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Make key course format structural decisions

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Contextual factors for your specific course will impact your design decisions, such as:

  • level of the course (e.g. first-year, advanced, graduate?)
  • nature of the subject (e.g. are there specific requirements for this course within the program?)
  • learner characteristics (e.g. how many students in the class?)

In the design process, focus on the most important learning outcomes for your students, and be prepared to adapt classroom activities to new types of activities that are appropriate to the online environment. Creating a simple course migration plan before you begin to move your course online will speed up the development process in Quercus.

Getting Started

  1. Consider and note key situational factors by noting any specific factors or constraints that will determine your approach to course design (see the University of Buffalo Centre for Educational Innovation for an example of situational factors to identify and a template that can be used to list them).
  2. Make key format decisions early. Identify and write out your most important learning outcomes (see creating a content adaption plan); once you've identified these you can figure out how to spend your time, maximizing your adaptation hours between now and when your course begins.
  3. Decide if your redesigned course will use synchronous (participating together in real time), asynchronous (digested individually on own schedule), or a mix of the two (see choosing your course modalities). You can also watch "Moving Online: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Options" (6:12 min run time).

Keep your assessment strategy in mind. You'll want to make sure that you content and activities align with your assessments, including providing scaffolded assessments during the course to build up to your final assessment (see how to assess learning for more details).

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