This tutorial, consisting of four modules, introduces the learner to best practices, principles of design, accessibility concepts, policies, procedures, and management of online and blended instruction.
Type of Material:
Lecture and tutorial, some reference material. It can be treated as an open text books/online course
This resource would be used to introduce faculty new to online instruction to the requirements to get started, and for faculty who are currently teaching online to use as a reference or review of online instruction principles, policies, resources, and best practices.
Flash plugin required for some videos.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The user will have a deeper understanding of the policies and procedures, pedagogical requirements, design issues, and course management practices needed to be an online instructor. Designed for Austin Community College faulty.
Target Student Population:
Instructional faculty and staff at Austin Community College specifically who will be teaching online or blended courses, but lots of general information non-specific to ACC that is applicable to anyone teaching online or hybrid courses.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Users need to have basic computer skills and be able to use a web browser. Content requires knowledge of pedagogy and instruction in higher education.
The resources are all current and either cited or linked to directly to research, and best practices-based information is presented. The tutorial is an excellent resource for Austin Community College instructional faculty and staff, and would be a good resource for non-ACC instructional faculty and staff as well. The content is very well organized across all modules. The content in all modules demonstrate the core concept of distance learning. Multiple Assessments are scheduled within each module, capturing the understandings of the learner. Learning Outcomes of each module are clearly defined in each module.
The Video opens in a different window. It will be good it is embedded within the same window reducing the toggling between the windows. A transcript of the video could be included for cases where there is bad bandwidth or the audience is a hearing impaired. Before the start of the module, it would be good if the faculty states how they get ready for a class and post the pedagogy module how they would create content catering to online classes.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This resource provides an excellent overview of online learning principles and design issues. For a faculty member at Austin Community College, this resource could meet most needs for a novice online instructor. Theoretical details on the learning objectives have been provided. Ways of designing assessments to learning outcomes have been detailed. It has been stressed to use different instructional methodologies for different kind of learners, sample of various kinds of content have been provided to understand the core fundamentals of online learning. Excellent tips such as in the section 'Strategies for Accessibility' making it very each for the learner to apply the concept.
The scoring and completing the essay submission is a bit tricky, as evidenced by the extra directions devoted to understanding the scoring and submitting the essay. Before start of the module, it would be good if the faculty states how they get ready for a class and post the pedagogy module how would they create content catering to online classes
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The module level objectives are clearly stated at the beginning of each module. The design of the resource is consistent throughout each module. The self-check assessments help the learner check their understanding, and are well-paced throughout the modules. The modules are very well structured starting with a Dashboard, with links to FAQ'a, Feedback and easy 'jump to' to the various modules and within modules - Supporting links and documents are present for the learner to access and understand the concepts.
The graphic images on the home page are not linked to the content modules. The reviewer recommends the images be linked just as the labels are.
The resources uses multiple tabs which can get messy. The sub-module tabs do not return to the home tab, the user must close out or switch tabs to return to the home of the module.
There is only one link the reviewer could find that did not work-the Universal Design link on page 18 of Module 3.
Other Issues and Comments:
Even though there are many references to Austin Community College specific information and resources, the general concepts and information presented are applicable to any higher education instructional faculty and staff, and could, in part or in whole, make a good introduction to online teaching.
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