If you are getting ready to teach online for the first time, there are several critical items to consider:
- What are my learning outcomes or intended course objectives?
While there are several theories or models of online instruction that may be helpful as you begin to conceptualize and design your online course, many instructors find it helpful to begin with backward design, in which you first consider the learning goals of your course (i.e. what you want your students to have learned when they finish your course). Only after you have determined what your goals are, should you begin to think about assignments and activities that help students achieve those goals. Objectives and outcomes should be measurable and aligned to professional standards in your field.
- Who are my students?
Universities serve an increasingly diverse array of students from the traditional college aged, to adult learners who come back to school to advance in their professions by acquiring new skills and knowledge. As you consider your audience, think about how you might develop assignments and activities that encourage self-determined learning (i.e. a heutagogical approach).
- How can I make sure my course materials are accessible to all students?
Employing principles of universal accessibility and design means that your course content will be accessible to all student who might enroll in your course, including students with visual, auditory, or other impairments. Additionally, it means that you have taken the extra step to ensure that your content reaches students with a variety of different learning styles; this means using varying formats and methods to impart knowledge.
While this may seem like a challenge, COLRS staff is ready to assist. Please contact your individual liaison for individual consultation, or contact our main office for any further assistance you may need:
Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Liaison to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Carrie Levin, 217-206-8499, firstname.lastname@example.org
Liaison to the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Public Affairs and Administration: Emily Boles, 217-206-8311, email@example.com
Liaison to the College of Business and Management: Michele Gribbins, 217-206-8251, firstname.lastname@example.org