Whether you are starting off with a new course or innovating an existing one, IU will support you in crafting an engaging, student-focused classroom—online. Additionally, IU has resources to help you coordinate both informal and formal course reviews by your peers.
Designing an online course
Where do I start?
You may have heard the recommendation to start with the end in mind: the desired, measurable learning outcomes for your students. For example, by stating, “By the end of this course, students will be able to...analyze Mary Shelley's Frankenstein using a feminist lens; or calculate the spreading rate between two tectonic plates,” you will find focusing your course assessments, activities, and content (not to mention your students) tremendously easier.
Active and interactive learning
What can my students "do" online?
Learning activities that require students to actively do something thoughtful with the concepts in your course (individually, in pairs, or groups) improves learning and knowledge retention. By working and wrestling with real problems in your field, students can get a true window into your discipline and its greater significance.
How do I know my students are learning?
Assessments that are aligned with your learning outcomes provide reliable feedback about student learning and reinforce to students what needs to be mastered. A balanced assessment strategy in online courses—including a combination of quizzes, short essays, long-term projects, and/or comprehensive exams or papers—can prevent surprise grades and the drama that often accompanies them.
How can I make, find, and use online resources?
Your content provides the necessary information and tools that students need to complete activities and reach learning outcomes. While it can be easy to find and add more and more content to an online course, it's important to ensure that content supports the learning outcomes you first identified.
Teaching online offers you instructional opportunities that you may have never imagined.
It gives you the chance to share your knowledge well beyond a textbook or lecture and, with the Internet at hand, can seamlessly contextualize that knowledge into your greater discipline and relate it to other disciplines. It gives your students the chance to participate equally, share with each other easily, and experiment on their own, all while providing you with a better view of what your students can do and where they need your guidance.
IU is committed to providing the resources to help deliver your academic vision to life in the virtual classroom.
By immersing students in online material instead of in a classroom, my classroom and lab activities that were built around a lot of students have become a lot of activities built around a single student. Add in group experimental space, now everyone is doing—students can’t passively observe as their peers take care of it for them.Joung Yeon "JY" Kim, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Accounting, School of Business, IU Kokomo
Internal and informal review process
IU Online courses represent faculty expertise and passion across diverse disciplines, schools, and campuses. While every course is different because it reflects the individual personality and scholarly focus of the professor teaching it, we also look for a consistent level of quality.
To this end, some schools and departments have established an internal review process intended to ensure that all their online courses live up to the school or department’s academic reputation, as well as to showcase innovations and inspire all their faculty to engage more deeply in the online space.
Informal review processes have included school or department internal peer reviews, teaching center consultations, cross-discipline or cross-campus peer reviews, and “ongoing improvement” or “innovation” weeks in which faculty come together to set shared expectations, as well as mentor each other and share resources.
If you are interested in launching an informal review process at your school or department and would like more guidance on how to do this, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your campus teaching center.
Innovation is more than creative and effective use of cutting edge tools. It is also about new pedagogical strategies inspired by the open digital landscape.
Formal review process
IU holds a subscription to Quality Matters (QM), a rubric and a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components.
Training in how to use the rubric as a design tool for online and face-to-face classes is available free of charge through the campus teaching centers. Additional training is also made available to faculty who would like to become certified QM Peer Reviewers for IU courses and courses at other institutions. If you are interested in becoming a QM Peer Reviewer or in having your course formally reviewed through the QM process, please email email@example.com or inquire at your campus teaching center.
Through our university-wide subscription, the QM rubric and other related resources are available to all IU faculty.
It’s hard to understand the crippling limitations of a face-to-face course until you start developing an online course—you can be unapologetically online. Students can be immediately transported anywhere, the entire Internet is your textbook, and students can interact with the material in any way imaginable.Ben Motz, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Instruction, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, IU Bloomington