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Peer Review

Principles of Online Design Checklist

by Dr. Roberta McKnight


Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 28, 2014 by Faculty Development
Overview: Based on Florida Golf Coast U's guide to good design for online learning, this checklist site asks the participant to view web pages for a course and decide whether the requirements listed can be found on the course. John Prusch: This functional checklist computes the scores you give yourself in several pedagogically important areas. It is divided into the following 5 segments: 1.Instructional Design 2.Interaction & Feedback 3.Incorporating Media 4. Course Management 5. Support Services The content of the checklist is based upon the Principles of Online Design. Expanded content and examples are provided within the principles.
Learning Goals: To help faculty improve the design and delivery of online courses.
Target Student Population: Beginning & intermediate online instructors & instructional support staff who are interesting in improving online course design & delivery.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: none
Type of Material: An interactive, web-based checklist. The checklist is a series of check boxes, by design topic, that load into the left frame while the participant loads the course pages being reviewed in the right frame. Requirements are 'checked off' as found, giving pages an interactive feel, but no results or conclusions are reached externally.
Recommended Uses: Used for evaluating & improving online courses and for understanding the instructional principles underlying them
Technical Requirements: It seems a requirement that the course pages be basic, open html. Pages within a CMS, behind a firewall, etc. seem to have trouble loading.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The checklist items in the 5 separate segments cover all the essential features of online course design, management, & support services. Although more in-depth and useful information might be found by actually visiting the POD site, the interactivity of a checklist engages the viewer enough to seriously search their site for evidence of the good design checklist items.
Concerns: The principles are often narrowly based on the Principles of Online Design so that recent research & best practices are excluded. This pertains especially to the segments on Instructional Design and Interaction & Feedback.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: An excellent guide to analysing & evaluating an active online course.
Concerns: Simple checklist does not have the depth of the actual resource guide available, but provides quick, easy entry into difficult topic. Unfortunately, it doesn't then provide feedback of the results and we loose data gathered so quickly. In the interactivity process, we can 'check' if item is found, but not link to why it might be important. At the end, importance is lost with no way to retrieve.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: A tool that simplifies good practice in designing an online course is an excellent resource for 'faculty as student'. In this object, there is only the student and although there are problems, the interface is clear, easy to use, and straightforward.
Concerns: Aspects of the object are not meant for 'reusability' outside FGCU. To begin, a 5-digit CRN must be entered. Although submitted for general use, outsiders don't have a CRN, error out, and must return to make one up. It was frustrating that standard courses in a CMS could not be used against the checklist, as frame site collapses with authentication. At the end of the evaluation, some sort of summative feedback --perhaps an 'overall score' or something similar-- would be useful