Developing & Teaching Online Courses
Welcome to DTOC. This course has been designed to support you as you design and develop your own online or blended course. To that effect, the learning activities and assignments have been designed to build onto each other as building blocks: you will learn by doing as you create the pieces that will become your course. Throughout this process you will work in randomly assigned groups so that you provide meaningful and constructive feedback on each other's work. You will be working in the same small groups during the entire course. Keeping you paired with peers throughout your course helps you establish a good rapport and learn how to work closely together during the iterative course development process.
You will have 9 weeks to complete the study of DTOC. This section explains the mechanics of the course and provides a brief overview of what you have to do to successfully complete your online work.
The aim of this online course is for you to design and implement your own blended or online course in Moodle.
By the end of DTOC you are expected to have your own course ready for a pilot delivery at your institution.
There are six modules in this course that are designed to guide you through the process of planning, designing, developing and teaching an online or blended course using Moodle, a Learning Management System (LMS). The modules are structured as follows:
- Module 1: Getting Started (this module)
- Module 2:
- Module 3: Quality and Learning
- Module 4: Planning Your Course
- Module 5: Developing Your Course
- Module 6: Teaching Your Course
The content in each module is organized into books and the learning activities, Moodle video tutorials and assignments are listed in the course home page for your convenience. However, activities and discussions are also linked to from within the book chapters. Depending on your level of familiarity with Moodle, you may not need to watch all the Moodle video tutorials. If you know how to use Moodle, let everybody know as you can act as a mentor to your peers as we start this journey together.
All images, icons, and resources used in this course are in the public domain, licensed under Creative Commons licenses with permission for re-use. Proper attribution is given as required and you will see that some resources are captioned with a CC BY legend. You will learn about Creative Commons licensing in Module 4.
Working Through the Course
To complete this course, you will be required to work through the six online content modules, read the required resources, participate actively in discussion forums and submit all the assignments. Plan to spend 4-6 hours per week on the material, depending on how quickly you read and comprehend the material and your previous background. Although this may sound daunting, you should not have any significant problems if you take a systematic approach. A good plan of action is as follows:
- Consult the Calendar Tool to determine when you should start working on each module and when assignments are due.
- Consult the course schedule posted in Module 1: Getting Started.
- Check for updates or new information in the course announcements forum and in the discussion groups, etc.
- Scroll down the course home page to see all the topics you will be studying and the recommended study time for each module. Here you will find links to the topics covered, videos. assignments, and discussions. You may also see all the topics in the Table of Contents in the course navigation block to the left.
- Complete the readings, activities and assignments for each module, by or before the end of the recommended study time.
- When the assignments require you to participate in a discussion forum, do so. You should begin to participate in an assigned discussion before the end of the week during which you are to start working on that module. Use the discussion forums as an opportunity to learn from each other and gain a different perspective on the issues being discussed.
Each module includes activities as well as discussions that are designed to support your efforts as you design and develop your own online or blended course using Moodle. Some of the activities include:
Moodle Video Tutorials
Since this course is fully online, you will learn how to use Moodle by watching video tutorials that are in the public domain. We tried to find tutorials that would present some consistency, but that was not always possible. However, rest assured that great care has been given to ensure that the best quality tutorials available were chosen to integrate this course. Having said that, since the tutorials are in the public domain, you may find some broken links. If that is the case, please let your instructor know right away and the issue will be remedied as soon as possible.
Depending on the version of Moodle installed at your institution, the "look and feel" of your Moodle may be slightly different from what you will see in the video tutorials. That is because the video tutorials were chosen to show Moodle 2.x (version 2 or higher). Although the look and feel may be slightly different, the functionality of the LMS hasn't changed that much, so you should be able to follow the videos nonetheless. If you have difficulty, please contact your instructor.
In addition to working on assignments, you will be required to participate in seven class discussions:
- Best Practices and Quality Framework
- LO Webquest Discussion
- Learning Activities Discussion
- Assessment Discussion
- OER Discussion
- Content Development
- Sharing Online Learning Experiences
If you haven't done so already, take some time to introduce yourself to the your peers by posting an introductory note in the Welcome and Introductions discussion forum.
About the Instructors
There are two instructors for the two sections of this course, Rosario Passos and Carrie Spencer and you can read all about them in their Moodle profiles: click on Participants in the Navigation block to the left and click on the respective name to see their profile. They are both experienced instructional designers specializing in learning design for online delivery. Each instructor will support one section.
They will be monitoring the discussion forums closely and will intervene as necessary. However, the discussion forums are yours to shape; therefore, they are looking forward to hearing your perspectives on the discussion topics. If you have any questions, please post them to the Course Q&A discussion so that your peers benefit from the answer as well. If your question is personal, then feel free to contact your instructor by email. They will attempt to answer any questions within 48 hours. They will also make an effort to return the feedback on assignments within 5 days of submission. Lets get started!