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WSU Online Courses > Developing an Online Course > Best Practices
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Developing an Online Course

Best Practices

  1. Take advantage of our support.

    1. You don’t have to know it all. Take advantage of the expertise of your Instructional Designer. We’ve designed and delivered hundreds of online courses.
    2. You don’t have to do it all. We are here to help you build your course space. We need you, the content expert, to provide the content, but we will build the course, placing the content in the space. We provide support for creating and posting eReserves, investigating copyright permissions, locating or creating customized media and activities, ordering textbooks, and more.
  2. Build Community: Encourage students to communicate by creating teams, group discussions, or study groups. They can facilitate meetings using such online tools as the virtual chat rooms or Elluminate.
  3. Use the Course Schedule: Post due dates and deadlines only in the course schedule. When your course is updated from one semester to the next, this prevents missing a date somewhere and causing confusion.
  4. Don’t duplicate information: Post it in one place and we can link to that same piece of information from anywhere in the course space. This prevents the possibility of inconsistencies down the road.
  5. Be ready by the first day of class. The entire course, including quizzes and exams, should be ready by the first day of class.

    1. Students in online courses need support in managing their time and prioritizing their work. Many will review the course space and print the course schedule in order to plan their work for the semester.
    2. Work taking place in the course space during the live course is often viewable to students and can create confusion.
    3. For exams and quizzes, changes made after students have access require extra steps to ensure that the exam or assignment is not viewed prematurely or submitted work is not lost.
  6. Be detailed - Include clear, concise instructions for what, where and how students need to do things. This significantly decreases questions to the instructor and minimizes student frustration.
  7. Use rubrics – As with #6, detailing your expectations reduces student questions and confusion and helps students meet your expectations.


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