Canvas Spotlight Course Showcase

Course Showcase – SOC 1300 – Asia in Global Perspective

Last updated on May 21, 2024

About Dr. Jiang

Dr. Ting Jiang received her Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. What draws her to Sociology is her interest in studying social changes in the globalization era. Her particular area of expertise is in East Asia, with a recent focus on the ancient Silk Road and how it is still transforming countries in Central and East Asia. At MSU Denver, Dr. Jiang taught a broad range of topics in Sociology, including Introduction to Sociology, Chinese Society, Asian American Experiences, Love and Family in East Asia, Gerontology, Population, Social Stratification, Writing, Theory, and Statistics.

For this showcase, we’ll cover the following unique techniques we employed in our course design collaboration:

  • Building knowledge of all Asian regions and countries
  • Student engagement through varied activities and assessments
  • Creative use of media

Showcase Examples


Building Knowledge of All Asian Regions and Countries.

One of Dr. Jiang’s priorities for the course was to ensure that it equally represented the East, South, and Southeast regions of Asia. We used several tactics to accomplish this, including embedding an accessible and interactive Thinglink map to help students learn about all of the countries in Asia as well as their regions. We followed that activity with a matching game for students to check their knowledge of Asian countries and regions. The course instructional materials covered all regions, and we added a Country Spotlight video to each module that used a balance of text and relevant imagery to introduce learners to some of the lesser-known countries in each region. 

Student Engagement through Varied Activities and Assessments.

Online courses can sometimes feel transactional. Even discussion forums, which are theoretically meant to create a conversational and interactive dynamic among students, can feel like short essays with peer feedback rather than actual discussions. We incorporated several interactive techniques to increase active learning and create a more interesting student experience. For example, students will explore careers in Asian Studies through an embedded interactive Google slideshow and collaborate with their peers to build a Jamboard timeline of Asian history.

Because one of the tasks involved in the final project is to read a full-length book, we also built in scaffolding assignments using the Canvas GoReact tool. For each GoReact assignment, students will read a segment of the book and then participate in a “book club” video discussion. By using the video-based tool, the assignments mimic a live book club discussion, in which students post videos responding to what they’ve read and answer open-ended questions about the book. Students then respond to each other using the video to encourage a more open and visual discussion style.

Creative Use of Media

Because this is a brand new class for a proposed new minor program, Dr. Jiang wanted it to be exciting and engaging. Instead of relying on a traditional “floating head,” lecture-style approach, CTLD worked with Dr. Jiang to create visually impactful media that would grab her learners’ attention while providing clear and important information to aid in their success. We combined culturally appropriate imagery and beautiful drone footage with Dr. Jiang’s well-written voiceovers to showcase the achievements and challenges in each Asian region and highlight the main focal points of the module to come.

In collaboration, CTLD and Dr. Jiang integrated creative media, interactive learning tools, and technology to develop a course that not only fulfills Dr. Jiang’s goal of offering students a holistic, worldwide perspective on Asia but also provides an engaging and vibrant experience. This brand-new course showcases the results of effective teamwork and how that teamwork enabled CTLD and Dr. Jiang to create innovative approaches to enhance student learning.

Partnering for Continuous Improvement in Teaching and Learning

A significant factor in the success of this and similar projects is the support and funding from the Office of Online Learning (OOL), which has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of our online educational endeavors. OOL’s support and contributions have empowered faculty members to innovate and create a more enriching educational environment for all. Please visit the Office of Online Learning for more information about all that they are doing to help MSU Denver faculty members and students.

Want to get involved?

One way to find help with implementing student support in your course is the CTLD Course Development Cycle. This is an intensive, but rewarding, process where an instructional designer will work with you over several months to identify course objectives, develop learning activities, create a user-friendly course, record high-quality multimedia content, and much more.

Our instructional designers will help you build student support and implement them in your course. As compensation for the time and effort you spend developing your course, faculty are offered a $5,000 stipend for completing the development cycle. For courses that use OER, MSU Denver offers additional incentives.

For more information on the CTLD Development Cycle, as well as how to apply to join, please see our CTLD Course Development Cycle spotlight.