How do we build critical pieces to our online, hybrid, or remote courses? How can my teaching be as effective as I was in the classroom? How can my students feel like they belong to the class and establish a community and trust amongst all participants?
We had a great Friday Discussion last week that centered on course design and layout. 40+ people were in attendance! Up for discussion–One of the regular themes in online student feedback is that consistent course design across online courses is essential to their success.
We jumped right into the thick of things and took at look at the ID Services OSCQR course templates in action. Several instructors so kindly shared their courses with us and we were able to address the following questions:
Is the course design intuitive and easy to navigate?
Is the course cluttered with a lot of various files and links?
Are the instructions on what the student is to do clear?
Do all the links in the course work and provide for easy navigation back to the course?
As promised, here is the link to the Session 3 presentation Note: We cannot provide links to the courses that were used in the demo.
Other resource links from the presentation:
OSCQR Top 15 Our guide to the top 15 best practices for online, hybrid and remote course building and improvement
Be sure to join us this Friday, May 22, 1-2pm, for Session 4: Building Interaction in Your Course. You can also join us for our Instructional Design OPEN Office Hour. Join the Zoom Meeting https://lanecc.zoom.us/j/93310264545
The IDS template will provide you with a solid start to a course (remote or online) design that is student-centric and based on research best practices as outlined in OSCQR. Use all or just a few pieces of the course template – a la carte model of sharing the love.
Act fast to get yours! Email the firstname.lastname@example.org and just ask for an import! DONT WAIT! ACT NOW!
Ok..enough of the cheesy infomercial…my sales career lasted only a couple very miserable weeks in college. If interested all you need to do is email the ATC and ask for an import of all or pieces of the template. Have questions about how to use the template or what parts make sense to bring over to your course? Inquire with an instructional designer.
Review of steps to Course Dev so far covered: STEP 1: Brush up on my Moodle skills. STEP 2: Review and spend time with the IDs OSCQR Top 15 best practices in course design. Step 3: Meet with an instructional designer to develop a Personal Development Plan (PDP) on course design and training needed to teach. Step 4: Complete a course planning worksheet (note this can be used in your syllabus). Step 5: Ask the ATC to import the IDS Moodle course template. Use the template material and fill in the blanks where needed.
What are some top student success strategies when starting an online course? We will talk about these and what essential components need to be in place in your course for the greatest chance of student success.
The course planning worksheet has gotten a lot of positive feedback from instructors who have worked with it. When completed BEFORE you dive into Moodle and start adding all kinds of cool stuff to your course. The planning worksheet is designed to help you outline or draft your course before you take the time to add / remove / change / move / delete / re-add / pull hair out. Do this as paper and pencil – or draft through Google docs. Eventually, you can integrate this into your syllabus to provide a one(ish) page “snap-shot” of your course.
Don’t have 100% of the course figured out yet? Yeah – me either! No course will ever be 100% developed – it’s like remodeling a house. Many first time courses have instructors who do their best to stay one week ahead of the students. This is okay!
One of the most difficult parts of teaching online is I can’t just “wing-it” like I used to [only sometimes] in the classroom. Many of my best lessons were those conceived on the drive into campus. Or those ad-hoc discussions when the students and I would go down the rabbit hole on a cool concept (actually I have much richer discussions online now).
That all said, complete the course planning worksheet to the level of detail you feel your pedagogy has tolerance for. It will help you, trust me. Share a solid outline of your course with your students to provide a course format, but allow for flexibility and adaptation of your instruction per your student response and interactions with the course…just like in 2019!
I really like simple lists. Maybe a way oversimplified list with links for additional details if I would like to venture down that path and learn more. I don’t have to click all the links – just the ones I want. I have not found much in the “simple” category lately, so I guess we try and build our own! You may not be developing an online course, however, you are developing online components of your course regardless of modality.
Best practices in teaching don’t change based on modality – they are still the same. How you achieve them might differ based on modality. With this in mind when you review online course design best practices, read them with a lens for your modality. Do the recommendations make sense for your course? Not sure – let us help you decide.
Remote/Hybrid/Online Course Development in 10 steps:
We have shared the slides from the Friday, May 1 Discussion, where we talk about external definitions of online, remote, synchronous, asynchronous, and really every other buzz word we could find related to our current moment!
If you want to join the discussion — even asynchronously — you can jump into the shared Google Doc.
You’ve likely already seen this on our Web site or thrilled to the news in the Lane Weekly, but in case you’re a blogs-only kind of person, ta-da! We are announcing an upcoming series of Friday discussions/webinars to help faculty think about the different ways we’re handling online teaching and learning in these weird times.
We’ll meet online from 1-2 p.m. every Friday, starting this week (5/1) for these discussions. Bring your lunch! Or your pet! Or your pet’s lunch (maybe keep that one off camera)!
You’ll see a preview post before each session here, including some good reference material for the topics we’ll cover. If we have slides to share or other content that gets collected during the discussions, we’ll also use this as a place to post those. We’ll be talking about:
Remote Teaching (what does it mean, and how is it different/the same)
First week/getting started strategies
Design and layout to promote student success
Building interaction into your course
Creating engaging courses
Crafting online assessments
So sit back, relax (and if you manage this, let us know how!), and get ready to chat every Friday during Spring term.
Check out the ID services site for Zoom information and the full schedule of events.
As soon as possible — before Spring Break if you can! — it’s helpful to let Spring term students know what they will need to succeed in your upcoming remote course. You can link to this Minimum Technical Requirements document in an announcement to your course, or build your own statement using the sections below.
All courses making use of online resources require:
Consistent, high-speed internet access
If you have assignments due once a week, consider whether once-a-week access is enough, or whether multiple days will be required, and state this requirement clearly as soon as possible!
For instance, a discussion board that requires both a post and replies will require either multiple hours on one day or shorter time over multiple days.
Other hardware requirements:
Requiring Use of:
Students will need:
Moodle only (assignments, forums, messages, etc.)
Modern computer (<5 years old); Modern browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari);
Moodle with multimedia (videos or recordings)
All of the above, plus: Headphones or speakers
Video conferences (Zoom)
Webcamera or smartphone
Online homework platform
Modern computer, modern browser; smartphones and tablets may be less reliable for this type of homework
Modern computer, or tablet with a keyboard, or smartphone with dictation capability
Modern computer or tablet or smartphone; modern browser
Other software requirements:
Software is less predictable because you may already have required/preferred programs. Here are some possible requirements.
Often the closest contact students have with our campus is with their instructors. That means your communication is the most likely to cut through when there’s a stack of messages in their inboxes. Please use this week to begin communicating with students about what’s happening and will happen.
The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice provides the following advice for supporting students during COVID19:
Students are humans first. The more a student feels connected to and understood by their college or university, the more likely they are to stay enrolled and engaged. The language you use to communicate about the response to COVID-19 matters—it must convey care along with urgency. Communicate the need for physical distance as opposed to social distance to emphasize that you are still a community while observing recommended prevention practices.
Send a full-class email, Moodle messages, or texts to your students as soon as possible this week. If you are sending grades through Moodle, consider adding a note in feedback about the coming changes on campus. Link to the Lane COVID-19 page and our Keep Learning page for students, where they can find updated information and assistance in making the move to remote learning.
Finally, don’t forget to take some time to take care of yourself! This teacher-made video made the rounds yesterday, and it’s a pretty good way to start your virtual day (thanks to everyone who sent it my way, except that I’ll have this song in my head forEVER):