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Designing Your Online Course

CHSS Online Teaching Initiative

Designing Your Course

When preparing a new online course, consider the suggestions and steps offered by Kelli Cargile Cook (60-64) and other researchers:

  1. Define learning objectives. Objectives should describe what students will be able to do by the end of the semester.
  2. Determine how those objectives can be met. Select appropriate types of activities and teaching materials. Materials may include the “presentational” type, such as reading materials, prerecorded lectures, videos, and external websites, and the “interactive” type, such as discussion posts and peer reviews (Cargile Cook 61).
  3. Identify and choose appropriate assessment strategies to evaluate students’ progress for each learning outcome. The types of assessments may include quizzes/tests, research projects/assignments, discussion posts, and/or presentations.
  4. Decide which technological tools are necessary in order to administer the course, e.g., presentation software for creating lectures with recorded narration and Canvas features,
  5. Determine which computer/web surfing skills students will need to successfully complete the course.
  6. Calculate the approximate weekly time commitment to complete all readings, tests, and assignments and adjust the workload accordingly. The workload in online courses must be the same as regular face-to-face classes.
  7. Consider instituting a policy that sets expectations about the number of times per week students are required to access course materials and submit assignments.
  8. Explore potential accessibility issues related to course content.