Mini-Conference Recap: CARES Instructional Design Project Panel Discussion


In this panel discussion, several participants of the Learning and Applied Innovation Center’s (LAIC) Instructional Design Project (funded through allocated CARES funds from the state of North Dakota) discuss their experiences redesigning their course with a Blackboard instructional designer.

Continue reading “Mini-Conference Recap: CARES Instructional Design Project Panel Discussion”

How to Use Humor in the Classroom

How to Use Humor in the Classroom by Cheryl Wachenheim

I believe that happy is good, and that a happy student is more open to learning. And, I have evidence to back that belief.

Out of the blue, I had a reason to compile scientific support for what I knew to be true; humor and joy are appropriate in the classroom. Please indulge me while I illustrate the specific moment in which my curiosities were raised about the subject of humor in teaching. Then, if you are interested in incorporating humor and joy into your classroom, continue reading to learn the benefits, pitfalls, and tips. Continue reading “How to Use Humor in the Classroom”

How to Blend Teaching and Research

Pedagogical research and I met serendipitously on a pontoon motoring around Little Floyd Lake on a warm summer afternoon two decades ago. A young man sitting across from me, who I had only met that morning, recognized me as the instructor of his online introductory economics class. As it turns out, this young man would play a pivotal role in my introduction to pedagogical research. I will explain in a moment how this student drew me to pedagogical research, but first let’s look at what pedagogical research is, then continue reading to learn how to seamlessly blend pedagogical research and teaching. Continue reading “How to Blend Teaching and Research”

Celebrating the Good

child jumping for joy with balloons

“This is why our children find video games so enjoyable and even addictive,” said the instructor of the Nurtured Heart parenting class I enrolled in as a means to transition back into the role of mother after a year-long deployment.

“Think about it”, she said, “they are offered a hands-on experience with an achievable goal that has regular rewards as they make progress. And the cost of failure is negligible, so they are not afraid to push the boundaries of their previous success.”

Mario Kart


I went home that night and really watched the kids playing Mario Kart. They concentrated and shared some competitive verbiage with one another, but I noticed for the first time that they were happy and motivated to try again, regardless of the outcome. When they won, a large trophy appeared on the screen, and they seemed to glow in their sense of accomplishment. If they drove off the road during the game and their car went into the abyss, the only cost imposed was a short delay before they rejoined the race. They didn’t hesitate to attempt the same move again. Regardless of their final place in the race, the costs of failure were small, and they were ready to give it another try.

Watching them prompted me to think about my teaching and how these strategies might work there as well. Continue reading “Celebrating the Good”

Addressing Student Stress At The End Of The Semester

Health Promotion: Addressing Student Stress at the End of the Semester

This blog post is the second in a series of posts from NDSU Health Promotion. With the understanding that students’ health and well-being affect every facet of their lives, including their academic performance, we have created a series of posts with information and practical tips for faculty to promote health and well-being in their classroom. For each topic in the series, we asked our peer educators—the Body Project, Healthy Herd Champions, and Violence Prevention Educators—to provide us with their point of view as students, and we have incorporated their feedback throughout each post.

This post focuses on addressing student stress at the end of the semester, while a future post will focus on addressing student stress at the beginning of the semester.

Student Stress During Dead Week and Finals
As we head into the end of the semester, we know that student stress often rises as we move closer to dead week and finals week. This semester students report that they are feeling more stress than ever due to the challenges of attending college while surviving a global pandemic, and we know that will only intensify in the coming weeks. Continue reading “Addressing Student Stress At The End Of The Semester”

Alternative Assessments: Thinking Beyond the Test

Alternative Assessments: Thinking Beyond the Test

Alternative Assessments: Thinking Beyond the Test



In this presentation, Lori Sweeney offers important considerations about different kinds of assessments. When we first think of assessment, we tend to think of tests, but there are many different ways we can assess student learning. Many of these other options may also be more conducive to the HyFlex model we are currently working in, as well. Continue reading “Alternative Assessments: Thinking Beyond the Test”