Online Course Design Comparison

Online courses are all very unique. Technology can be used in very  different ways to involve the learner and create a positive learning environment. Not all classes are designed and/or proctored well. This was clear as I was completing my comparison. One class was designed very well and information was laid out clearly. The other course I evaluated was not as put together.

I have a learned a lot not only from evaluating these courses using this rubric, but with taking online courses through Boise State as opposed to other classes. The quality of an online course is going to be a direct reflection of the learning outcomes of the students. It is necessary for the teacher to be very involved and provide instructor-student interaction. Often, online classes can almost seem self-taught when interaction, multimedia, and other resources aren’t readily available. Another important aspect of a quality online course is the clarity and organization of assignments. This is essential to a successful course. There is often a lot of reading and self-guidence involved in online courses. When a course is laid out well and assignment and due dates are clearly defined, I believe that students’ success rates improve. The course should be split up into units or sections and there should  be minimal pages per unit. Information should not be overwhelming and should be relevant.

There are so many aspect of online course design, however, I really started to see a trend with the main criteria for a successful online course. The concepts previously mentioned are critical to any classroom, but especially online virtual classrooms. I believe that the more regarded and accepted online schooling becomes, the more improvement we will see.

Here is the link to a PDF file of my online course comparison rubric. It was created using RubiStar. The evaluation criteria was pulled from SREB’s Checklist for Evaluating Online Content.

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