CREATING A COURSE? Courses at SNHP

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1 CREATING A COURSE? Courses at SNHP At The Lewis School, courses may meet on- campus, online only or hybrid combination of online and on- campus. Synchronous classes require students and instructors meet at the same time whether in person or virtual online meeting. Our Synchronous Example web- facilitated courses such as those above would be considered synchronous and hybrid. Classes may meet on campus only once per month and up to 3 meetings online. Asynchronous classes are just the opposite. Instructors provide materials, lectures, Asynchronous Example tests, and assignments that can be accessed at any time via our course management system, Desire2Learn (D2L). Students follow the syllabus dates to connect to/submit course content. Students are free to contribute whenever they choose within the due dates of the course s learning activities. Faculty will choose how to communicate in asynchronous courses such as via course , school or virtual office hours. Desire2Learn is a secure online course management system where course content is stored or delivered. Faculty and students access the course using their campusid and password user accounts. Assignments, grades, exams, quizzes, group work, handouts etc. are all done through the course management system - Desire2Learn. BEST PRACTICES IN DESIGNING A COURSE ONLINE Online courses/web facilitated courses will be designed differently from onsite courses because students are either not meeting in person or meeting so few times that they can hardly get to interact. To compensate for the lack of in person

2 interaction and learning, the course must have learning activities that engage students with each other online and activities to engage with the professor. Expectations must be clearly stated to avoid ambiguity and unnecessary communication to explain an activity. Here are a few best practices for creating a course: Start from the Outcomes What are the expectations of course then build a course to meet the expectations. Introduce the Course 1. Create your syllabus with clear objectives, student responsibilities, content to be covered, rubrics, grade schemes, and outcomes. You will be starting from what you expect students to achieve then designing your course to meet the expectations. (see the sample syllabus for more details on what should be included in a syllabus). Your syllabus can include the course schedule or have the schedule as a separate file. You may also have rubrics showing how learning activities will be graded. 2. Greet your students using the news item feature on the home page of your D2L course. The students see this message immediately upon entering the course. You can add pictures, video, links in your greetings. Please be warm and place pertinent information they may need at the onset. You may include some info about yourself, some info about the course, links to something in the course or outside the course, getting started and possibly where to meet on the first day and what to bring if course is hybrid. As this is the first message and first thing that students see, try to grab their attention or excite them about the course. 3. Create an online discussion to get the class started. Topics could include experience with online education (like/dislikes, technology issues, responsibility, making friends, quality of learning), or how to communicate with Instructor and each other in an online class (everyone can provide contact info, availability, preferences in communication). You may start the discussion off. You can stress important things for them to consider with online technology or communicating with you. 4. Acquaint students with course software by designing sample quizzes, assignments, discussions, surveys, etc. For example, an introductory assignment can be to submit a paragraph on why they are taking the course. Introductory quiz on details of the syllabus, i.e. due dates, point/grade values, paper requirements and values, how to contact you, integrity standards, exam requirements, technology requirements, etc. These activities acquaint students with requirements and the software. Option:

3 Grade these intro activities so they can see it in the grade area but do not calculate as part of grading or final grade. 5. Ensure students know what is required to succeed in the course: Students should know: What are the technological requirements for course. Include hardware and software requirements, anything extra that needs to be purchased such as audience response device, headsets, access codes for online content. how to communicate with instructor and peers Where to find resources needed for class Have technological ability to participate properly Frequent quizzes to keep student on task B. Course Organization 6. Structure the Course in an organized manner. Gather course goals, purpose, competencies and objectives and add them to the course using the course administration tools of D2L. Design the course with learning experiences that supports the learning objectives, goals and competencies of the course. Your learning activities should develop the cognitive skills necessary to demonstrate full competency or acquisition of all course goals and objectives. Each learning activity can be linked to learning objectives and/or competencies. Students should be able to navigate the course to easily find what they need or where they should be. Courses can be organized by units, themes, chapters, subject etc. Each folder/module should have some kind of introduction/description explaining what is being covered. Build on what students already know by designing assessments at start and end of each module. Students will see how they are meeting course goals. Each module will contain the learning activities for completing the module successfully and moving to the next module. Whenever possible build on content of previous module to keep students familiar with key concepts already covered. D2L provides a learning library with many types of learning activities that you can choose from to ensure student are meeting course goals. Each activity listed provides a drop down to view the name of activity, description,

4 cognitive skills used and instructional strategy employed. Learning activity should be linked to outcome or goals of course. Course Builder Your content will be delivered using modules in D2L. Use the Course Builder canvas tool to creates your modules with appropriate labels in a logical format. In some cases you can use a textbook layout to see how content is broken into UNITS, Chapters, sections, with appropriate quizzes, assignments, exams as an example. Attach learning objectives such as objectives to modules. Add the interaction by creating group assignments, discussions, video lectures, audio lectures, and other assignments/activities that engages the student while meeting your learning objectives. Learning additional tools may also be required. Use Discussions to Create Student > Student & Student - > Teacher Engagement Create Discussions using the discussion tool. All discussions must be created inside a topic which belongs to a forum. You can have one forum for the class such as Class Discussion then create numerous topics. You can choose what topics you want graded by clicking the Assessment tab, then adding the discussion as a grade item to the grade book. Complete the Score out of section. Each topic will allow viewing all messages associated with topic for each student. Indicate Ungraded or Graded in front of each topic so students know which topics count towards their grade. Create a discussion for students to ask class related questions that either you or peers can reply to. Another discussion may include technology in the course or a topic of interest to students. Signify what discussion topics are graded from which are not using labels like Graded Discussion or Ungraded Discussion in the topic title. Gradebook Setup your gradebook preferably before the start date of course. Choose a grading system from the grades setting area of the grades. Choose between points, weighted or formula. Use your syllabus to create categories, then place the assignments, quizzes, exams as items in the appropriate

5 category of the gradebook. For example create the following categories with their weight: Assignments 20%, Quizzes 25% Exams 40% Practical 10% Presentation 5% Then create each new item like a quiz, final exam, or assignment and place in a category (see screenshot). The gradebook can be set to update automatically as you enter the grades for each grade items such as a quiz or specific assignment. Alternatively, you can create grade items without categories then add the weight to each grade item if you have few grade items in the course (see below). We recommend using gradebook categories if you have numerous items that can be classified/grouped to keep your gradebook more organized. Similarly you can choose points grade system then give a point value to each item in the grade book until you reach your point total. Each grade item point value can reflect a percentage value of final grade. At the end of semester click the final grades column within the enter grades

6 section of gradebook, click recalculate all to show the final calculated grade, transfer all populate final adjusted grade column and release all the grades to students when you are ready (see image below). (Add Links here to demo docs) Webpages and Hyperlinks You can create your own webpage in the course builder canvas. Be neat, simple, use clear images, and ensure all links are active or working. Use the Insert stuff button to embed audio and video taken from external webpage. Keep webpages simple but attractive. Do not create a webpage that bombards student with too much information or that is too cluttered, hard to navigate or intimidating. Consider breaking up a long webpage into a few pages that students can easily navigate and process. Keep standard fonts in standard size. Ensure all hyperlinks are active whether on a webpage or standalone link in the D2L. Multimedia Content Retention and learning can be improved through use of video, audio, and images. Use multimedia in the course to engage your students. Please store any multimedia content you create on either GSU s sharestream server or GSU s Itunes U site. You will have to request an account from the help desk for Sharestream or complete the account request form. You can create a corresponding multimedia section of your course in Sharestream or GSU s Itunes University. Instructions are on

7 the sharestream page. Itunes U uses campusid and password at no account request is necessary. Login then find the current semester link, follow prompts to create an Itunes U version of your D2L course where you can load your media. Multimedia content such as audio lectures, videos, screen captured lectures, should not be uploaded and stored in the Desire2Learn server. Instead link to the file or embed code in D2L. (example docs) Large powerpoint handouts can be shrunk by printing them in the handout format in the print menu and exporting them to PDF. Keep your images under 75kb. When encoding audio or video, use a setting that is low on file size but good on quality. This may take some experimentation and a little time but once you find the ideal setting you can quickly export multimedia using those settings. For example, mp3 audio lectures can be exported or encoded as low as 32kbps 48kbps. You do not need CD quality (128kbps) for audio lectures. Video can be exported as low as 480x x480 for reasonable viewing. The audio of the video can also be encoded with the same settings mentioned above to keep files sizes low for faster downloads. Stream audio and video and have downloadable option whenever possible such as provided in GSU s Sharestream server. Lastly, consider breaking up long lectures in 30-45minute segments. Each segment may be a separate file with its own link. Connection Speed Calculator Users connection speed will vary so please ensure that all files, especially multimedia, are available in the smallest size possible while still maintaining quality. Utility webpages such as the connection speed/download speed calculator calculates the amount of time to download any given file size. C. Instructional Design Create Summaries of Each Learning Unit Briefly describe the unit. What will be covered? You may add this to a module description. This helps to narrow the focus to a key area of the course objective. You can gather summary information through your syllabus and course text. Both should organize content into learning units or provide some summary of what is being learn and how to apply it. Preview the module s summaries/description as a demo student to see how students receive your content.

8 Create Learning Objectives Learning objectives keep you and the student focused on the what makes up the big picture. Consider adding learning objectives to Assignments, Papers, Quizzes, Discussions etc. to inform students what ability is being acquired or tested. In some cases you can pull learning objectives from your syllabus or your course textbooks if applicable. Use the instructional design wizard or the learning objectives section of the course builder area to add the learning objectives into the course. You can enter as many as needed then add the learning objective to each assignment, discussion, quiz etc. that you create which meets a particular objective. By the end of the course students should clearly see all learning objectives that have been met to successful complete the course. Design Learning Activities To Meets Learning Objectives Align your learning activities to the objectives you create. Presentations, assignments, etc. should align with objectives of course. Post Grading Rubrics Rubrics are criteria for grading assignments, presentations, discussions etc. Students should know exactly how you are grading them to avoid ambiguity. You can create a rubric in a Word processor, spreadsheet app or using the D2L rubric option. Share your rubrics between faculty members to make it easier and to build on what already exists. You may use the import/copy/export feature of D2L to import a rubric from another course if you are listed as an instructor on the course. (Example) Cover all content of the course Do your best to stay on schedule of course so students know what to expect. Cover all course content as course outline reflects. Get Feedback Use surveys to gather information about your course. Surveys can be used for more than end of course evaluations. Modules, assessments, group activities are a few items that can be evaluated with surveys. Students will help you improve your own course when asked to. Assessments Assessments should be aligned with course objectives, activities, and outcomes. Setup your quizzes/exams to be released one question at a time for exam integrity. Copyright Materials

9 Do not use copyrighted content without permission. Obtain permission in writing before copying content for display in class. For more information on copyright law, visit GSU permissions and copyright webpage. How Long Will It Take To Put A Course Online and the Tools to do it You may need training to create engaging courses. Give yourself some time to setup the course and receive training in all the tools that you may use. Education technology tools such as Camtasia Studio for screen capture videos, Audacity for creating lecture audios, Wimba voice tools for smaller messages, and I- tunes U or Share Stream servers for distributing your content, or using Blackboard Collaborate for virtual classes and recorded lectures are other instructional tools to use with D2L. Here is a breakdown of the time and tools required to setup the course from scratch. You may migrate data from other courses that may reduce course design time: Items Technology Tools required Syllabus Words processing 3 hours Course Map using D2L Instructional Design Wizards/Course Builder canvas Approximate Time of Completion 2-3 hours from scratch with objectives, competencies, module labels. Gradebook D2L minutes Modules with uploaded D2L 2 hours content Setting up Discussions D2L 15 Minutes Setting up Dropbox D2L 25 Minutes assignments Setting up quizzes/exams D2L 30 minutes in D2L Learning to use screen cap software for video lectures Camtasia Studio 1-2 hours training Creating a corresponding course in ItunesU for streaming multimedia Sharestream streaming media Login at: Login at: Gsu.sharestream.net 15 minutes to create a course following prompts then upload your media Request account at GSU website or Audio Lectures Audacity audio editor 1/2 hour training and setup Audio/video lectures Blackboard Collaborate ½ hour 1 hour training

10 Editing video audio Camtasia 1-2 hours training lectures from Camtasia Uploading exams/quizzes Respondus 30 minutes install and configure 15 minutes edit errors and upload exams Surveys D2L 1 hour Where To Get Support Training in Desire2Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, Audacity, Camtasia and I- tunes U setup is available at SNHP. Contact or to setup training. If time permits, ask another faculty member to be added to their course as a teaching assistant so you can see how online courses work or at least get ideas to support your course. The help desk (404) may also provide a simulation course in D2L for practice purposes. You can design your modules and templates then migrate them to courses as they become available in D2L. Additional support is available through the Georgia State University at the Exchange. Dial (404) or

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