Active Learning using Asynchronous Structured Discussions

Dr. Tina Chen is a lecturer in the psychology department in the School of Science at IUPUI. Tina has actively engaged with the CTL as a participant in various programming, facilitated workshops and webinars, and served as a program planning committee member. She is passionate about teaching, committed to her students' success, and engaged in scholarly efforts to improve psychology education at IUPUI and beyond.

Engaging students and creating a sense of community in an asynchronous online course can be challenging, especially if you are a new online instructor. Tina has successfully achieved these outcomes in her Summer 2020 Statistics online class by using an active learning strategy of structured discussions. This page features Tina's teaching strategy, student outcomes, and her reflections on how her teaching philosophy and practices have shifted with a priority towards integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in her teaching.

Having students interact with each other was a way to let them take ownership over their learning and hear from different perspectives rather than just mine. But I did also answer any questions that were not yet answered by their peers. Thinking about how can I assess students in a way that doesn't disadvantage them overly, but also with something that I can manage given my heavy teaching load.

Asynchronous Structured Discussions

Tina used asynchronous structured discussions on Canvas to engage students in her online statistics course (PSYB-305) in summer 2020. The prompts for the Connect, Extend, Challenge discussions was developed using the Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TiLT) framework, which outlines a clear purpose, set of tasks, and the criteria for student success on the discussion. These structured discussions helped Tina create a sense of community and belonging in her online asynchronous course and provided students the freedom to explore various real-world applications of statistics, including the COVID-19 public health crisis and the election campaigns. Tina had developed this active learning strategy as a part of her work in the CTL's Intensive on Online Course Design.

Download Structured Discussions prompt and rubric

Please provide appropriate attribution of authorship of course materials to Dr. Tina Chen while using these documents in your course.