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Differentiated Instruction in an Online College Classroom

Differentiated Instruction in an Online College Classroom Differentiated Instruction: Providing students opportunities to learn content using different resources, employing varied strategies, and/or allowing students to demonstrate their learning in different ways based on their individual learning needs and interests. --Natalie Milman, Differentiating Instruction in Online Environments Are we still thinking about differentiated instruction now that we're online? It's a core instructional principle that we all believe in, but in an overwhelming race to digital learning, it can easily be pushed to the side in a to-do-later-pile by even the very best and the brightest. How can we make an online learning environment engaging for our students while maintaining the integrity of the academic content and without further complicating the process? Creating an engaging course is as easy as focusing on the 3 main principles: Course Clarity, Student Communication, and Timely Student Feedba
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Online Mastery Series

Hello, campus community!  In October 2021, I had the opportunity to participate in an online nursing mastery series focused on enhancing online instruction utilizing interactive activities and an understanding of learning theories to optimize student learning in the online environment. The program lasted through December 2021, with meetings one week each month and supplemental assignments, discussion, and collaboration in the remaining three weeks. Overall, the opportunity provided me with an improved understanding of online learning while providing me the opportunity to recognize areas of improvement in my current course delivery. For many of you, I am sure the concepts I learned are “old news”; however, as a new instructor, I found the discussion engaging and enjoyed the opportunity to explore ways to improve the classroom experience for my students (especially in this virtual environment). As you all know, the pandemic has changed the way in which we teach and learning occurs; there

Synchronous Teaching via Zoom can be as Engaging as the Classroom!

That’s right, I said it! Teaching via Zoom CAN be as engaging as teaching in the classroom! Additionally, online synchronous classes provide an opportunity to teach students digital technology and teamwork skills they will need in their careers, while having a little bit of FUN! Admittedly, educational technology (ed-tech) can feel overwhelming if you do not know where to begin. At first, I was worried students would struggle or feel more overwhelmed. I was honest upfront by telling students we were trying something new and I wanted their feedback after we tried it. Most students were excited to try something new. One student even commented it was nice that to see a faculty member trying new things and asking for feedback, it demonstrated that faculty members do care about student learning.   One student literally said, “I’m understanding the material and learning a skill I could use at a job.” Yes, that is my goal! We want students to learn the material to meet course learning objec

If You Connect It, Protect It: Cybersecurity Awareness Month Seminar, October 2020

Introduction Volunteer State Community College held its annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month Seminar on October 21, 2020.  Cybersecurity Awareness Month is held in October each year.  It is meant to improve awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across the United States. Bringing awareness to cybersecurity issues helps guarantee that everyone across our Nation has the resources they need to be safe and secure online.  This year’s theme was “If You Connect It, Protect It”. Due to the COVID-19 concerns, the Seminar was held for the first time as a virtual event. Presenters spoke on several topics regarding this year’s theme.  Topics ranged from Securing Devices at Home and Work, Internet of Things, to the Future of Connected Devices.  The participants were from various segments of Cyber Defense expertise: Special Agent, Kevin Varpness (Law Enforcement (FBI)), Stephen Penn (Healthcare (AdventHealth)), Dr. Manaak Gupta (Higher Education (TTU)), and Kevin Blankenship (Chief Informa