Instructional Resources

September Resources of the Month

Provide Students with Regular Checkups

Lane Freeman, NCCCS Director of Online Instruction
Responsible individuals schedule regular checkups with their doctors to catch potentially life-threatening diseases or illnesses early so they can alter their behavior that may extend their life.  Suppose a doctor kept all the data on an individual hidden and did not share the data with the patient.  For example, it would be medical malpractice if the doctor requested blood work and noticed the patient’s cholesterol was high and did not tell the patient. A competent doctor informs their patient of potential health risks and shares strategies that may prevent long-term health issues.

Consider the student in the higher education classroom as a patient.  A good college instructor maintains an accurate gradebook within the learning management system and/or provides intermittent progress reports so that students can correct their behavior before it is too late to do anything about their course average.  A student should not be surprised by the final average in a course.  Providing feedback in a timely manner and supporting students’ academic health is the hallmark of a great instructor.

Learn more about best practices and expectations for online teaching from the Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. This Institute article identifies minimum levels of interaction and management needed between students and instructors to maintain a quality online learning environment.


NCYTE offers a collection of online learning objects designed by community college faculty to help students develop and test their knowledge of cybersecurity and networking. These interactives cover topics at many levels of difficulty, beginning with basic Cybersecurity Principles — the fundamental qualities of a secure system.


In Jigsaw, students work in small groups to develop knowledge about a given topic before teaching what they have learned to another group. This teaching technique demo from the K. Patricia Cross Academy includes a 2-minute video outlining the technique for use with in-person classes and an alternate video explaining how to adapt the technique for online instruction. Templates are also available for free download.


The growing complexity of technology in education may make one feel alone pondering…“What device and which Apps?” Mesa Community College’s Center for Teaching & Learning hosts Crossroads, a dynamic website, where technology intersects with pedagogy. Explore, rate, and share your teaching and learning experiences with technology.