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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Developing Guiding Principles for Online Program

Learning Exercise: Developing Guiding Principles for Online Program

Developing Guiding Principles for Online Program
This assignment is part of a workshop for teachers who are developing their first online course. The assignment asks the instructor to assume the role of a school administrator who is developing guiding principles for the school's online instructors. They have had some previous exposure to online documents that address principles of online instruction, and are asked to refer back to those resources. They are then asked to develop their own set of guiding principles and include any resources they might have used.


Submitted by:
Sarah Phinney
Date Last Modified:
February 06, 2003


In this assignment you are to assume the role of an online program
administrator. Your task is to develop a set of guiding principles for online
courses. The guiding principles will be used by instructors in your program, to
help them develop and evaluate their online programs.

You may organize your guiding principles in any manner you like. For example:
You may choose to group the guiding principles by purpose such as course
development, teaching/facilitating, student support, faculty support. To get you
started with resources for this assignment check out the following links: ers/good_practice_distance.html

Then do some research on your own. You may even want to interview online
teachers who you know.

Along with the title of each principle please include an explanation so that a
novice would understand its purpose and how it could be utilized, and also to
clarify the intent if the title is too subjective. For instance, if you listed
"Feedback is prompt" as a principle you might include as an explanation,
"Instructor checks into course on a daily basis to ensure that urgent questions
can be addressed immediately. Feedback on assignments is provided in a timely
manner so that the feedback can be utilized by the student for subsequent
assignments and/or exams."

Finally, summarize your guiding principles. In a paragraph or two, explain why
you have included what you have and why other things were not included.



  • Graduate School
  • Professional


Online Education


Teaching in higher education or other similar experience recommended.
Ability to effectively navigate the Internet recommended.
Ability to write at a college level recommended.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the most important principles that should be addressed when developing and teaching/facilitating online courses.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Unsupervised

Technical Notes

Must have Web access.