As you begin working with a learning designer to design and develop your new online course, the answers to the following questions will help everyone to better understand your course and recommend resources that are available to you. We recommend that you write down the answers to all of the questions below that you are able to answer. Knowing the answers to these questions will help when you talk to your learning designer for the first time and when you start to create the Course Blueprint.
What are the course's learning outcomes?
- What will students be able to do at the end of the course? List 4-5 broad statements of what you hope students will know, be able to do, or have experienced as a result of taking the course. Later, you will be asked to write Learning Outcomes/Objectives for each lesson.
- What kinds or types of activities will students need to engage in to meet the goals you outlined above? Which of these deliverables do you plan to assess?
- How will you evaluate students for a final grade in the class?
- Note: for a 3-credit course offered for a 15-week semester, students are expected to spend 9-12 hours weekly for class time, assignments, research, and activities.
What is the general description of your course?
- Do you have a sense of the “flow” of the course? How will it proceed, beginning, middle, and end?
- What will your approach be to teaching this content? (e.g. lecture style, discussion format, case study, problem-based learning, collaborative learning, etc.)
- If you could do anything at all with this course what would it be?
- How will your course be broken down into lessons/topics? Similar information might be available in the Course Proposal.
- What are the content pieces you will need to develop in order to support the activities for the students?
- What will you (and won't you) cover?
- If there are any prerequisites to this course, how will they relate to the material that is covered in this course?
- Is there any other body of content the course will draw upon? (For example, a science course might draw upon calculus concepts, even if calculus is not an official prerequisite.)
- How often do you plan to assess your students?
How do you envision the course being delivered?
- What do you want the student experience to be like?
- If you have taught the course face-to-face, were there any activities either live or simulated that you would like to incorporate into the online version?
- Does your course require labs? Will adding something similar to a lab enhance the course or add to the students' understanding?
- Are there any concepts that require a demonstration to fully understand the meaning?
- How will you encourage students to interact with fellow classmates (i.e. using discussion boards, blogs, chats, etc.)?
- Will the students work in teams at any time during the course?
- Do you plan to have students review each other's work?
- What technology(ies)--such as the web, print, audio, video, pdf, etc.--will be used to deliver the course?
- How much time will they have to work through each course component (e.g., a single lesson)?
What general resources will your students need for the course?
Faculty members often choose to use the same materials for their online courses that they use in the traditional, face-to-face classroom. If you are familiar and satisfied with a given set of materials, using those will certainly facilitate the development of your course.
- List any textbooks, articles, workbooks, videos, software, existing open educational resources, or other special materials students will need to have in order to complete the course. For each item, provide as much identifying detail as possible (such as an ISBN number for a textbook or ordering information for a brochure).
- Please list any internet materials or websites that students may need to access. Are any of the above materials copyrighted in a way that will require permission for use of them in the course?
- If you plan to have students do some writing, what citation style format would you like them to use (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)?