computer with keyboard image

Active and Interactive Learning with Electronic Communication: A Workshop for Faculty
Making Learning Visible

Clemson University, February 22 and 25, 2005
Donna Reiss, Clemson University

Student engagement with course content and with each other can be extended and enhanced by communication technologies, whether classes meet in person or totally online. Active learning, critical thinking, and communication-across-the-curriculum approaches to instruction are adaptable to all disciplines and Clemson's Blackboard courseware or other online environments. In this workshop, we will examine and practice some ways interactive online discussions can support students' responsibility for their own learning, build a community of learners, strengthen students' communication abilities, and foster creativity and critical reflection.

During the workshop, participants will:

  • Discuss some benefits and challenges of electronic communication activities for enhancing face-to-face and mixed mode classes.
  • Participate in online discussions using Blackboard.
  • Design an online class discussion activity appropriate for their courses.
  • Construct a Weblog (blog) for instruction or as a professional or personal journal.


Individual Posts: Public Accountability, Shared Results

Group Discussions: Reading, Reflecting, Responding

Workshop Activities

Weblogs: Personal, Professional, and Instructional

Online Interactivity

  • Solar System Live, an interactive site by John Walker of Fourmilab, Switzerland, aligns the planets according to user variables.
  • Gallery of Interactive Geometry from the Center for the Computation and Visualization of Geormetic Structures at the University of Minnesota includes interactive games like Projective Conics, Build a Rainbow, and Orbifold Pinball plus links to other math teaching resources.
  • The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation is an ironic imaginative backward glance - what if Lincoln had a computer?
  • Philosophy Songs features "Solipsism's Painless" and other metaphysical karoake to sing along with V. Alan White, Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin Colleges.
  • Literary Resources Online includes magnetic poetry, poetry generators, and online etch-a-sketch.
  • Wayback Machine Internet Archive shows that what seems no longer there might still be somewhere in cyberspace.

Some Resources at Clemson and Beyond


Workshop Website:
Charlotte's Website
Donna Reiss Website