50 tips to develop and run your online courses

39. Showcase a variety of students’ strengths by providing students’ with various assessment strategies to highlight and communicate what they have learned.

40. Allow students to choose their own medium to express their ideas about the topic.

41. Grade and give feedback promptly on all assignments.

42. Hold online office hours at cirtical times during the students’ assessment period, more often for younger students, or anytime a student needs specific help.

43. For each student, display individual grades so the students know their grade in the class at all times, and can keep track of the grades themselves.

44. Make students responsible for their own grades. For example, announce that by a certain time all assignments have been graded and that, if they have submitted an assignment, they should be able to see the grade and that they are responsible for reporting if they have questions about their grade or do not see it posted.

45. Provide 1-2 extra credit projects that are available throughout the enrollment of the class.

46. Use web 2.0 tools such as Glogster and VoiceThread for asychrnous online presentations (formative assessment).

47. Use online classroom tools such as Blackboard Collaborate or Google for synchronous online presentations (summative assessment).

48. Prepare to use a variety of technology but also be prepared to do some tech support and to contact the IT help desk when needed.

At the conclusion of the course:

49. Provide a formative and summative evaluation of the online course content and/or course for feedback from students.

50. Revise online course content and or course delivery based on student feedback.

At first glance, these 50 development strategies for creating in-house courses may seem overwhelming to you as an educator. However, as you begin to explore developing, collecting, and assembling an abundance of online lesson activities for your students you will soon discover that you have developed an entire online course along with the tools and knowledge of how to run it successfully.

Acknowledgements: Dr. Harmer would like to acknowledge her ITC 435 and ITC 520 classes at Kutztown University for their excellent contributions to this discussion.

Dr. Andrea Harmer is chair of the Instructional Technology & Library Science Department at Kutztown University and part-time director of educational outreach and web-based education in Materials Science & Engineering department and the Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Lehigh University.

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