In online programs, every course will be offered in an online format, requiring a systematic approach to course design and consistency across the curriculum, as outlined in the Online Program Development section. Traditional face-to-face programs may offer some online or hybrid courses. Faculty developing online or hybrid courses are advised to collaborate with an Instructional Designer, applying the OCIA model and online course template, as outlined in the Course Design section. You may be wondering how an online course differs from a hybrid or face-to-face course. To learn more about how different types of courses are defined at MSU click here.
Fundamental Questions to Consider When Designing a Hybrid or Online Course
The online environment and innovations in technology provide a unique set of possibilities and challenges in the course design process for online and hybrid courses. Before diving into the pool of various technologies, consider the following fundamental questions, which will prove helpful during the progression of developing, designing, and delivering the online/hybrid course.
- What are the general goals of your course and what content will be covered?
- How will your course subject content be chunked into learning units/modules?
- What are the specific learning objectives for each unit/module in your course? What will your students achieve at the end of each unit/module, as well as, upon course completion?
- Who are your students and what characteristics, needs, and preferences may impact the design of your course?
- What learning activities will facilitate student learning? What instructional strategies will help you accomplish the course objectives? How will you sequence learning activities meaningfully?
- How will you foster an interactive, social learning environment where students connect with each other, and you as the instructor?
- How are you going to assess your students’ learning outcomes based on the learning objectives?
These questions are very useful to create a blueprint which can guide the direction of course design. The course design process will be based on the fundamental questions above.
Course Design Timeline
Online/hybrid course design is a front-loaded process that requires the course to be ready prior to the first session. It is vitally important that you allow sufficient time to assemble your online course. If you are planning or assigned to teach an online course(s) in a coming semester and if you need instructional design assistance for your online courses, please complete this consultation request form or contact the Technology Training and Integration (TTI) group (Susan Graham, email@example.com or ext. x5449). It is strongly recommend that you contact the TTI group at least 2 months prior to the start date of your online course. Due to the ratio between the instructional design support staff and the number of whole campus faculty that the TTI group is assisting, planning ahead will allow us to more efficiently assist you.