asian Studies
Dr. Edward Slingerland delivered his MOOC on the edX platform. The course was divided into individual modules, each containing sub-units. Lecture material was presented to students by means of captioned videos, followed by a series of multiple choice self-check questions to reinforce the learner’s understanding. Students were also required to participate in discussions, complete a set of required readings, as well as an end of module quiz. Students receive an explanation of the correct answer immediately after completing the self-check questions and Module quizzes. Every week, the instructor would post a Q&A video that addresses some of the items raised in the discussion forums. An email is also sent out to students every week that summarizes the discussion highlights from the past week.
Water 201x – Urban Water: Innovations for Water Sustainability
Instructor: Dr. Karen Bakker
Dr. Karen Bakker delivered her MOOC on the edX platform. The course consists of six weekly modules, each comprised of short, documentary-style videos, lecture videos, a reading, discussion questions, and a short online quiz to conclude. The module quizzes are designed so students receive immediate “targeted” feedback based on the answer option they chose.
POLI 360A – Security Studies
Instructor: Dr. Brian Job
Department: Political Science
Dr. Brian Job utilized edX Edge to deliver all course materials including course readings, videos, and assignment information.The decision to use edX was because of the simple, fast, and user friendly interface that allows students to easily access course content. EdX also allowed the instructor to structure his course so students are following a learning sequence for each module. Students were not required to complete any graded assignments or assessments online.
POLI 377/APSC 377 – Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control
Instructors: Dr. Allen Sens and Dr. Matthew Yedlin
Department: Political Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Allen Sens and Dr. Matthew Yedlin used the EdX platform to deliver all course materials. Each module consisted of multiple videos that were followed with multiple choice questions to check students’ understanding of the material.
PSYC 101/102 – Peer Assessment Workshop
Instructors: Dr. Peter Graf and Catherine Rawn
Dr. Peter Graf and Catherine Rawn used the edX edge platform as a component of their PSYC 101 and PSYC 102 courses. The Peer Assessment Training Workshop was meant to guide students through the peer evaluation process, teaching them how to apply the criteria and become better evaluators. Students worked through a series of phases that allowed them to practice evaluating a sample essays and providing critical and constructive comments based on a rubric created by the instructor. Peer and instructor feedback videos are included in the workshop to guide students through the evaluation process of other peers and the instructor. This allowed them to compare their grading with the instructor and their peers.
Political Science – Summer Institute for Future Legislators
Co-ordinator: Rebecca Monnerat
Department: Political Science
Rebecca Monnerat used the edX Edge platform to deliver all materials for the program. Each weekly module featured a series of lecture captured videos which were hosted through MediaSite, a video player that allows for lecture slides to be shown alongside the lecture video. In result, reading slides becomes a much more interactive visual experience. The system tracked where students last stopped watching a video, so they were able to work through the videos and readings at their own pace.
VISA 110 – Digital Media
Co-ordinator: Christine D’Onofrio
Department: Art History, Visual Arts and Theory
Christine D’Onofrio integrated edX with Connect to create an online technical library for students to learn the technical skills they may need to complete their course assignments and projects. By putting lecture material and technical tutorials online, class time could be used for discussions and activities that allow students to exercise the skills and concepts that they had initially learned independently. Additionally, the platform allowed students to go back and refer to the tutorials at any time over the duration of the course as needed. This resolved prior constraints on teaching technical skills during limited class hours.
Find a Platform that’s right for you
Starting up with a Learning Management system? Read more on their advantages, limitations, features, and integration components and find useful tips for using each platform.
Connect, also known as Blackboard Learn, is UBC’s enterprise level online Learning Management System (LMS).