Designing a good course requires a number
First decide on the course you want to teach and
the conceptual goals you have for that learning experience.
After that, you can use these goals to develop the modules or segments of the course.
Each segment contains certain activities that support the learning and relevant assignments can be developed at this stage. Finally, student assessment and course evaluation have to be developed.
The next section of this resource takes you through each of these phases in turn.
Generally, when starting out teaching with technology, it is a good idea to choose a course you enjoy teaching and have taught face-to-face. Also, don’t take on too much at once, instead try one technology at a time until you are comfortable using it in an instructional setting. For example, you might start out using just conferencing for the class discussion and most activities with email as a backup for individual communications.
Sections/Weeks/Topics of the Course
|Intro to Technology||
Key features of a collaborative learning
|Directed exercises to learn the
different functions in context
Completing a biography; and other activities
|Comparing different learning
Technologies can embody within
|Reading about different classroom based learning technologies and comparing across specified dimensions||Discussion entries about an initial
different people responsible for
summary or commentary on each
|Personal Knowledge Building||
Experiencing process of self-directed
|Go through iterations in research
process starting with what you know, and ending with further questions still
unanswered. Circle not a line
Choosing one of two problems to
|Issues in Implementing
|Reading about and identifying key
issues on changes in teachers’ experiences and practical strategies to
|Discussion entries about an
question applied to own teaching
|What does technology afford us?||
|Debate on issue of equity around
technology following relevant readings.
|Contributing at least one point
on each side of the debate
Assessment needs to reflect the
|Considering different assessment
strategies and how they apply in own classroom setting
|Learning Logs: individual or group.
Entries for each issue.
Ends with “Where are
The principles of knowledge
through integrating and applying ideas from the whole course.
|Complete a curriculum unit
design with specific steps
either collaboratively or alone.
Use the structure developed in the planning steps to organize the course modules or sections. Each of these top-level ideas could be a sub-conference and then more sub-conferences can be added within each particular module conference to organize the learning activities.
Provide a clear orientation for students to the elements of both technology and learning needed in the course. These include:
Instructional activities. In the table below you can see some common instructional activities and examples of parallel online activities. You can use these to think about which activities best support the key ideas identified for each module.
|Parallel or similar
online instructional activity
|Lecture||1. Course notes as a Webpage or PDF file that can be downloaded and printed off or read online.
2. Videos –either on the web or instructor developed
|Class discussion||Whole group is asked to respond to an issue or question by using replies/build-ons. Additionally, they are asked to read others’ responses and take those ideas into account in their own contributions. (Stops list of entries with the same content because they didn’t read (=listen) to the others.|
|Debate||Debate as an online discussion with responses marked pro/con. Could set them up as teams ahead of time, or require people to post at least one or more points on each side.|
|Rotating moderator or discussion
|Responsibility for leading, moderating and summarizing the week’s discussion on an issue is passed around the class. Promotes leadership and commitment.|
|Case Study||Relevant material about a case can be posted with a set of questions or steps required for a response. Students benefit from seeing and responding to other’s interpretations. Time constraints can be introduced to ensure everyone participates in a timely way.|
|Self-directed learning||This can be an online or book based research or applied activity, the outcome of which can be posted to the shared discussion or directly to the instructor. Allows the pursuit of independent interests. The more it is shared the more others benefit from exposure to other ideas.|
|Mentoring||Pairing more or less or differently-experienced people to acts as support across a course or for a particular assignment or section.
Increases a sense of community and belonging, as well as distributing expertise.
|Guest lecturer||This works particularly well online. You can convince colleagues in distant places to spend a few hours online over the course of a week responding to your students. Students can react to a paper or a article or an idea from the guest lecturer, which is itself posted to the database, and the guest can react to their commentary and answer questions.|
|Small group discussion||Groups self assigned, or by the instructor discuss issue by email or within a folder or View in the course area. Collaborate on a summary of the group’s understanding.|
|Small group project||Again, some discussion can be via email or synchronous chat facility. Group planning helps each person decide on relevant information to contribute and final assignment can be co-authored in the class discussion area.|
Don’t forget also that there are a number of other, technology-based opportunities for learning. These include virtual visits and tours through the internet (to museums, art galleries and the like); simulations of scientific and mathematics concepts and a variety of software and online materials in a lot of different content areas.