Specifications Grading: A Method to Improve Student Performance

Last revised: 10/07/2021 by JP


Are you looking to increase student motivation and the quality of their academic work? If yes, consider specifications grading.  According to Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D. the traditional higher education grading method is broken and specifications grading offers a solution with benefits for both students and faculty. Nilson published her seminal work, Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students and Saving Faculty Time, in 2015.  Since then, faculty have adopted her method, including some at UConn.

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An Overview of Perusall

Last revised: 12/6/2023 by TJS


Perusall is a free “social annotation” tool that helps students engage with course material in class groups. When integrated with HuskyCT, instructors can create reading or viewing assignments in which students create & share their own annotations and respond to each other’s comments & questions. Perusall informs instructors of the concepts that generate the most student questions & discussion, and Perusall can assist instructors score assignments quickly and efficiently. Perusall also reminds students of incomplete assignments, prompting higher rates of completion and preparedness.

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Syllabus Templates

Last revised on 12/5/2023 by kek


The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) offers syllabus templates that meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for online documents and is available for download in two formats. This post describes how to access the templates, along with some tips on ensuring the document remains accessible. Continue reading

Alternatives for Online Discussions

Last revised: 10/13/2020 by dtm.


When designing an online course, it is important to encourage students to connect with peers to discuss content and concepts.  According to the Quality Matters Standards for Online and Blended Courses, learning activities must provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning. (QM 5.2).  This article will review some alternatives to traditional text-based asynchronous discussion forums in online courses.

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Competencies for Online and Hybrid/Blended Instruction

Last revised: 10/24/2022  by jap


What does an instructor need to succeed with an online or hybrid/blended course? The UConn Competencies for Online and Hybrid/Blended Instruction provides twenty-seven competencies to inform and self-assess against. The UConn Competencies for Online and Hybrid/Blended Instruction tool serves as an instructor self-assessment. The second edition takes into account developments in higher education instruction since the COVID pandemic.

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