This set of resources provides an overview of the process of preparing an online course, from course design to development and building in the Learning Management System (Blackboard). Click on the links below to find short articles that address each element of the process. If you would like to learn more or work with an Instructional Designer or Consultant as you design and develop an online course, we invite you to request a consultation.
Designing Online Courses
When creating fully online courses, the planning stages are crucial. Before you begin any work in the Learning Management System (Blackboard), you will need to carefully design the essential course elements “on paper” (so to speak) to ensure instruction is highly effective in supporting student attainment of the learning outcomes. The resources below will provide initial guidance on how to plan these essential elements.
- Writing desired learning outcomes
- Drafting a learning assessment plan
- Drafting learning activities
- Selecting content and technology
- Documenting content and technology decisions
- Recording course planning decisions (*Course Planning Sheet)
- Planning the first sequence and feedback cycle
- Assessing the first sequence and feedback cycle
Considering Online Factors
Several key factors must be taken into consideration when planning fully online courses. Planning the class environment, student engagement, and student success factors must be intentional; some of these factors are introduced in the resources that follow and impact the plans you make when designing the course.
- Creating the online learning environment
- Facilitating discussions across time and space
- Empowering student success
- Working with content
- Examining online teaching
- Planning for large enrollment online courses
Developing Online Courses
Once the course plan is ready and online factors have been incorporated into the plan, building the course in the Learning Management System (Blackboard) can begin. Specific technical assistance can be obtained through ITS workshops and help desk services. The resources below provide an introduction to some of the thinking behind the development decisions you need to make.
- Creating the course menu
- Creating the layout of the learning sequences
- Developing the brief icebreaker/course introduction sequence
- Developing the course information area and printable syllabus file
- Seeking and responding to feedback about the course (*pre-launch)
- Reflecting and refining the course during and after teaching