Perhaps you’re a classroom teacher who is looking for alternative ways to use your professional talents. Perhaps you’ve been an online instructor for a class that you feel could be improved upon. Maybe you are looking for a new challenge to extend your experiences, or you are hoping to pursue online teaching/course development activities that will lend itself to a more flexible working schedule. Whatever your reasons, online course development raises many questions, such as:
o What will my students use as a textbook?
o What other resources will I use to supplement the textbook?
o How will the student obtain information on starting the course?
o How can I make the online experience “student friendly”?
o Where in the Learning Management System will the student have access to obtaining and submitting assignments?
o How will the student be graded?
o How will the student access his/her grades?
o Will the student be able to view his/her overall progress?
o How will the student communicate with the instructor?
o How will the students communicate with each other?
o What deadlines does the student need to be aware of?
As a course developer, online instructor, and former student who obtained my masters degree online, I have several practical suggestions and tips for successful online course development.
o Remember the three most important parts of teaching in both face-to-face and virtual environments are:
o Therefore you want to establish methods for student-friendly correspondence. A Discussion Board that allows you to post ongoing tips and deadlines will be helpful for both you and the student.
o Include a “Getting Started” navigation button where the students can find all of the information needed to proceed with the course.
o If the course has regular deadlines, provide a timeline for those deadlines, one that the students can print out.
o If a course does not have regular deadlines but rather only has a course completion deadline, provide a timeline so that the student can stay up-to-date with the course. » Read more: Online Course Development-Tips and Strategies