More than a Textbook: Engaging Students in Online STEM Courses

Concurrent Session 4

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Are you looking for ways to make your online STEM courses more interactive and engaging? Join Learning Designers from Penn State’s Dutton e-Education Institute as they spotlight the ways that they bring online STEM courses to life, using everything from online labs to collaborative video projects and social media.

 

Presenters

Emily Baxter is an Instructional Designer in the eLearning Design & Innovation Group (eLDIG) in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. Over the last 20 years, she has had experience designing instruction for a wide range of learners - from preschoolers through adults. In her position as an Instructional Designer, Emily enjoys having the opportunity to collaborate with other faculty to create meaningful course experiences that utilize best practices in online education.
Sing is currently the Manager of Learning Design and Solutions at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness. At the Clearinghouse, he manages a team of learning designers, production specialists, and developers to produce researched-based educational solutions to help improve the lives of United States military members and their families. His areas of expertise include instructional design, educational technology, faculty development, adult learning, student engagement, active learning, MOOCs, and the development of STEM-related courses. Sing has previously presented presenter at various education conferences, including the OLC Accelerate, Learning Solutions, and the Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium.

Extended Abstract

Are you looking for ways to make your online STEM courses more interactive and engaging? Join Learning Designers from Penn State’s Dutton e-Education Institute as they spotlight the tools that they implement to bring online STEM courses to life, using everything from online labs to collaborative video projects and social media. These ideas fall under three main categories: interactivity, video and social media.

The presentation will include examples of how we have designed for engagement in STEM courses in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State University. We will talk about:

  • Online labs in a senior-level undergraduate lab course (Storyline). The labs were developed to replace a traditional residential lab course and allow for students to simulate lab experiments.

  • Interactive web elements (H5P, HapYak).  We will share ways that H5P interactivity and HapYak have enhanced online engagement.

  • Explanatory screencast videos (Screencast-o-matic, Snagit). Instructors respond to students via explanatory videos that touch on pain points in course content.

  • Collaborative group video projects (WeVideo).  Students in undergraduate geography courses work together, from a distance, using the WeVideo platform to create collaborative video projects that synthesize their understanding of lesson topics.

  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook). Students in an online undergraduate materials science course engage with the week’s lesson content by participating in a Twitter scavenger hunt that reinforces weekly lesson concepts, while graduate students in an online GIS course document their group work progress using Facebook.

Participants will leave the session with a list of tools and suggestions for using them in ways that enhance learner engagement and enthusiasm in online STEM courses!