Careful preparation is essential to the success of an online/hybrid course. The content created for a course should provide a positive experience for your students and should maximize your time with students so that you’re not spending time reworking things that weren’t clear up front.
Your course content should be laid out and organized before class begins. The content should have a logical flow. Have a colleague check the course for ease of navigation, clear instructions, and accurate placement of content. The amount of content should manageable.
Don’t assume your students will have all of the knowledge and expertise to succeed in an online course format. Be sure to provide them with links to resources that can help.
Test the Course
Before the course starts, test the course in different browsers and on different computers. Sometimes what works on one computer doesn’t work on another. Fixing any problems before the course goes live will help avoid student frustrations and the need for you to scramble to help them access the course/course content.
Provide your students with an outline of your expectations regarding online behavior. Use this Netiquette Guide for Online Courses as a starting point to clarify your own course policies.
Quality Assurance Committee (University of Florida): Netiquette Guide for Online Courses
- Sharon Thomson: 6 Online Collaboration Strategies for devising Group Learning Activities
- M. Brinthaupt, L. S. Fisher, J. G. Gardner, D. M. Raffo, and J. B. Woodard (2011): What the Best Online Teachers Should Do
- Rob Kelly (Faculty Focus) (2015): Six tips for Preparing Your Online Course
- Sean Michael Morris (Teaching in Higher Ed) (2016): Critical Instructional Design
- Mike Truong (Teaching in HigherEd): Teaching in the Digital Age (37:10)
- Doug Mckee (Teaching in HigherEd): Making Online Courses Work (38:02)
- Edward O’neill (Teaching in HigherEd): Practical Instructional Design (39:17)
- Debbie Morrison (Online Learning Insights) (2012): Why We need Group Work in Online Learning
- Course Prep Checklist (pdf)
Diving Deeper/More Research
- University of Florida: Standards and Markers of Excellence (doc)
- Center for Teaching Excellence (University of Florida):