Online Course Proposals and guideline: Proposals must be for courses that already exist in the catalog, but have not been previously delivered via online. A course syllabus is suggested to be enclosed with a final course proposal.
The stages of instructional design in Distance Education:
Derived from Gagné, R. M., Briggs, L. J., & Wager, W. W. (1992). Principles of Instructional Design (4th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.
- Stage 1: Define instructional goals.
- Stage 2: Identify what learning steps will be involved in reaching the goal.
- Stage 3: Identify entry behaviors. Having determined via the instructional analysis which steps and skills the learner must accomplish, it is now necessary to identify the knowledge and skill level that the learner possesses at the outset.
- Stage 4: Develop performance objectives. At this stage, it is necessary to translate the needs and goals into objectives that are sufficiently specific to guide the instructor in teaching and the learner in studying.
- Stage 5: Select an instructional method. Current educational theory and research support the use of instructional methods that make students active learners (e.g., lecture, lab, small group discussion, case-based study, simulations, independent study, etc.).
- Stage 6: Assemble instructional materials.The materials may be in various forms: print, computer, audio, audio-video, etc.
- Stage 7: Plan and conduct formative evaluation.
- Stage 8: Plan and conduct summative evaluation. Summative evaluation is the evaluation that occurs at the end of the instructional effort (unit, course, etc.), and it provides data on the effectiveness of the instructional effort as a whole.
Five Tips for Enhancing Teaching Skills Online
- Provide consistent, regular feedback, both to individuals in the class and to the group as a whole.
- Provide high quality online documents, such as handouts, resources, syllabi, and other similar educational tools.
- Practice consistency and fairness in your online "coaching" of the class (it is the instructor's responsibility to ensure a positive, fair, and effective learning environment).
- Have a backup plan in place so that the course can go on (sometimes, servers go down, and unpredictably, a good idea is to provide alternative ways for learners to send in class materials).
- Be prepared to answer technical questions, even if this isn't your area of expertise (help the learner find answers, or at least direct the learner to a solutions source quickly and efficiently).
(Source: " Teaching with Technology", from Judith M. Smith, June 7, 2004)
Apply Seven Principles of Good Practice to Online Instruction
The "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education," originally published in the AAHE Bulletin (Chickering, A., & Gamson, Z. 1987, Seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39, 3-7.), are a popular framework for evaluating teaching in traditional, face-to-face courses. The principles are based on 50 years of higher education research (Chichering, A., Reisser, L. 1993, Education and identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.)
Good practice encourages student-faculty contact.
Instructors should provide clear guidelines for interaction with students.
- Avoid being overwhelmed with e-mail messages
"The public discussion forum is to be used for all communications except grade-related questions."
- Avoid feeling ignored when failed to respond quickly "I will make every effort to respond to e-mail within two days of receiving it."
"I will respond to e-mails on Tuesdays and Fridays between three and five o'clock."
Good Practice Encourages Cooperation Among Students
Well-designed discussion assignments facilitate meaningful cooperation among students.
- Learners should be required to participate (and their grade should depend on participation)
- Discussion groups should remain small
- Discussions should be focused on a task
- Tasks should always result in a product
- Tasks should engage learners in the content
- Learners should receive feedback on their discussions
- Evaluation should be based on the quality of postings (and not the length or number)
- Instructors should post expectations for discussions
Good Practice Encourages Active Learning
Students should present course projects. Students learn valuable skills from presenting their projects and are often motivated to perform at a higher level. They learn a great deal from seeing and discussing their peers' work.
Projects to be shared and discussed asynchronously
- Students presented case study solutions via the class Web site
- The other students critiqued the solution and made further comments about the case
- After all students had responded, the case presenter updated and reposted his or her solution, including new insights or conclusions gained from classmates
- At the end of all presentations, the instructor provided an overall reaction to the cases and specifically comment about issues the class identified or failed to identify
Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback
Instructors need to provide two types of feedback: Information feedback and acknowledgment feedback.
- Information feedback provides information or evaluation, such as an answer to a question, or an assignment grade and comments.
- Acknowledgment feedback confirms that some event has occurred. (e.g., the instructor may send an e-mail acknowledging that he or she has received a question or assignment and will respond soon.)
Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task
Online course need deadlines.
- Many students need flexibility because of full-time job
- Regularly-distributed deadlines encourage students to spend time on tasks and help students with busy schedules avoid procrastination
- Regularly-distributed deadlines also provide a context for regular contact with the instructor and peers
Good Practice Communicates High Expectations
Challenging tasks, sample cases, and praise for quality work communicate high expectations.
- Give challenging assignments: Instructors assigned tasks requiring students to apply theories to real-world situations rather than remember facts and concepts.
- Provide sample cases: Instructor provided examples of student work from a previous semester as models for current students and included comments to illustrate how the examples met her expectations.
- Publicly praise exemplary work: Instructors did this by calling attention to insightful or well-presented student postings.
Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
Allowing students to choose project topics incorporates diverse views into online courses.
- Students shaped their own coursework by choosing project topics according a set of guidelines
- Students researched, presented, and defended a current policy issue in the field
- Students were encouraged to express their own diverse points of view
(Source: "Seven Principles of Effective Teaching: A Practical Lens for Evaluating Online Courses", by Charles Graham, Kursat Cagiltay, Byung-Ro Lim, Joni Craner and Thomas M. Duffy, June 7, 2004)