• Yevgen Y

Lets Talk about Components of the Course

Post from March 25, 2018

Many things are involved in planning and designing courses. Today I want to talk about #CourseElements and its components.

We all have questions about: what does the course should look like? or what should I include in my course? There is no unique or universal design for that. Also this blog post will not be addressing instructional design "how to" but rather proposing of what should be included in the course while you are delivering it.

Course Content Elements

While working on the developing online course please consider having following elements ready:

  • Syllabus

  • Course Introduction

  • Assessment/Assignment

  • Units/Lessons/Weeks Course Materials

  • Course Schedule

  • Course Evaluation

  • Notes for Teachers on Course Content

Lets look at the some of Course Content Elements in detail.

#Syllabus usually includes following information: name of the course, revision number, prerequisites (if applicable), course outline, assessment process (assignments with grade distribution), course materials (text books, if applicable), date of first offering. Most of the institutions have the standard template and requirements.

#Introduction should be done as separate page for the course. This is place for you to capture students interest and give an overview of what to come in the course. It usually includes: course description (2-3 paragraphs), video introduction, program and course outcomes/competencies, course structure (unit format, interactivity, attendance, etc.), course author bio.

#Assignments page gives students detailed overview of all assessment components of the course. Many of the assignments will be spread over multiple weeks, that is why having one place for all of them is beneficial. This page should include: all assignments overview, each assignment clear detailed description (requirements, grading criteria, eligibility for mastery learning, weight%).

#Unit/#Lesson/#Week is considered an element of the course, usually separated by topic or a time frame. It provides detailed instructions for students on learning activities. It should include following information: unit overview, learning outcomes, key terms/concepts, learning activities (all required readings, and step-by-step instructions on learning activities), references, supplementary/optional resources.

#CourseSchedule is a separate page (usually for paced courses or #SuggestedSchedule for courses with continues enrollments) that provides student clear picture of the course activities. It is usually contains due dates and weekly activities of the course.

#CourseEvaluation is set of questions that will allow you to receive a feedback from students. Many programs have the standard questionnaire developed but I would encourage you to ensure that all components, technology, assignments, and learning activities are included. This will allow you to receive clear picture on improvements of your course if needed.

#NotesToTeachers is probably one of the elements that you might not find as common component of online courses. However, due to the nature of online courses - your voice and knowledge is carried to students by others. If you have any specific instructions on why you designed the course the way you did, or why you are asking students to complete certain activities, you might want to consider writing these instructions and sharing them with students.

I hope it gives you a good place to start...

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