Teaching with Quercus: Inspiring Practices

alt= image of 4 instructors profiled in post

Looking for a little inspiration to take your Quercus course to the next level? Check out these four short videos of faculty who are using innovative and easy-to-adopt approaches to enhance the learning and teaching experience at the University of Toronto:

Creating a Course Tour using Lecture Capture Software
Avi J. Cohen, Professor, Department of Economics

Avi J Cohen teaches ECO105Y, Principles of Economics for Non Specialists. His course consists of a face-to-face section with 500 students and an online section with 400 students. In this video, Avi highlights the advantages of using a Course Tour video, and it helps orient students to the learning management system and various Quercus tools that will be used in the course. Avi states, β€œIt is so easy and has so much impact.” It benefits both your students and your workload, reducing the time required to answer questions students may have about the course.

Using Rubrics in Quercus to Enhance Student Learning
Franco Taverna, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology (Faculty Arts and Sciences)

Franco Taverna teaches HMB471H Performance Enhancement, a 4th year course with 50 students. Franco discusses why he adopted rubrics following his decision to include more student writing in his course. He explains how he structures rubrics to focus on each part of the assignment, the content, and style. Rubrics provide students with clear assignment criteria so they can better meet the assignment expectations. They make grading quicker and more consistent, and allow Franco to effectively manage the grading workflow. Course teaching assistant, Claudia Tersigni, adds that rubrics make better use of her time, β€œI could give a lecture and be involved with the course development and the other aspects of being a TA beyond grading.”

Using Quercus to Manage Grades in Online Courses
Jessica Hill, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Molecular Genetics

Jessica Hill teaches MGY250 Introduction to Medical Genetics, a second year asynchronous online course with 420 students. Jessica shares her strategies for managing grading in a large course, including setting expectations for students about the feedback they will receive, employing a peer review process, using an assessment rubric by teaching assistants, and providing video feedback on common assignment pitfalls from the course instructor. She also explains the rubric-informed process that she employs when students want to challenge an assignment grade. These strategies work together to help students to be more aware of their learning and better understand why they achieved the mark that they did, while ensuring quality feedback in a large course.

Managing Assisgnment Deadlines with Quercus
Don Boyes, Professor Teaching Stream, Geography and Planning

Don Boyes teaches technical software-oriented courses in Geographic Information Systems with courses that range from 40 to 180 students. Don has adopted Quercus for all course assignments. In this video, he showcases the use of the Assign To feature to set customized deadlines, implement late penalties, and manage assignment deadlines for students who require accommodation. The Assign To Feature works with Discussions, Assignments, and Quizzes, saving time and streamlining related processes for all involved: students, teaching assistants and the course instructor. Students can see their customized deadline and Quercus automatically adjusts any late penalties so they are applied appropriately.

Feeling inspired? Test out one or more of these strategies in your courses.

By Carol Roderick, Quercus Liaison