Comprehensive Guide for Moving Online

 

This comprehensive guide can be used by faculty and instructors assigned to teach courses in the Spring and Summer to support their initial steps toward designing and developing courses online.

For more information about the recommended guidelines for the design and delivery of online courses, please read Dalhousie’s Online Quality Guidelines.

The Centre for Learning and Teaching will reach out to each instructor teaching an online course in the Spring and Summer terms, to support their respective needs moving forward. If you need specific support, please contact us.

COURSE CONSIDERATIONS

Student Considerations

  • How many students are enrolled in the course?
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  • Are the students majors or are most of the students taking this course as an elective?

Curriculum Requirements

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  • Where does the course fit in the program structure? Is the course a critical element in degree progression or accreditation expectations?

Faculty/Program Readiness

  • What is your capacity and competency to teach online?
  • What is the largest online enrolment that could be managed?
  • How will online delivery be supported in the department/faculty (in addition to support available from ATS and CLT)?
  • Do you have the infrastructure (computers, cameras, other unique hardware or software) needed for your particular disciplinary context?

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Student Considerations

  • What learning outcomes are critical for students to attain for their academic progression?
  • Consider typical student work modality in the course, such as problem solving online, language speaking online, observed skills, performance-oriented events. Is it possible to incorporate or adapt these remotely?

Curriculum Requirements

  • Are these learning outcomes critical for Fall and Winter courses for which this course is a prerequisite?
  • Could certain learning outcomes be removed from Spring/Summer courses and added to or swapped with learning outcomes for courses in Fall/Winter?
  • Are the learning outcomes mandatory for accreditation or program scaffolding?

Faculty/Program Readiness

  • How can the learning outcomes of this course be met through an online environment?
  • Do students need to perform skills in-person or would it be possible to use another modality (for example, video observation
  • What resources will you require to provide online learning opportunities to achieve the intended learning outcomes?

TEACHING STRATEGIES

Student Considerations

  • How accessible is the online course content or teaching strategies for all students?
  • How will students be prepared/supported for self-directed or team- based learning in an online environment?
  • Are learning resources available virtually for your students to access (reading materials, OER, etc.)? Note: Textbooks won’t be available through the bookstore.
  • How will students communicate with you throughout the course?
  • Where are your students located geographically (which will impact your ability to use synchronous approaches)? Consider technological access, uninterrupted internet access, time difference.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Who are your students? Are they in their first year, their fourth year?
  • How will you facilitate TA roles and responsibilities (e. g. TA training)?
  • How will you align learning outcomes, assessment, and learning activities?
  • Can you provide asynchronous instruction (what will you need to accomplish this?)
  • How will you cultivate a learning community and how will your presence in the course be evident and sustainable?

Faculty/Program Readiness

  • Are you prepared to teach remotely?
  • Is there a lab/experiential learning component that can be transitioned online? Who is responsible for that transition and facilitation?
  • Do the resources and physical capacity exist to teach successfully online (including: infrastructure, or support resources - instructors, TAs, videographers, graphic designers, etc.)?
  • Are there commercial resources available to use (for example, Labster for STEM courses) and what would the process be for ensuring they could be procured in time for Spring and Summer courses?

ASSESSMENTS

Student Considerations

  • Do assessments consider all learners’ needs (e.g. anticipate accommodations)?
  • What resources will students need to complete the assessments?
  • Can assessments have flexibility to account for students’ varied circumstances/ barriers/limitations in relation to the COVID-19 crisis and other factors?

Curriculum Requirements

  • What crucial knowledge, skills, etc. need to be assessed?
  • What assessment strategies are normally utilized, and can they be adapted to online?
  • What options might exist for alternative assessments that are feasible for online environments?

Faculty/Program Readiness

  • Can you design and facilitate online assessments to meet learning outcomes?
  • Are resources required for proctoring, to ensure academic integrity, or are assessments designed to eliminate this need?
  • Are extra resources (TAs, Markers, extra time) required to support grading time-intensive alternate assignments?