As I wrap up another semester of online teaching with success rates at or near 100%, I decided to share the things I do that matter most to student learning and success. My hope is that this dispels any myth that teaching online is easy. Just as with learner success, teaching success is the result of deliberate effort, wise strategies, and help seeking.
The following are critical, minimum expectations for a high-quality online course:
While all courses require a focus on backwards design, teaching online is special because your curriculum is readily observable by everyone. In addition, when online you have to take great care to describe the purpose, nature, and criteria for all materials, activities, interactions, and assessments, and help students establish a meaningful routine for learning and mastering course and module outcomes.
Begin the course with the learning outcomes in mind. Clarify both the overall course and aligned module outcomes and share them prominently in the course. Effectively meeting this guideline means:
Build assessments that are closely aligned with the learning outcomes. Ensure that both formative and summative assessments directly measure mastery of the learning outcomes. Effectively meeting this guideline means:
Select learning materials that are closely aligned with the learning outcomes. Effectively meeting this guideline means:
Bottom Line: These principles emphasize learning and success.
For more essential standards, check out Part 1 on Course Introductions and Part 2 on Course Management. For questions on these essential standards, email Dr. Bob DuBois at DrBob@UTK.edu.
Written by Bob DuBois