Quality Online Course Series: 7 Online Workshops with Tips for Designing Quality Online Courses

Quality Online Course SeriesIn Spring 2015, Northern Illinois University Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center developed and offered for the first time a series of 7 online workshops sharing principles, best practices, and tips for designing and developing quality online courses. The workshops were archived and available for on-demand viewing below or directly within the series playlist on YouTube. Kudos to my NIU colleagues, Stephanie Richter and Tracy Miller, for developing and offering the series!


Ensuring Quality in Your Online Course

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How do you know if your online course is good? More importantly, how do you make it better? In this archived workshop offered 1/23/15, you will learn about why quality is important and how to create more student-centered online courses by using the Quality Matters rubric (a nationally-recognized benchmark for online course design based on research-supported best practices). After viewing this archived online workshop, you will be prepared to develop or improve an online course that is designed to promote student learning. View archived workshop »


Learning Objectives and Assessments

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Once you have established objectives and the assessments to measure them, the next step is to create and/or curate course content and instructional materials to support the learning objectives. It is also important to clearly explain the purpose, source, and alignment of instructional materials. In this archived online workshop offered 2/13/15, you will learn about creating and curating course content from quality sources as well as communicating them to your students. View archived workshop »


Course Content & Instructional Materials

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Once you have established objectives and the assessments to measure them, the next step is to create and/or curate course content and instructional materials to support the learning objectives. It is also important to clearly explain the purpose, source, and alignment of instructional materials. In this archived online workshop offered 2/27/15, you will learn about creating and curating course content from quality sources as well as communicating them to your students. View archived workshop »


Course Activities & Student Engagement

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How do you encourage students to be fully engaged in an online course? By designing engaging and active, which foster interaction with you, the other students, and the content. In this archived online workshop offered 1/27/16, you will be introduced to some strategies to build learning activities which connect to your course objectives, as well as engage students in their own learning. View archived workshop »


Promoting Learning with Technology

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In an online course, technology is necessary for connecting with students, engaging them in learning, and assessing their knowledge. It’s important to choose the right tools that support the learning objectives but are also obtainable and suitable for student use. In this online workshop offered 3/20/15, you will learn how to ensure technology in an online course supports learning and discover some tools you can incorporate into an online course. View archived workshop »


Accessibility, Usability, & Student Support

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Online students can feel isolated, but they don’t have to be. In this online workshop offered 4/10/2015, you will explore how usability and accessibility can set students up for success. You will also learn how to connect students with valuable support services. View archived workshop »


Getting Students Started

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Now that you have designed a high quality online course based on the other standards, you are ready to introduce it to your students. Set the right tone and support student success by helping them get started with a welcome message, a course tour, or a navigation guide. In this online workshop offered 4/24/2015 we will explore best practices for introducing course structure to your students and building community View archived workshop »

Designing Your Course to Achieve Alignment

This video discusses the need to align the key components of your instruction: learning objectives, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessments. It explains what instructional alignment is, provides examples, and explains why it is important.

Course Readiness: Tips for getting your course ready to teach online or blended

Course Readiness Guide

The University of St. Thomas Information Resources and Technologies and Faculty Development Center have created this excellent guide for faculty on how to structure a course for online learning and addresses both fully online and blended/hybrid delivery methods. There is a checklist at the end of the booklet to assess your “course readiness,” and to help minimize any problems your students may incur as they acclimate to the online material, navigate the course and complete online activities.

Also included is assistance for incorporating active learning strategies to help you plan your class time more efficiently and to assess where students are in understanding the material. Lastly, the basic tenets of how to design for accessibility, especially if you are using the Blackboard learning management system, are introduced.

Institutional Blended Learning Adoption Checklist

Blended Learning Institutional Adoption Checklist

This checklist shared by Charles Graham can be used to assess where your institution is at in terms of providing strategy, structure, and support for blended learning.

5 Golden Rules of High-Quality Instructional Design

The quality of an instructional design is often gauged on three things: effectiveness, efficiency, and cost. Here are 5 rules that will help you achieve a high-quality instructional design:

  1. It must begin with an end in mind.
  2. It must be student-centered.
  3. It is refined through continuous assessment and improvement.
  4. It follows a well-defined system.
  5. It considers the big picture.

The-Golden-Rules-of-High-Quality-Instructional-Design-Infographic
Source: info.shiftlearning.com, via e-Learning Infographics

What additional rules would you add for high-quality instructional design? Leave a comment with your ideas!