Online course creation: resources

Portland State Center for Academic Excellence has an excellent site with good points.

Plenty of Interaction!
Provide immediate and rich feedback to students. Students need reassurance that a real person is on the other end of the computer.
Threaded discussions are the most valuable part of your online class.
Provide motivation, support, and feedback for discussions by thanking students and summarizing points.
Student-to-student interaction is just as valuable as teacher-to-student interaction.
Provide clear policies on when and how you will be available. Let students know when you go on vacation or will be unavailable for a few days.

Engage the Learner
Create activities where students integrate new ideas with existing knowledge.
Students remember only 10% of what they read or see, but 80% of what they do and 90% of what they teach others.
Students can become overwhelmed by the vastness of resources on the Internet. Be specific when asking them to find resources on the web.
Make students responsible for their learning by asking them to summarize the weeks discussion, take a lead of a discussion, or teach others a concept.

According to their Instructional Design Handbook it should take about 120 hours to create an online course from scratch. That assumes you have designers/tech support helping you.

Listed below are some sites I looked at from which I learned something, but it wasn’t the point of what I was looking for.

This one is actually for universities or departments rather than people, but I learned something important from it.

Six Factors to Consider when Planning Online Distance Learning Programs in Higher Ed

  • Visions and plans
  • Curriculum
  • Staff training and support
  • Student services
  • Student training and support
  • Copyright and intellectual property

I learned something atrocious from this.  And it probably explains why the professors’ works that I’ve liked that have disappeared have not reappeared somewhere else.

When the authors are employed as full-time instructors, in legal terms, they are considered “work-for-hire,” and the college owns their work (lecture notes, exams, handouts) for 75 years from the date of publication or 100 years from the date the work was created, whichever is shorter (Janes, 1988).


Full-time instructors, though, have operated under an academic exception to the copyright act in which faculty own their own intellectual property. This is based on tradition, or practice, and is not a legal requirement.

The issues of copyright, fair use, and work for hire are all being reconsidered in this era of online distance learning. Instructors have been accustomed to the idea that they “own” their own work, even if they did not own it legally. Traditionally, when instructors changed colleges, they got to take their lecture notes, too. They could give away their lecture notes freely. Given actual copyright law, though, a part-time instructor can use the same lecture notes when teaching at two different institutions, but a full-time instructor legally may not. This also applies to online courses; they belong to the institution when a full-time instructor creates them. As courses are being put online, thereby becoming marketable, institutions are beginning to claim their rights to the copyright. Full-time instructors have no legal authority to keep the classes they write unless they negotiate for that right.

So, if I ever have an opportunity to plan a course when I am teaching, I need to first negotiate the rights to the course.  Otherwise I won’t be able to get it back in my lifetime.

five types of listening.

Research indicates that online, open book tests can be just as discriminating and can 
result in as much learning as traditional exams; therefore online unmonitored exams are  appropriate for the college classroom.  As Burke stated, “Most educators agree that  open­book tests are more challenging than traditional objective tests because they require high­order thinking skills rather than recall skills.  The greatest benefit from openbook testing may be that it encourages the type of thinking that will benefit students in the real world” (as cited in Beall, Shaw, & Seiler, 2005, sect. 1). 

One thought on “Online course creation: resources”

  1. You do not own the material of the course? What would FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) think? BTW, to succeed in teaching you must know how students think. See “Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better” on amazon.

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