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Relevant Topic Journaling – Online Teaching Tools

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Effective Online Teaching Tools

In your time as an educator, you’ve no doubt picked up effective teaching techniques. With the recent rise of eLearning, we want to help you adapt those techniques to work just as well online. Last week, we covered the Summarize, Reflect, Ask idea. Today, we’re continuing our series on effective teaching techniques and tools with a new idea, Relevant Topic Journaling.

The Technique

One simple way to engage students is to show them the real world relevance of the course content. This is where Relevant Topic Journaling comes in. Students research current events that align with the course content and write a journal entry. To do this, they’ll need to analyze and summarize the event and then identify how the it connects to course principles. From there, students will write about their personal connection to the topic, creating a link between the content, themselves, and the world around them. This connection is the ideal outcome of Relevant Topic Journaling.

The Tool

Relevant Topic Journaling can be a group or individual assignment and can be implemented via a discussion board. Students can do this a few different ways. They can maintain a blog post throughout the course, utilizing tools like Blogger, WordPress, or others. We’ve found Flipgrid especially useful, too. These tools will allow students to keep an online record throughout the semester while permitting their peers to interact and react in a shared space.

The Impact

Students will improve their research and analysis skills as they search for events linked to the content. But the real impact of Relevant Topic Journaling is a deeper connection with the course content. And the value of a student developing a personal connection to the material can’t be understated. So, if you’re looking for a way to get students to connect course concepts to the real world, use the Relevant Topic Journaling idea in your next class!

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Categories: Higher Ed, Online Learning
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