Tag: course design

Getting Your Feet Wet: Introduction to Course Design Workshop

In October 2016, the Distance Learning Team launched its first iteration of a fully online Course Design Workshop. This workshop is designed to help instructors become familiar with our course design process and to allow them to step into the shoes of an online student. In addition, being in the workshop allows instructors to practice using Canvas and to see what a well-structured SPS course looks like. If instructors have not designed an SPS course or are revising a course, they should take this workshop before they begin course development. Here is a sneak peek of what to expect during


Semiotics of Course Design

Sheena Lyonnais wrote on the Adobe Creative Cloud blog that “in a world where everything is identified by icons and avatars, it is no wonder the study of semiotics is beginning to make its way into the discourse of user experience design.” (Lyonnais, 2016). After reading this, I began to think of ways to classify the elements of SPS course site designs from a semiotics perspective. I will attempt to identify examples in a way that fits with Lyonnais’ definition of semiotics as “the study of signs and symbols.” She breaks semiotics into two parts: the signifiers and the signified.


5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adding Images to Your Online Course

Introduction We are always looking for ways to make our courses more engaging for students. That might mean more opportunities for students to interact with each other in small groups, developing short videos with in-video quizzing, or creating an interactive map. One way that faculty often try to make an online course more visually interesting is by adding images to slideshows, videos, and pages in the course site. But even with the best intentions, online courses can become crammed with images: clip art that adds little value, photos used without permission and in violation of copyright law, low-resolution images that


Student-to-Student Interaction in Online Courses

Having worked in online education for the past five years, I was intrigued by Darren Rosenblum’s recent New York Times article, “Leave Your Laptops at the Door to My Classroom.” While reading it, Rosenblum’s observation of a colleague’s course, where laptops were allowed, stood out to me: “[The students] took notes when [the professor] spoke, but resumed the rest of their lives instead of listening to classmates.” At the School of Professional Studies, we focus on student-to-student interaction as one of the three types of interaction, along with student-content and student-instructor, when designing courses. Rosenblum’s observation that students didn’t value


Is Technology Driving Online Education Off A Cliff?

Is technology driving online education off a cliff? At the School of Professional Studies’ annual Distance Learning Symposium, David Noffs and I raised this question. As instructors and designers of new online courses in the Instructional Design Sequence in the Information Design Strategy (IDS) Program, David and I argued that thoughtful integration of educational technologies into education and training programs is important in designing high quality online learning experiences and modeling sound instructional design strategies for students in the program.  Here is a brief recap of some highlights of the presentation. Is Education Really Just A Game? Why not make