Skip to Main Content

Course Design Online

Course design is planning that instructors do before they enter the classroom. During this process, instructors reflect on their goals for student learning, activities and readings to engage students, and how to know if students have achieved their goals. This planning is reflected in the syllabus.

Transitioning from face-to-face to remote instruction requires instructors not only to have a knowledge of appropriate tools to accomplish their goals but also insight into how to rethink pedagogy to work effectively in an online context. During the shift to remote instruction in 2020 occasioned by COVID-19, the FDC began hosting a series of programs to help faculty re-envision their face-to-face courses for online instruction. Below we continue to share the resources from those sessions. Please note that a UMBC login is required to access these resources.

Active Learning Online

Engaging students actively during class time, whether face-to-face or online, synchronous or asynchronous, helps motivate and support them and provides them with practice and timely feedback in a community of learners. Numerous research studies attest to the effectiveness of active learning approaches in fostering student learning, persistence, and success.

Visit our Active Learning Online webpage for resources, including:

  • Research-based principles of active learning online, and
  • Recordings, PowerPoint presentations, and additional resources from past FDC programs on active learning and group work online.

Motivating Students Online

Motivation is key to students’ engagement in our courses, their persistence in the face of difficulties, and their overall success. Instructors can play an important and powerful role in helping motivate students in their classes by drawing on ideas in the rich research base in the field.

Visit our Motivating Students Online webpage for resources, including:

  • Research-based ideas for motivating students online, and
  • Recordings, PowerPoint presentations, and additional resources from past FDC programs on motivating students online.

Building Community Online

Informal check-ins with students about remote instruction reveal that they often struggle to connect with other students in the online environment. Faculty, too, can seem less approachable online. Thus, taking time to intentionally build community in virtual courses can be essential in helping students persist and succeed.

Visit our Building Community Online webpage for resources, including:

  • Research-based ideas for building community online, and
  • Recordings, PowerPoint presentations, and additional resources from past FDC programs on building community online from day one and sustaining community around midterm.

Providing Effective Feedback Online

How can you manage students’ need for timely, meaningful, and effective feedback in your online classes? How can you use feedback to motivate students? This faculty discussion was based on Chapter 5: “Giving Feedback” from Small Teaching Online by Flower Darby with James Lang. This chapter discusses research-tested ways to integrate feedback into your schedule, be creative with virtual office hours, streamline grading with technology, and use media to offer meaningful comments.

Resources:

Additional Resources

As you consider how to design your online courses, please consider the following additional resources:

Did you find what you were looking for today?