OLOR Effective Practices Publications, 2022-2023
by Aleisha Balestri
Academic discourse is an important aspect of the writing process. Yet, it involves conversations that students must feel both engaged with and comfortable participating in, especially since these discussions may involve challenging the positions of others or even rethinking one’s own perspective. Thus, facilitating a welcoming and supportive classroom community is vital, though this can be difficult in an online setting. However, by utilizing innovative resources, such as the Online Literacies Open Resources “Effective Practice” Journal, online instructors can learn various approaches and tools to address these concerns. One such approach is detailed in Scott Warnock and Lisa Schepis-Myers’ article, “Provoker Discussion Board Threads." In the Fall of 2022, I adapted this activity for my own online classroom. These discussion boards encourage the instructor to create and present a faulty and often outrageous argument to students, asking them to work together as a team to challenge “the provoker” in an online, asynchronous debate. These debates combat student disengagement by fostering dynamic conversations and teamwork, creating a sense of community while also showing students how academic discourse can be both enlightening and fun.
by Katharine H. Brown, Mark Smith, & Heesun Yoon
Accessible document design is essential for the removal of barriers to learning. This article explores how the authors retrofitted over 300 learning resource documents and PDFs for accessibility and published them in a new Open Educational Resource (OER) for University Writing at Auburn University. Working collaboratively, the authors learned about accessibility standards and the technical processes of creating accessible documents and PDFs. Using the four principles document accessibility, including visibility, audibility, mobility, and searchability, the authors describe their retrofitting process and provide readers with considerations for document accessibility. Their article addresses OLI Principle 1: “Online literacy instruction should be universally accessible and inclusive.”