This is a re-run from the spring of 2008–hope all the links still work and that some of the info is still valuable. I think it is:
Read the entire flip that course series on translating traditional courses for online delivery:
- Course Layout and Syllabus
- Communication Among Students
- Communication Between Students and Faculty
- Addressing Learning Styles
- Packaging Content
First in a series on how to translate a face-to-face course into an online course.
All colleges want their online courses to have the same mark of excellence as their f2f courses, and that requires that some of your best faculty participate, and that they do the work of redesigning what works face-to-face into what works well online and asynchronously.
What are your current strengths?
- If you say class discussion of issues, will an online discussion board really substitute for the free form give and take that you build through questioning and feedback?
- If you say reflective writing interspersed throughout a presentation of ideas, can you recreate that online by merely asking students to read so far, then write, and so on? How would you know if that pattern was followed?
- Even if you say that you give world-class PowerPoints, how will those go over being read on a screen?
It might be useful to think of flipping your course, like the current fad of flipping houses for resale, or the idea of translation may appeal to you. Remember that adage that something is always lost in translation? Well, maybe you will have to think of giving up something, but it is essential that we replace what’s lost with something that’s just as good.
Here’s a good list of instructional design resources (don’t let the pink throw you off): http://www.ibritt.com/resources/dc_instructionaldesign.htm
[This link is no longer available] Here’s one resource from that page that discusses “Optimizing Your Syllabus for Online Students.” The syllabus is a great place to start, as it usually represents your organization of course goals and content. Translating your course should not change your goals, only your methods of achieving them. I particularly like the idea of creating a map of the course, partly because I like visual representations of concepts and procedures, but also because your students will be viewing your course, not looking at you.
But my first recommendation? Sit down with paper and pen/pencil and write out what you do, what you do well, what you want to achieve, what you would like to do–your basic brainstorming session. Draw pictures, make lists, match goals with methods, dream a little about what the perfect online course would be like for you.