Page 5 - Distance Education Best Practices
P. 5

• Make sure the learning management system platform or course is
                                      easy to navigate and user friendly.  Provide clear but concise
                                      directions for watching videos, using the discussion forum,
                                      uploading assignments, taking quizzes or exams, etc.
                                    • Make sure headers or menus are clearly defined and provide
                                      consistent themes or icons throughout the course and ultimately all
                                      distance education courses.
                                    • Ensure the course is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities
                                      Act (42 U.S.C. §12100 et seq.) and section 508 of the Rehabilitation
         Accessibility                Act of 1973, as amended.

                 and                • Have a student or colleague try and navigate the course for ease
                                      and provide feedback for improvement.
            Usability               • Allow students an opportunity to anonymously provide feedback on
                                      the parts of the course they loved and on the parts of the course
                                      they did not care for as much.  Ask students to elaborate specifically
                                      on what needs improvement and then implement changes the next
                                      time the course is taught.

                                    • Clearly communicate your expectations for student engagement in
                                      the course.
                                    • Provide frequent feedback and regular communications to students,
                                      both as a group and individually.  Post weekly announcements to
                                      keep students on track and make sure to provide in-depth feedback,
                                      not merely "good job" or "needs improvement."
                                    • If possible, when testing, provide feedback for each question or even
                                      answer choice.
             Student                • Provide several interactive projects to maintain student engagement
                                      and not just a single assignment early in the course.
         Engagement                 • Be a cheerleader for your students to maintain high levels of
                                      motivation and progress.
                                    • Model good behavior and make sure you are well-prepared for the
                                      course. Instructors that want students to be engaged in learning
                                      must also set the bar high for themselves in facilitating the course.
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