Course Design

Montclair State University recommends using the Orientation-Content-Interaction-Assessment (OCIA) model and course template when designing online and hybrid courses. Our model and template were guided by the nationally recognized Quality Matters program in order to ensure high-quality online education. This enables faculty and Instructional Designers to work collaboratively to enhance online teaching and learning outcomes.

The OCIA Course Design Model

The OCIA model supports a social, interaction-embedded approach to course design and development and uses learning modules to structure the course. MSU has developed a course template based on this approach, available to faculty when designing online courses.

OCIA Includes Four Main Components:

  • Orientation: The orientation sets the learning context for each learning module and includes: learning objectives, module requirements, and perspective.
  • Content: Each learning module's content includes all information students need to begin the learning process and engage with concepts introduced.
  • Interaction: Include multiple opportunities for interaction and reflection in your course design by using discussion forums, blogs, wikis, web conferencing, online hours, and group activities.
  • Assessment: Assessment is an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the objectives you challenged them to master.

An Online Course Template at Montclair State University
Effective online course design relies on research-based best practices. Montclair State University has developed an online course template which is guided by the research-based course design rubric from Quality Matters. Online courses at MSU adopting the course template are designed with a learner-centered and interaction-facilitated approach. The items below are the major components recommended for an online course.

  • Welcome: Includes a brief introduction and overview of the course structure and expectations.
  • Syllabus: Contains all relevant course information and a downloadable version of the syllabus.
  • About Instructor: Provides information about the instructor's background and contact information.
  • Course Schedule: Includes the time frame and deadlines for each learning module.
  • Learning Modules: Presents individual learning modules of instruction. Each learning module contains learning objectives, requirements, subject content, interaction, and assessment.
  • Cyber Cafe: This is an area where students get to know each other and post general questions or FAQs.
  • Tech Help: Includes information on technical support and resources.

If you would like a copy of the course template, you may request one here.

How Do I Get Started?
Please visit our consultation page for more information on how to get started and set up an appointment with an Instructional Designer.