Plan Your Course

What Should Be Considered?

Once you finish analyzing and writing your course goal(s) and learner-centered objectives, you are ready to begin designing your course. Similar to the analysis phase, several concepts need to be considered in the design phase:

Course Design

Transitioning to an online environment is much more than simply creating electronic versions of hard copy content. Visual aspects of course design in online courses are as critical as the content for effective student learning.

Content Sequencing

Content sequencing efficiently organizes the content of your course to facilitate achievement of the learning objectives. Learning objectives (cognitive, affective, psychomotor), as well as the delivery mode (face-to-face, M, W, R/V) chosen for your course content, can influence the content sequencing. For example, when designing a course based on psychomotor learning objectives (like taking a patient’s blood pressure), it would seem most appropriate to begin with identifying the tools needed before teaching the learner how to perform the task.

Instructional Strategies

Instructional strategies are the learning events you design to accomplish your course objectives. The strategies you choose will be determined by the type of learner-centered objective (cognitive, affective, psychomotor) specified as well as the delivery mode (face-to-face, M, W, R/V) chosen for your course content.

Course Layout

When the first group of faculty went through IDL6543 in 1996, they adopted specific course component standards. Standardizing components provides consistency for the student and ensures ease of use when interacting with Webcourses@UCF. Distance education research continues to support standardizing online course components.

Course Management Plan

As you analyze and design your online course, consider how different tasks will be performed and managed, as well as by whom. For example, if your online class has an enrollment cap of 100 students and you do not have a teaching assistant to assist with the grading, you may not want to create gradable discussions. Such considerations are called a course management plan.

This plan should include training the facilitators (including Teaching Assistants – TAs and GTAs), preparing learners, and organizing the learning environment.