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Harvard Business Publishing - Education

What Happens When You’re Not Scrambling to Move a Course Online

CAO at UIUC - Gies Shares Insights for Online Education

October 12, 2022

The article covers 3 aspects of transitioning online:


Maximizing reach in online classes necessitates adjustments in learning activities as class sizes increase. Dr. Means discusses the integration of technology, like Yellowdig, for social discussions, which offers all students a platform to participate and fosters a sense of community, even in larger classes, and streamlines the grading workload for instructors.


Dr. Means explores how to foster inclusivity and connection in your online course. She discusses techniques like using welcoming language in your syllabus, offering video introductions and live sessions for interaction, utilizing breakout room activities, and expanding the role of course assistants to provide additional support and build relationships with learners.


Designing an engaging online learning environment involves partnering with learners to create meaningful activities, assignments, and assessments that encourage interaction with course content, peers, and instructors. Dr. Means shares how Gies didn't sacrifice their value of flexibility for engagement.


"Given the greater number of learners that can participate in a single online class, how can you make your instruction more accessible to larger classes? As your course enrollment grows, you will need to rethink and redesign learning activities that reflect the increased scale."

About the Author

Dr. Tawnya Means

Dr. Means is the Assistant Dean for Educational Innovation and Chief Learning Officer at the University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign, Gies College of Business.

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