Tag Archives: instructional design

TMM 13: Synchronous Teaching – Student Engagement

How do you engage students in a Zoom session when everyone has their cameras off?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNlFLHSsRkE

Seven ideas: 

  1. Pre-class music, prompt, and/or puzzle: Share your screen (and your sound) to play music as students enter, and put up a prompt or a puzzle on the screen. It can be as silly as “Is a taco a sandwich?” 
  2. Zoom polls: Set these up on your account prior to class. 
  3. Zoom chat: Make sure to set guidelines. What can students use the chat for? 
  4. 321Go! or Zoom Waterfall: Ask a question. Have students type their answers in the chat, but DON’T press enter until you say “321Go!” 
  5. Chat check-ins: Ask students to give one-word responses
  6. Zoom reactions: Teach students how to use Zoom reactions and then use them to signify specific things 
  7. Digital whiteboard/document: Have an editable Google document/slide/jamboard, or another free online option like Padlet or Miro accessible for students to engage with during class. 

TMM 11: Trauma-Informed Pedagogy

May 24, 2021

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 marks one year since the murder of George Floyd. Students, staff, and faculty may be affected by this and other traumatic events of the past year and beyond. This episode of TMM will explore how to shape your teaching around such effects through the lens of trauma-informed pedagogy.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWKkPXz2A2c

Special thanks this week to Miranda Fedock and the Teaching and Learning Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY. 

Miranda’s blog post on trauma-informed pedagogy: https://vp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2021/04/14/a-personal-introduction-to-trauma-informed-teaching/ 

TMM 9: Bring What’s Broken!

May 3, 2021

We are now past the halfway point of the semester. You’ve hopefully collected student feedback and learned what’s not working in your course. Now what? 

Mentioned In This Video: 

“Bring What’s Broken” by the CUNY Games Network
Friday, May 7, 2021, 12:30-2 PM EDT
More info. here: https://games.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2021/05/03/event-bring-whats-broken-may-7th-2021/ 

Feel free to share ways you are altering classes based on feedback on the Open Space document.

TMM 8: Feedback Again

April 26, 2021

Reflect on your response to requests for feedback. What motivates you, and how can you motivate your students? 

Video: https://youtu.be/u97SQ5CtIws 

Add feedback to All Our Ideas by clicking the choices you agree with and/or adding new options to the survey. Spend as little or as much time as you’d like clicking through choices:  http://www.allourideas.org/GCCTMM 

If you prefer a traditional survey format, add comments to the survey on the Open Space doc (labeled “Instructional Designer Feedback Request”). 

Other Considerations: 

  • Feedback format
    • Formal feedback: Google form, crowdsourcing tool like All Our Ideas, private comments, Blackboard survey, external survey software like SurveyMonkey
    • Informal feedback: Quick “temperature check” options such as using an emoji to signify a feeling, holding up cards on Zoom, sharing a gif, etc. 
  • Intrinsic/extrinsic motivation
  • Navigating to survey (less clicks is better)
  • If you use a Likert scale (rate from 1-5), note that studies show that participants are unlikely to choose the two extremes. Consider a seven-point scale instead. 

TMM 7: Feedback

April 19, 2021

We are about to reach the halfway point of the semester, a perfect time to collect student feedback. This video serves as a reminder

Video: https://youtu.be/E-noI4vpS8w 

***Request: Carolyn appreciates your feedback regarding The Monday Minute series. She has included seven questions on the Open Space Document. Please type directly into this doc or add comments on the side. Thank you.***

Feedback Ideas: 

  • Platforms: 
    • Blackboard: “Survey” or “tests” tool
    • Google: Google Forms, Docs, or Jamboard (Forms would allow you to see results in graph form, Docs would allow students to see each other’s anonymous feedback and build off one another, Jamboard would create a sort of class whiteboard)
    • Padlet
  • Question Ideas: 
    • Keep it simple. Some form of what’s working, what’s not, what they like, what they’d improve. 
    • One format: 
      • 1. What are the strongest features of this course and of my teaching? In other words, what contributes most to your learning? 
      • 2. What specific suggestions do you have for changes that I can make to improve the course or how it is taught?
      • 3. Is the pace of the course: too fast just right too slow?
    • Give options. Tell students to leave at least X number of comments, so they can choose which questions to answer. 

TMM 6: Interactive Lessons w/ Google Slides

April 12, 2021

This week’s TMM episode does not include a video, but rather a step-by-step presentation on using Google Slides to make your lesson content more engaging. 

Link to Google Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1c86o_RITR5HCCHJsbbJTR4WOaPbLUJUch8_D5BxaV50/preview 

Please add your own ideas for lesson presentation on the Open Space doc.

Referenced In These Slides: 

Creating A Google Slides Room:

  1. Choose a background. Use the image search feature in Google slides, or upload your own image. Remember: You can’t add alt text to backgrounds, so don’t include anything pertinent to the lesson!
  2. Add transparent images. Use the term “transparent” or “png” in your searches to find images without backgrounds/borders, or use remove.bg.
  3. Insert hyperlinks. You’ve ideally decided on lesson material *before* this step. Now add necessary links to your “room.” Tip: For easier clicking, insert a transparent shape (& transparent border) over the area you want students to click, then embed your hyperlink on the shape.
  4. Launch the room! Click “Share,” change the parameters to “anyone with the link can view,” copy the URL, then replace the word “view” or “edit” with “preview” in the URL. This will automatically open the slide in presentation mode, making it more engaging.

Using Google Forms:

  1. Create a theme: Make a regular form more exciting by giving it a theme. Add images (with descriptions) and text that will support the narrative you create.
  2. Use sections: Use chunking by splitting the form into different sections
  3. Collect responses: You can download responses as a spreadsheet, or just read through them on the form itself. 

TMM 4: Retrieval Practice (the Testing Effect)

March 22, 2021

You prepare a great lesson and class goes well, but the following week the students seem to have forgotten all that they learned. What’s happening? Perhaps they’re missing the opportunity to practice retrieving information.


Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj0XReikuvY 

Please add your own ideas for retrieval practice to the Open Space doc.

Items Referenced in This Video: 

  • Song: “Sonnymoon for Two” by Sonny Rollins
  • Book: Small Teaching by James Lang
    • The Brian Rogerson study mentioned in the video is found in Ch. 1 of this book
    • There is a follow-up book called Small Teaching Online co-authored with Flower Darby. Also worth reading. 
  • Ideas: 
    • If you use Blackboard learning modules, add ungraded questions at the beginning, middle, or end of a module. 
    • Your “training” should match the end goal – if your course ends with a short answer-based exam, multiple choice questions will not be effective conditioning for the end goal. 
    • Prioritize time for review at the end of each class meeting and again at the beginning of the next session (if you teach asynchronously, work this into lesson content posted online). 
    • If you hide Easter eggs in your course, consider using Google forms to create a retrieval practice exercise for students to “find” an egg. 
    • Online quiz games: Kahoot! (better for synchronous, real-time quiz games) or Quizizz (good for asynchronous quiz games). 

Questions to reflect on:

Which story in the video resonated with you? 

With that story in mind, how can you incorporate retrieval practice into your teaching? 

TMM 2: Course Navigation

March 28, 2021

In this video, consider the roadmap you’ve provided for your students. Are there clear descriptions of each sidebar tab, and a layout of what students need to do for their weekly routine? 


Video: https://youtu.be/UYKDqbD4bkM 


Please add your own ideas for providing clear course navigation in the Open Space doc.

Ideas Mentioned in Video: 

  • Pin a “Quick Start Guide” in an easy-to-access place that students visit often (such as the course landing page). 
  • Students may get overwhelmed when presented with too much information at once. Use the “Adaptive Release” feature on Blackboard so that not all information is available up front. 
  • If you use Google Docs for your syllabus, use a black highlighter to cover information that isn’t relevant this early in the semester. This allows students who do like to know everything up front to check what’s coming by highlighting over it, while those who are overwhelmed by too much information don’t need to access it yet. 
  • Think of your course like you would if you wanted someone to bake muffins or travel to a destination. What information do they need? 

Quick Start Guide ideas: 

The screenshot below is from a template I created for professors.
***I realize a screenshot is not fully accessible; if anyone reading this would like access to the entire Blackboard course template, email me at Carolyn.Stallard@guttman.cuny.edu***

Another example: Here is one version I’ve used for my courses. I also use a sort of delayed “quick start” video that I post after students have a handle on how the course functions, as a reminder. I send this video out at the end of Week 3, after all information on the syllabus has been un-blackened. Take this with a grain of salt, since my courses are set up in a kind of atypical manner. 

TMM 3: Wellness (Physical Activity & Novelty)

March 15, 2021

This week, consider how you can support your students’ mental and physical wellbeing through your course design. What are you doing to incorporate physical activity and novelty? 


Video: https://youtu.be/Fzvr-pF1ZZ0 

Please add your own ideas for providing clear course navigation on the Open Space doc. 

Items Referenced in This Video: