From F2F to Teaching Online: 5 Things to Consider

Posted in Blog on 15 June 2015

If you are like the thousands of

other faculty members out

there, your institution has figured out that in order to stay competitive, increasing online learning opportunities is a must!   What if you have never taught online and you don’t know where to start. What things should you consider as you set up your course? How will your online course be different than your on-ground course?

Let’s get started by looking at some myths out there:

  • Publishing my course just means posting my syllabus, readings and PowerPoints.
  • My online course will only have passive assignments since it is asynchronous.
  • All students will have to ‘learn the same’ way.

To empower learners and create

efficacy in your course, follow these best practices:

#1 Objectives and Performance Gaps

Identify your objectives and determine what you want students to learn.  What knowledge are they coming in with and what do they need to know when they leave your class? What instructional resources and tools do you have? What do you wish

you had but don’t. Are there particular concepts that historically are challenging for students to grasp?  Remember, building an online course is more than just PowerPoints and articles. It should be interactive, incorporate real-world activities, and assess knowledge along the way.

#2 Conceptualize and

Organize Content

Designing your


should incorporate objectives, various activities, content, resources and

finally how you will present all of this to your students. A common thread amongst all of these is

relevance and user experience. Aligning these elements is critical to good course design. Simply providing an article for a student to read isn’t necessarily going to align to a measurable objective, however having a meaningful

learning object that presents the content in a real-word context, incorporates knowledge checks throughout, and has a reflection activity

at the end is a much better demonstration of student competency for a specific course objective. current time . This is your opportunity to show your students that your course is relevant to their life and career goals…and that learning can be participative in an online environment.

#3 Bringing it all together

Now that you have all these resources, presenting your course in an organized fashion is paramount to a positive learning experience for

the student. Do you have varied and appropriate content? Is your learning accessible to all types of learners? Can your students tell that you took time to put together your course? They should! Your course should have a clear and concise ‘look and feel’, that promotes ease of use for the student. The course is a way for your students to get to know you and for you to let them know that you care about their success. The course should represent you as an accessible expert, mentor, and facilitator throughout the course experience.

#4 Course Ready…

What’s next?

Be active. Be engaging. Be positive. Let your personality shine through. Your institution may have specific student-teacher communication guidelines for you to follow, so be sure to know


#5 Reflect and Revise

Be sure to reflect and revise based on student feedback. Evaluate your course metrics and always strive for the best course possible. Students are usually very willing to give feedback

on their experience in your course. This is valuable information, if

you are willing to take advantage of it. Continuous improvement is a moving target that we are all striving towards.

Remember, even if you already have your course online, applying these

principles and best practices to enhance your course, will result in positive outcomes for YOU and YOUR students.

If you would like to

read more about course design principles, here are a few great references to check out:

Conditions of Learning, Robert Gagne

Dick & Carey Model of Instructional Design

Quality Matters Course Evaluation Rubric for Higher Ed

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