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8 Posts authored by: aauthier

Providing Quality Feedback

Posted by aauthier Nov 9, 2017

Another month - another episode of What's Your Problem? In this episode, we focus on best practices for providing quality feedback to online students.


Research has clearly shown us that, in order for feedback to be truly effective, it should be timely, specific, and personal – but it often seems impossible to do all three. This month, What’s Your Problem? looks into some effective ways to provide quality feedback that is timely, specific, AND personal to students in distance learning courses. Is it even possible to do all three? (Spoiler alert: it is).



Check out past episodes at our YouTube Channel. Subscribe to be notified when new episodes come out.




Adam Authier, Kaylynn Mortensen, Jason Kane

It's time for another installment of What's Your Problem? from the instructional designers at Schoolcraft College. Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne in 1989’s Batman said it best, “You want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts!” What’s Your Problem? gets a little nuts this month with a thematic episode based on the hit Discovery Channel program, Mythbusters! For our Mythbusters! episode, Adam, Jason, and Kaylynn tackle some of the common myths circling around the Distance Learning modalities and attempt to “bust” them. You know how sometimes education requires you to leave your comfort zone to accomplish something worthwhile? Well this time, we left it, like waaaaaay left it! We tried something new this time, and since we are clearly not scientists, this episode is a little out there, but we think you'll enjoy it. Just in case, though, you can always enjoy our previous nine episodes by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.




Adam Authier, Jason Kane, Kaylynn Mortensen

You waited all summer for it, and your wait is over. That’s right, Season 3 of What’s Your Problem? is here. Our third season kicks off with an episode dedicated to Practice. Why is practice so fundamentally important to our success? Adam Authier, Jason Kane  and Kaylynn Mortensen tackle this question and offer some ways you can ensure that the practice opportunities you offer your students will prepare them for success! As always, visit our YouTube channel to view past episodes, and drop us a line anytime with questions or suggestions for future episodes!



Discussions are an effective pedagogical tool in just about any classroom. They force students to think, ask questions, provide examples and analogies, and critique opposing points of view. When we lead discussions in a face-to-face classroom, we have a variety of tools at our disposal to encourage thoughtful participation from our students. We walk around the room, read body language, ask leading questions, and sometimes even wait out an "awkward silence" to draw out an idea that we can tell a student is sitting on. Unfortunately, many of these traditional strategies don't work in an asynchronous, online environment. However, as an online instructor, you still need to be able to create the same kind of environment for your students in an online discussion forum. Online students still need to "see" that you're part of the discussion. You still need to be able to take the pulse of your students, encourage thoughtful participation, and draw out the responses of the "social loafers" that are often slow to get involved. But how do you do it?


In the final What's Your Problem? episode of the Winter 2017 semester, Jason Kane, Kaylynn Mortensen, and I provide a few strategies for encouraging meaningful online discussions. Check it out below:


What's Your Problem? Season 2, Episode 4: Lackluster Online Discussions


We'll be back with Season 3 beginning in August. In the meantime, don't forget to subscribe to the What's Your Problem? YouTube Channel to catch up on past episodes.



This episode comes straight from the horse's mouth. The What's Your Problem? team interviewed several students to find out what they like (and dislike) about online classes, and then offered three ways to mitigate student fears and frustrations from day one.


Please enjoy our latest episode, What's Your Problem? - Student Edition, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.


Thank you!


You Can't Do That Online!

Posted by aauthier Feb 6, 2017

A new month has brought another episode of What's Your Problem? In this episode, we focus on a few faculty who overcame some pretty formidable obstacles to be able to deliver their courses online.


Online education is still in its infancy when compared to the more traditional modalities. Still, you might be surprised at just how much is possible in the Distance Learning environment. For episode 2 of our second season, What's Your Problem?  teamed up with special guests showcase how the Fire Academy, Foreign Language Department, and Sciences division are able to offer some unique opportunities to our online students!


If you missed our season premiere, don't worry! You can always check out the What's Your Problem? YouTube channel for past and current episodes as well as other great information!

Last month, I posted about a professional development web series my fellow ID's and I started at Schoolcraft College called What's Your Problem?. I also promised to share new episodes as they came out. So here is the latest:


It's a new year and a new season for What's Your Problem?! For our season 2 premier, we’re tackling a really common complaint – my students don’t read! How many times have you had to ask a confused student - Did you read the directions? – Did you read the chapter? – Did you see the Announcement? When we’ve taken such great care to provide students with all of the information they need to be successful, it can be frustrating when they seem not to take advantage of it. And, while it’s easy to chock this problem up to pure student laziness – it can actually be a much more complicated issue than that. In fact, there are several factors that influence whether or not students will read - and comprehend – the material presented in your course. Fortunately, we have some simple tips to help you identify and combat these factors – ultimately reducing student confusion, and your own frustration.


Also remember, you can always revisit current and previous episodes on our What's Your Problem? YouTube channel.


Thanks for watching!

WYP_S1_Bulletin2.jpgAbout a year ago,  Jason KaneKaylynn Mortensen, and I started thinking about new and interesting ways we could bring meaningful professional tips and tricks to our online faculty that were both engaging and easily digestible. At that point in time, we were offering occasional, hour-long, lecture-style workshops that were normally well-attended, but sporadic. Outside of those workshops, faculty seeking help would stop by our office with one-off questions or concerns that we would address for them individually. We often found these quick meetings raised very good questions that could be easily answered in a few minutes. Jason Kane noted one day that I would often reply "Sure, what's your problem?" when faculty peeked in and asked if we had a minute to answer a question. And from there, the idea to bring these short, practical conversations to our faculty through a series of short videos was born. The idea was to create short, engaging, on-demand videos that provided solutions to some of the biggest "problems" faculty face when teaching online. And while it took a while to get it just right, we recently reached the end of our first full season and are happy to say that the series was extremely well-received across campus. As such, I wanted to share our Season 1 Recap with the Bb Community. Please enjoy our first four episodes below (as well as a little blooper reel from the "early days"). We hope you will find it to be informative and entertaining. Enjoy!


Episode 1: Cheating

Episode 2: Student Resistance

Episode 3: Managing Your Workload

Episode 4: Balancing the Technical with the Teaching

Season 1 Thank You and Bloopers


Season 2 is already in the works and will premier beginning in January 2017. Please feel free to subscribe to our channel and share these with whoever you think may benefit from them.


Thank you,