S.M.A.R.T. Structured Measurable Accessible Relevant Time limited TIPS FOR NEW ONLINE INSTRUCTORS: DESIGNING A S.M.A.R.T. ONLINE COURSE 3/29/2012

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1 TIPS FOR NEW ONLINE INSTRUCTORS: DESIGNING A S.M.A.R.T. ONLINE COURSE Hallmarks of an exemplary online course: Vision for what will be learned Structure which supports the vision Strong, dependable communication Collaborative learning S.M.A.R.T. Structured Measurable Accessible Relevant Time limited 1

2 First day of class Syllabus tied to course content Consistent course structure Remember KISS First day of class What is in the introductory section of a well structured course? What is in the introductory section of a well structured course? Personal Welcome (video?) Introduction of instructor invitation for students to introduce themselves where and how Links to tutorials for online courses Links to resources library, student services, tech support Overview of course/overall course goals Link to syllabus and instructions for what to do with it Statement about online etiquette Instructions on how to get started in this course what to do next 2

3 Syllabus tied to course content Consistent syllabus format? Course objectives Course calendar! Consistent course structure Example Healthcare Economics Unit 1 Overview Reading Required Questions Unit 2 Overview Reading Required Questions Example Healthcare Mega Trends Unit 1 Reading Assignment Discussion Checklist Unit 2 Reading Assignment Discussion Checklist 3

4 MEASURABLE Student assessment tied to course objectives Rubrics (student papers, exams, discussions, presentations, ) Assessments are varied and appropriate Students receive graded and written feedback MEASURABLE TO THINK ABOUT: The practice of providing online quizzes does not seem to be more effective than other tactics such as assigning homework. Evaluation of Evidence Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies ; U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development; Policy and Program Studies Service ACCESSIBLE Successful online teaching is all about being accessible: Instructor to students, students to students, students to instructor and beyond the class to online resources 4

5 ACCESSIBLE Research in distance education (Hughes, 2004): Educators need to engage learners early and often Learners need to feel comfortable in the online environment Learners need to have the opportunity to develop relationships with others Learners benefit from collaborative work ACCESSIBLE Video or greeting at the beginning Cell phones anytime? Anywhere? Discussions Office hours online/phone calls Etiquette RELEVANT Focus on meeting the needs of the learner; not on what is easy to deliver (Angelino, 2007) 5

6 RELEVANT Up to the minute content webinars, streamed conferences, breaking news, Variety of media and utilization of the internet Cell phones, Pads, text messages, twitter RELEVANT TO THINK ABOUT: Inclusion of more media in an online application does not appear to enhance learning. Evaluation of Evidence Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies ; U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development; Policy and Program Studies Service RELEVANT Effectiveness of learner reflections TO THINK ABOUT: The clearest recommendation for practice that can be made is to incorporate mechanisms that promote student reflection on their level of understanding. Evaluation of Evidence Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies ; U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development; Policy and Program Studies Service

7 TIME LIMITED Response time of instructors Timing of assignments How much? How often? Appropriate time for take home exams Synchronous or asynchronous? Open or closed course content? (correspondence course or active learning) S.M.A.R.T. Structured Measurable Accessible and appropriate Relevant Time limited 7

8 Deborah Peters Director, Health Administration Program Montana State University Billings 8

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