Page 2 - Distance Education Best Practices
P. 2

Creating a distance education course is not merely putting a
          narrated PowerPoint and a discussion board forum on your learning
             management system.  Here are some tips for getting started with

                   distance education, regardless of your mode of delivery.

                                    • Start with a backward design. Think of the goals you wish for the students
                                      to achieve, then create the student learning outcomes, content,
                                      assignments, and assessments to evaluate student learning.
                                    • Based on the course content, determine the level of interactivity for
                                    • Include colleagues to assist in course planning and development, such as
                                      faculty and instructional designers.
                                    • If possible, have a colleague pilot the course to provide constructive
              Course                • Utilize an institutional or national evaluation rubric, such as Quality Matters
                                      ©, to assure quality design.*
         Development                • Use your institutional template for course design, if applicable.  This
                                      assures consistency for students when navigating from course to course.
                                    • Develop or utilize a curriculum map to align course objectives to student
                                      learning and program effectiveness.  Where is the content being taught
                                      and where is it being assessed?
                                    • Strong efforts need to be made in designing an online course.  It is not
                                      simply moving face-to-face materials into an online environment.

                                    • Make sure the course description is clear to students and available in
                                      a centrally located syllabus.
                                    • Provide explicit directions for navigating the learning management
                                      system platform and course.  This should be in a variety of methods,
                                      such as written instructions, a video tour, a scavenger hunt, an audio
                                      file, etc.
              Course                • Provide clear instructions on the grading policy, i.e., when
            Overview                  assignments will be graded and posted.

                 and                • Include policies and procedures specific to distance education in the
                                      course syllabus, such as directions for discussion board forums,
         Introduction                 faculty responsiveness, netiquette, etc.
                                    • Be sure that course content is organized in a logical sequence.
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