University of Wisconsin Stout | Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
Innovative online and distance education
Innovative online and distance education
Instructional Design refers to the development of the online course site for the purposes of user efficiency/effectiveness, student appeal, and student achievement of content knowledge.
Instructional Strategies refers to the approaches an instructor may choose when teaching online to improve overall student achievement while/as a result of participating in course activities and assignments.
Instructional Technology, or Educational Technology, refers to the facilitation of e-learning tools (e.g., learning management system, applications, software) used to enhance the instructional strategies employed by the instructor in the online course.
Course Environment refers to both the learning management system (i.e., Learn@UW-Stout) and the tone/mood the instructor establishes within the course site for the students.
Instructor Preparation and Training Resources
- Faculty Self-Assessment: Preparing for Online Teaching
- Learn@UWStout Home Page for Instructors
- Contact your College Consultant for one-on-one training
- Training and Workshops (Learning Technology Services)
- Online Instructional Strategies I & 2 - Coming Soon
- Course is sequenced in a logical format that enables learners to successfully achieve the stated course goals.
- The online course syllabus includes a course description, objectives, instructor contact information, materials list, grading scale, and other related, essential course information.
- Systems are in place to collect student feedback periodically throughout the online course; this informs the instructor as to how students are responding to the virtual course, instruction, and content.
- Course discussion board is organized into clearly defined forums.
- The online course syllabus also includes a concise list of units/modules and a complete activities schedule or course calendar, which includes deadlines and resubmission dates (if applicable) and late policy.
- Course units/modules are organized into recurring activities (e.g., Overview, Introduction, Activities, and Checklist); layout is consistent throughout the course site.
- Syllabus serves as a contract between the learner and the course instructor; also includes academic resources, such as e-tutoring, writing lab, and distance education student library support.
- The online course syllabus also includes content related to learner support resources such as Learn@UW-Stout tutorials and tech support contact information.
- Instructor posts regular announcements and updates in the News area of the learning management system (Learn@UW-Stout).
- Instructor has planned for the unexpected (e.g., learning management system/technology issues, instructor/student emergencies) for over the duration of the course.
- Instructor surveys online students for feedback on a regular, ongoing basis (e.g., How's the course going? or Do you have any suggestions?) in addition to providing prompt instructor-student feedback.
- Instructor provides opportunities (is proactive) for students to engage the instructor with questions or concerns.
- Online Instructional Strategies III - Coming Soon
- At the start of the course, the instructor provides an initial "Icebreaker" opportunity for students to introduce themselves as a way to encourage and develop the course community and environment.
- At the start of the course, the instructor provides an appropriate introduction to him/herself and it is available online (e.g., a "warm welcome" posted in the News area or an introductory video).
- Instructor has developed separate discussion forums for distinct purposes and an alternate means of communication given (e.g., directs "public" student questions to an established topic; private matters to the instructor's email account).
- Instructor uses multiple browsers in partnership with the learning management system (e.g., Learn@UW-Stout).
- Instructor takes advantage of available learning management system training as offered.
- Instructor practices good file management (e.g., organization, storage) throughout the entire course offering.
- The course information is chunked into organized units/modules; each unit/module has clearly presented objectives that are aligned with the course objectives.
- The course contains a mixture of both asynchronous and synchronous activities in each unit/module.
- Required technical competencies and/or prerequisite knowledge are listed, if applicable.
- Instructor makes a conscious effort to create a sense of presence in the online course (in other words, show up and teach!).
- Instructor provides clear information of the type of feedback, and when and how feedback will be given.
- Instructor communicates clear instructor and student expectations (e.g., communication, student-content engagement, grading assignments) at the start of the course.
- Instructor helps his or her online students maintain continuous, forward progress.
- Instructor highlights learner support opportunities in course materials (e.g., online tutoring or writing lab resources).
- Instructor makes learner resources available at multiple locations within the online course.
- Instructor uses a variety of large group, small group, and individual learning experiences to encourage student-student, student-instructor, and student-content interactions or collaborations.
- Instructor works toward integrating new technologies that enhance student learning (e.g., institutionally recommended Web 2.0 tools).
- Instructor integrates new technologies into his or her online course slowly, by setting up mini "pilot" lessons.
- Instructor utilizes only safe and secure technology in the online course (e.g., institutionally supported or recommended).
- Instructor knows both the tool and its intended purpose before employing it.
- Instructor informs students of forthcoming public or social networking activities in advance of participating.
- Instructor provides access to online meeting spaces for students and/or group work.
- Student assessments and evaluations are aligned with the course learning objectives.
- Every discussion topic has an associated discussion rubric attached to it.
- Course utilizes multi-method assessment and evaluation (e.g., there are more than three different types of assessments used to grade students throughout the online course)
- Course closes with a valuable wrap up project or activity (e.g., presentation, summary, or analysis) so students walk away with a positive experience from participating in the online course.
- Instructor provides explicit rubrics for each activity/assignment, and uses the rubric to assist with providing students with helpful feedback.
- Instructor uses ungraded self-quizzes for each unit/module as a way to boost student learning.
- Instructor provides a "week zero" or brief orientation before the start of the course (if applicable).
- Instructor utilizes active learning techniques throughout the online course.
- Instructor utilizes student self-assessment as a way to encourage critical thinking and self-reflection.
- Instructor works to develop peer-peer exchanges and collaboration among all online students.
- Instructor works to create a supportive, participatory online course community.
- Instructor is aware that his or her responses and participation are both requested and expected by online students.
- Instructor takes time to think before giving feedback to students and/or responding to student questions, emails, and discussion posts.
- Instructor is innovative in his or her use of teaching with technology.
- All online course components—course shell, technologies, and content—are accessible to all online students.
- Instructor makes a conscious effort to comply with, or exceed, Level 1 of Section 508(B) accessibility standards.
- Instructor merges evidence-based practices with custom, individualized approaches to encourage learning.
- Instructor uses multiple modalities to accommodate multiple learning styles (e.g., may incorporate universal design principles).
- Online Instructional Strategies VI - Coming Soon
- Instructor acknowledges diverse abilities and ways of learning.
- Instructor may post a code of conduct or a set of learner expectations to ensure that students are aware of what is expected of them in the online course environment; this document also provides information about academic integrity, online course resources, important points of contact (e.g., services outside of instruction), and includes many or most of the requirements for a successful online learning experience.
- Audio, video, or other multimedia files have a specific purpose for enhancing the learner experience; quality is clear, length is adequate, and the file is compatible with multiple operating systems.
- The 5 Pillars: Online Learning Consortium Quality Framework
- Brightspace by D2L
- New Media Consortium
- Online Learning Consortium
- Quality Matters
- United States Distance Learning Association
- A List of Journals & Magazines
- Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition
- A List of Online Teaching & Learning Books