Great Ideas in Teaching and Learning: Learning Innovation’s Top Blog Posts of 2018

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Here’s a look back at 2018 through a list of the most popular Duke Learning Innovation blog posts of the year.

1. Guidelines for Interaction for Better Class Discussions

Group discussion is a frequent element of college classes, but they don’t always go well. Discussions may turn into argument. Conversation may be dominated by a few individuals while others stay silent. Controversial topics can lead to hurt feelings, or worse. In this blog post, Learning Innovation consultant Andrea Novicki describes how creating guidelines for discussions can make them more civil and productive and help incorporate more diverse viewpoints. The post also includes—yes—guidelines for creating guidelines crowdsourced from the Learning Innovation consultant team.

2. What’s New in Sakai 12?

In Spring 2018, Duke got a new, updated version of Sakai, Duke’s primary learning management system. Sakai is an open source tool collaboratively developed by a group of colleges and universities, including Duke. Learning Innovation’s Jolie Tingen is Duke’s main representative in the Sakai community. She created this simple guide so Duke faculty could learn about the most important updates and continue on their merry teaching way.

3. Trans* Inclusion in the Classroom: Tips for the First Day of Class

Learning Innovation is a vocal proponent of classroom inclusivity: creating classrooms in which all students are able to fully participate and learn. After co-hosting a workshop on transgender inclusion in the classroom with several other Duke groups, Learning Innovation published a series of blog posts on the topic. In this post, Duke Ph.D. student Inbal Fischer provides tips on how instructors can build an inclusive environment for cisgender and transgender students on the first day of class.

4. Great Online Course Design Resources

Learning Innovation consultant Sophia Stone has worked with faculty and administrators on several online education projects. She also coordinates the Duke Online Learning Collaborative, a special interest group for individuals on campus to share new ideas and innovations in the area of digital education and online teaching and learning. In this post she lists and summarizes six of her top picks for books on online course design and online teaching.

5. 10 Reasons for Optimism About Ed Tech in 2018

On the second day of 2018, Matthew Rascoff, Duke’s Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education and Innovation, set out to counter the pervasive negativity he saw in conversations about higher ed with a list of what is going right. Rascoff gives us plenty of concrete examples of notable successes, great ideas and significant process in the realm of education. His brief post, originally written as a series of tweets, is a succinct but powerful statement of hope for the new year.

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Courtney Lockemer

Author: Courtney Lockemer

Courtney was formerly the Communications and Outreach Manager at Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). She previously held a communications job in Duke’s Office of Information Technology, in which she helped promote innovative projects such as Duke’s iPod First Year Experience. Courtney holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University as well as an M.F.A. in Studio for Interrelated Media from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.