Course Design

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11 February 2021, Thursday

a. Begin building rapport

The most successful online courses are ones during which learners feel empowered and openly communicate and collaborate with the trainer also like other learners. If you would like to make a culture during which learners are willing to speak and collaborate online, it is vital to determine rapport early. So how are you able to do this? Well, the goal is to assist your learners to feel comfortable, confident, and supported. A critical initiative is to possess learners to become familiarized with you, the trainer, also as their peers. Now, this is not easy, considering you are not meeting face to face, but there are ways in which you’ll do that online. First, allow learners to urge to understand you. I highly recommend taking a while to make your profile. Most learning management systems allow you to customize your profile and your bio. If not, create a bio and send it with an image through another medium to your learners. Make certain that your simply r bio is conveying the message that you want it to. You want to seem professional, but it also can be beneficial to point out to your learners that you are a person with interests, hobbies, and perhaps even a way of humor. Modeling this open attitude towards sharing information about yourself will help learners feel easier communicating with you and can set the tone for a collaborative environment. Next, get to understand your learners. I suggest creating a get-to-know-you survey that helps you get to understand your learners. Be upfront about who is going to be ready to see their answers, and encourage them to be open and honest. During this survey you’ll see that I asked for his or her names if they need a reputation that they like to travel by, why they’re taking the course, if there’s anything I should realize them to assist them achieve success, how comfortable they’re with technology, hobbies, interests, and more. Take this chance to urge to understand your learners. You’ll receive great insight allowing you to adapt your instruction and communication with the learners. Next, attempt to get the learners to open up to at least one another. An honest thanks to doing that is to make a web discussion or forum during which learners are expected to share information about themselves then present some prompts for discussions. You would like to respect the learners’ privacy, but also encourage them to open up with each other. I’ll take a glance at a survey that I even have on my learning management system during which I posted a prompt and therefore the participants have started responding. Once you create discussions, I like to recommend that you simply, because the instructor, stay active and show your interest within the learners. Don’t post discussion questions then disappear. it is vital that you simply still engage along the way, replying to their posts and generating deeper conversations.

b. Set guidelines and expectations

An important factor to think about when designing your online course is how you’ll communicate any guidelines or expectations. This is often especially important online. Because you likely won’t have face-to-face time to remind the learners. Learners must have access to your guidelines and expectations directly at the start of your course. They ought to be easy to seek out and straightforward to know. Your guidelines and expectations will depend upon your particular course. But these are some things to think about. First, the minimum technology requirements. Will learners be ready to complete your course employing a mobile device? Or will they have to download software? Which needs them to possess a computer. Make sure that learners are conscious of what technology they’ll get to achieve success in your course. Next, share expectations regarding digital citizenship. Then help learners understand this idea. Examples are, communicating expectations about appropriate behaviors in online forums and discussions, respecting other people’s privacy, and being a responsible online learner. Allow them to know that you simply won’t tolerate any online bullying or inappropriate behaviors, language, or images. This might appear to be sensitive but it isn’t for everybody. Confirm learners know your expectations on this. Inform learners of your expectations on engagement. Allow them to skills often they ought to engage with forums or discussion boards. If you post a rule, like you want to post 3 times before five o’clock on Friday, do not be surprised if you’ve got learners posting 3 times at 4:59 on Friday. If you would like them to move on the discussion boards and reply to other learner’s posts make this clear from the beginning. Next, share your expectations for the quantity of your time you expect them to figure on the course. Be upfront and honest with this and let learners express any concerns early. Establish guidelines for communication.

Let learners know that they ought to contact you if they need any issues. And inform them of the way to contact you. Whether it’s through the LMS, via email, phone, or another way. If you do not make this clear, expect to possess some learners to use the excuse that they didn’t do something because they didn’t know what to do. It is also important to let your learners know when you’re available to reply. It’s unreasonable for a learner to send an email at 11 PM and expect you to urge back to them immediately. Protect some time by setting some parameters. Perhaps allow them to know of the time of day that you’re going to respond. Whether you’ve got office hours when you will be online, or how long it typically takes you to reply, for instance, within 24 hours. One final recommendation is to take a quiz regarding course guidelines and expectations early within the course. And have students take this quiz. This may accomplish two things, it’ll make sure that the learners have checked out and understand the rules and expectations and it’ll familiarize learners with taking assessments on your platform.

c. Establish learning outcomes

When designing any course, it’s extremely important to determine learning outcomes. In other words, what’s it that you simply want your learners to find out in your course? And the way will you recognize that they successfully mastered the content? This is often especially important in a web learning environment as learners will need more self-direction. You will not be there face to face to elucidate how each assignment and activity is tied to a selected learning outcome. Like other guidelines and expectations, confirm that these are easy to seek out and straightforward to know. Here are a couple of tips to think about when writing learning outcomes for your online course. First, don’t create too many. Five to eight learning outcomes should be sufficient for your course. Make certain that these course outcomes align with the general curriculum. Also, confirm that they are well-written and straightforward to know. Each outcome should include who must accomplish it and what it’s that they have to accomplish. You’ll do that by selecting appropriate action verbs that are observable and measurable to work out whether the learner has successfully mastered the result. Avoid action verbs that are too vague like understanding, know, or appreciate. These are difficult to live and can often confuse. Take a glance at some samples of action verbs that are good to use. These action verbs are easier to watch and measure and can bring better learning outcomes. I like to recommend doing a Google look for action verbs to seek out more examples. You ought to also determine whether your learning outcomes are knowledge-based or skill-based and include a number of each. Let’s take a glance at a few examples. First, learners should be ready to list and describe the various components of effective communication. This is often an example of a knowledge-based learning outcome. Whereas the result learners should be ready to create a group of appropriate digital etiquette guidelines that focuses more on the skill of truly creating something. When creating your learning outcomes consider Bloom’s Taxonomy. As you progress up the diagram, you progress to higher-order thinking skills.

At rock bottom, there’s remember and understand represented by action verbs like to define, identify, or list. It’s acceptable to incorporate learning outcomes from all levels but it is best to put stress on the higher-order thinking skills like evaluate and make. Verbs to represent these include design, compare and contrast, propose, or analyze. These higher-order thinking skills show that learners not only understand the fabric but they will also apply it. When creating your learning outcomes, take a step back and begin with the large picture in mind. What do your participants get to learn? Then create your learning outcomes accordingly. Once created, throughout the course, any projects, assignments, and assessments that you simply use should be directly associated with these learning outcomes.

d. Establish scope and sequence

It’s important to work out the scope and sequence of your course and communicate that together with your learners. By organizing the course and determining the scope and sequence, you’ll help make sure that you can hide all the specified content within the time you’ve got allotted for your course. One among the simplest ways to try to do this is often to interrupt your course down into units or modules. I’m getting to navigate to my learning management system now and show you what I mean. Here on my dashboard, I even have two different courses that I’m teaching. If I click on the social media course, you’ll see here that I’ve organized this one by week, and it’s different weeks as modules. If I copy and navigate to my team communication course, this one, I’ve created using units. So I even have here different modules with titles, like “Fundamentals of Communication,” “Communication Methods,” then on. You’ll also get to decide if you would like learners to figure at an equivalent pace or not. The advantage of this method is that learners are all studying an equivalent content at an equivalent time, and therefore the discussions tend to be more engaging and relevant. Otherwise, you may prefer to allow students to figure at their own pace. So if someone wanted to urge through the content quicker, they might do this, as long as they meet the wants to maneuver on to subsequent unit or module. The advantage of this method is that it makes the course more flexible for your learners, and allows them to figure at a pace they’re comfortable at. The downside is that the discussions aren’t as engaging, and your grading of assignments are often everywhere the place. Confirm to spend a while determining the simplest thanks to organizing your specific course.

e. Sharing and curating files and resources

One of the most important advantages of teaching online is that the ability to share files and resources with others within the Cloud. By doing this, you create a one-stop-shop where learners can quickly access any files or resources that they need for the category at any time from anywhere they have an online connection. This includes files you create, like a course roadmap or syllabus, course expectations and policies, assignments, assessments, also as online resources, like websites, e-books, articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more. I like to recommend sharing any resources in one location, like your learning management system or a shared folder on a Cloud-based platform like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox. Here on my LMS, you’ll see that I even have different resources shared inside these modules. Here, I even have a folder with course introduction resources, including the course roadmap, a digital citizenship agreement, also as course guidelines and expectations. I’ll scroll down and you’ll see that I even have here different assignments also as resources. I’ll click on one. And here you’ll see a resource that I created employing a page that allowed me to place within the text also as a video. So you’ll also share videos and links through your LMS. Take care though. When sharing something from another online source, it is vital to share the link or to embed it to offer credit to the first source and not violate any copyright laws. So use your learning management system or another Cloud-based platform to assist share resources together with your learners.

f. Establishing modes for communication and collaboration

As the instructor, it is vital to foster an environment of communication and collaboration in your course. This is often impossible however until you determine the modes of communication that you simply want learners to use. You want to make sure that learner’s skills to contact the trainer also as other learners within the course. Here, inside My Course on My LMS, you’ll see that I’ve notified students in a few various ways. First of all, within the Announcements section, I created an announcement right at the start of the course that talks about communication and lets them skills they ought to contact me. I’ll copy it here, and I have also included this inside my Course Guidelines and Expectations. To confirm that the scholars have access to the present directly and skills to speak with you. Now you’ll use a variety of various ways. The foremost convenient way is to possess learners to communicate within the training Management System, whether it’s through direct messages or other discussion boards. Perhaps you would like learners to use email, and if so, are email addresses made available? And you’ll also leverage other communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Because the instructor, you’ll even have to decide whether you’ll accept text messages or phone calls from learners who have questions. You furthermore may get to establish how learners communicate with each other.

Again, this will be wiped out in a variety of various ways, including messaging inside the LMS, email, discussion boards, or through a little group feature in your LMS. Or perhaps you would like to use external tools like Google Drive or Microsoft Teams to possess them to communicate and collaborate. Take the time to work out how you want your learners to speak and collaborate then confirm to share and discuss these expectations with the learners. Fostering a culture of communication and collaboration is vital, but it isn’t possible to make this culture unless your learners understand where and the way they’re expected to travel about this.

g. Track Progress

Another important thing to think about when designing your online course is to make sure that you simply and therefore the learners have how to trace their progress. The goal of coaching is to make sure that the learners within the category attain certain skills or knowledge. So it’s essential to spot any gaps. Specifically tracking student progress is vital for a couple of reasons. First, it is vital to supply learners with feedback on how they’re doing. This may help them to ascertain which concepts they understand and which concepts they have to travel back and revisit. Because the instructor, this feedback helps inform your instruction. It is vital to know whether your class as an entire is attaining the extent of understanding that you simply won’t, which is that the goal of the training. If you notice that the whole class is failing to realize a selected outcome, you’ll get to return and reteach something or address the whole group. It also helps you to personalize instruction. Tracking progress helps you identify specific learners who aren’t understanding an idea so that you’ll provide extra support to them without having to deal with the whole group. If possible, I like to recommend using a web grade book that provides the trainer the power to watch the progress of all learners, and therefore the learner’s the power to watch their progress. Most learning management systems will have a grade book built into them. And they’ll look very similar. Here inside my LMS, I’m getting to re-evaluate grades, and you’ll see here that I even have grades certain all of the various assignments that are assigned to the scholars.

If I take a glance at them individually. First, I can see here that on the elevator pitch assignment, three out of 4 people got a ten out of 10, while one only got a four out of 10. This will provide me with a chance to specifically address Devon, and find out what went wrong. Now, on subsequent assignment, understanding the audience, I can see here that it had been out of 10, and everybody did poorly. So this could be an honest opportunity to travel back and reteach the concept or to deal with the group and see what went wrong. So you’ll see here that this feedback is extremely valuable. Cash in of those grade book tools.

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