Week 2 - Can I connect what I am teaching online with best practices?

Focus: Maximizing your teaching potential when online

We want you to be you when teaching your course! At the same time, we want to make sure you know the basics of online teaching and the national conversation discussing online teaching standards!

In Week 1 we asked you to reflect upon your own past experience with designing an online course...what has worked well for you. What would you like to improve upon? We asked you to set a personal goal for each of our 3 broad concepts.

This week, we want to take that process a step further and ask you to think about the results of your rubric review as compared to recognized effective practice.

Within the context of the 3 goals you identified in week 1, continue to think about things like:

  1. Your course look and feel. What does that say about you & your teaching style?
  2. When students enter for the first time, do they know what to do, where to begin?
  3. Do the students know who you are (think back to the 'Humanizing...' infographic).
  4. Can they discern what the course is all about?
  5. What tools will you choose to begin to solve/address the 'big questions' you identified?

Learning Objectives:

Course participants will:

  1. Recognize effective practice for design and conduct of online courses.
  2. Identify points of personal relevance & apply effective practice ideas to your own online course design.
  3. Finalize course individual course review regarding best practice elements demonstrated in sample rubrics.
  4. Finalize a personal set of goals related to 3 thematic areas for deepening skills or introducing new elements into your course.

Resource/Materials/Conversation Starters




  1. Comment below with at least 1 personal nugget or noticing from the reaching and/or video.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

I like the idea about gathering data in a systematic way about my course. I often use different pieces of information in isolation, but not usually together looking for trends through the course.

2 years ago

Gathering the right data can help understand areas where students are responding well, or where we may need to place our attention for improvement.

2 years ago

One thing that really struck me is the importance of not only designing with the end in mind (thanks Wiggins & McTighe), but making clear how each learning experience connects to a course objective for the learner. I think sometimes, even though I intend the content to be a cohesive chunk in a module, it may not be as clear to students how the learning experiences they complete in that module meet particular objectives. Making that explicit, even repeatedly, in a module is something I need to work on, particularly for undergraduate courses.

2 years ago

I liked the idea about how each module should be aligned, first with the desired results, the assessment, and then what the student will do. Sorting it out in this manner will make me think more about what I hope the students will walk away with and hopefully help clarify the information for them as well. This application process, not only will help me decide the 3-4 objectives of the material, but also require me to give more thought to how the student can demonstrate an understanding of the new found knowledge, so I can appropriately assess if the learning experience achieved the intended result.

2 years ago

I thought the suggestions from the blogger were useful, especially the "What not to do" list. One point was to revise assignments as several short assignments that build to a final one, and to provide goal statements with the shorter assignments. I already use this "building block" method, but I do not include goal statements--at least, not in a way that they are visually noticeable. This is important online because you are not there in class to remind students of the point of each assignment. I think I will use this concept of goal statements throughout all elements of the online format.