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Online Teaching Blog

Required: In Your Welcome post, Explain Why Your Course Will Make a Difference for Students! 

Studies show students feel more invested — and work harder — when they understand how taking your class will change their lives for the better.

To help with this, the Academy requires that your initial welcome in class explain the learning outcomes of the class in your own words. Help students understand the relevance and value of your course: show them the big picture! Explain why you care — and why they should.

Some things to consider putting in your explanation:

  • How will students be different at the end of this class— what skills and knowledge will they have then that they don't have now?
  • How will the course content be useful and relevant to students' future development and/or careers?
  • How do you use the content of this course in your own professional practice?

From Karen Chesna, JEM Online Coordinator, for LA/JEM 245: History of Jewelry and Metal Arts from Around the World

These are the Course Learning Outcomes for this class:

As a result of successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Identify the development of major jewelry and metal arts period styles, works and artists from Prehistory to present day
    • Apply jewelry and metal arts terminology to describe how a piece exemplifies its period style and culture
    • Identify and analyze a piece of jewelry’s stylistic and cultural characteristics to evaluate how it exemplifies its period style and culture
    • Recognize and compare the similarities and differences between various artists and period styles and how they influence and motivate one another
    • Analyze and recognize the contextual ways art can affect and reflect cultural, political and humanistic issues
And here is Karen's introduction, based on these:

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to the History of Jewelry and Metal Arts from Around the World. I hope you find this class exciting and inspiring, and that it makes you see jewelry in a different light. Far from being mere pretty body decoration, jewelry has played many different roles throughout history and across cultures — it signifies power, status and wealth; honors our heroes and champions; can be a device for preserving a memory or even the physical remains of a loved one; is a means of showing you belong to a group or another person; brings good luck and offers protection; is a way of honoring the gods, showing you are chosen by them, or insures entry into the afterlife; effects political change and reflects cultural and humanistic issues; and, like a painting or sculpture, can be a way to express your thoughts and feelings about a subject.

Throughout the course, we will study all of these various aspects of jewelry and see how a piece is deeply intertwined with the culture and time period in which it is created. So that you may speak intelligently about the subject, you will also learn about different jewelry artists, jewelry-specific terminology, and even a bit about some common techniques used to create jewelry. As part of the Final, you will even get to create your own piece! (Do not worry, this is intended to be fun and what you make will be entirely based on whatever skill level and resources you have, be you a new beginner or advanced student. The project will be described in detail later in the course and you will be given plenty of time to finish it.)

Jewelry has a long and rich history — the oldest piece currently discovered was created over 120,000 years ago, long before the famous cave paintings at Lascaux and Altamira! It is found in every culture, and is made from every material imaginable. Whether you are a jewelry major, aspiring fashion designer or merchandiser, video game creator, painter — you should be able to find something in this visually rich course to apply to or influence your own career and your own work.

I am really excited to be teaching you about this wonderful subject! I live in Montana, love dogs, and spend a lot of time reading science fiction and fantasy. I earned my MFA 100% online from the Academy, and therefore understand both the challenges and triumphs of taking a course online. Although I have been a metalsmith/jewelry artist for over 25 years, the field continues to challenge me with its blend of physical technique, conceptual expression, design skills and hard science. Studying the history of jewelry has informed my work, and shows me where my own voice fits into this very long ongoing conversation that we call visual art. There are a few pieces of my work pictured below. If you wish, you can see more at  www.karenchesna.com

Please let me know if you ever have any questions — I am here to help. Enjoy the class!

Required: Post Your Online Office Hours

  • You are required to enter every section of your assigned online classes at least once a day, 6 days a week (including Saturdays — Pacific Time), to answer students' questions and address their concerns.
  • Online instructors must also specify — before each semester begins — when your daily check-in times will be. Again, you need to list check-in times of your choosing for six days each week, one of which must be Saturday (Pacific Time). Please note that these check-in times can be quite brief (e.g., 15 minutes), and you do not need to schedule the rest of the hours you will spend working in your online class: those remain flexible.
  • You must post these online office hours on your Profile page , using the enhanced tool now available there.

Review the instructions for using the new tool: Online Office Hours

  • When you log in during these check-in times, you must click the "Begin Office Hours" button to indicate to your students that you are present. Scroll down for details. 

The check-in times that you post will be visible to students on the Class Home / Syllabus page. 

Learn how to post your Online Office Hours.

To alert students to their instructor's presence online, we have added a "Begin Office Hours" button to the Home page. During your daily office hours (see above) — and any other time you're working online and want students to know you're there — you must click this button to check in. 

The system will check you out automatically after twenty minutes — or you can check yourself out, if you've finished working online before the twenty minutes are up.

Students will see an alert on the Outline whenever their instructor has checked in and is available.

Learn more about Online Office Hours

"Enter Class" Button

Under "Enrollments" on Your Home Page , every online class now includes a big blue button that says "Enter Class." This update was requested because of reports that some new online students had difficulty in finding their way to their course Outline — which meant that they were not aware of the module content and media. 

Mailbox Update

Now all the tools for formatting text and including rich media are part of the Mailbox interface.

Learn more about the Online Mailbox

The Student Pulse

The Academy has opted to remove the Student Pulse from the Student View.  Instructors can still see the Student Pulse.

Learn more about Student Pulse

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