Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

CTEL Course Design First Thoughts

Whenever possible, we recommend that you to take the Teaching Online: A Short Course for New Online Faculty-- an asynchronous, online course which runs four weeks. This gives you a chance to experience an online course, explore the possible technologies and applications at your disposal for online teaching, and begin planning your course development.  Robin Russell can put you on a waiting list for the next course.

A visit or even a phone conversation with one of our Course Designers might be helpful for you as you begin to consider your course, teaching style, and content, so that you can begin development on the right foot. We can speak on the phone or meet virtually in Elluminate or Adobe Connect, where we can talk to each other and share computer screens, documents, etc.

If your course shell isn't ready yet in Blackboard, our course management system,we can create a development site for you to start your course design. Once your new course becomes available, you can copy course content from your development site to the new site.

First Thoughts

Here are some things we generally talk about with faculty new to teaching online...

"What are the components of a quality online course?"

A group of experienced online faculty and instructional development staff representing most of the UMS campuses addressed the question.The result of their work was a set of Guidelines for developing online courses.

Take a close look at the course that you plan to teach online.

  • What are the major outcomes?
  • What new knowledge, attitudes, and skills should a successful student gain?

Reflect on how you have addressed the elements in the Guidelines in your existing course design. Make some rough notes about how you think that your approach to each element might change as you go online.

  • What is the format of your course? Is it primarily lecture? Or is it more discussion, reflection and reading?
  • If you will deliver your own content via online "lectures", how will you do it?
  • Consider all the parts of a lecture that are missed if you simply post the powerpoints which you would present in a face to face setting.
  • Present your powerpoints with narration, using screencasting software.
  • Short lectures work best (20 - 30 minutes or less), with other exercises to reinforce the content.

Consider the amount of content you will be presenting and the amount of work that will be assigned. Online, it is common for fewer topics to be covered over the course of a semester, but through online discussions and exercises, students can be more deeply engaged and reflective for the content that is covered. Online discussion typically engages students over the course of several days, while face to face discussions are over in an hour.

Video content:

You are free to link to content on YouTube. DVD or VHS content you wish to be streamed has to pass the TEACH Act Checklist, or receive specific permission from the copyright holder.

Electronic Reserves:

The USM library is also able to scan documents for E-reserves - things that you might otherwise copy and hand out in a face-to-face class. Contact the Circulation Desk at the Library to learn more about electronic-reserves.