June 26-28, 2024
Long Beach, CA

Online Course Design Matters! Let’s Focus on Structure, Alignment, Accessibility and Support

Effective Practices
All Audiences

Presented by:

  • Ashley Skylar, Ph.D., CSU Online Course Services Manager, CSU Office of the Chancellor
  • Mary Bennett, CSU QLT Manager, Instructional Designer, Fresno State University

Speaker Bios:

  • Ashley Skylar serves as the CSU Online Course Services (OCS) Manager and supports campuses in leadership efforts to develop “quality” online courses. She provides leadership working with campuses to support using they QLT Quality Learning Teaching and Quality Matters rubrics. She holds various QM and QLT certifications and also leads systemwide training and manages CSU course review certifications. She also manages two community interest groups including OCS campus leads and instructional designer. She has been teaching online since 2001 and her expertise areas are in UDL, ATI, Distance Education, Strategic Planning, and Instructional Design.
  • Mary Bennett is an Instructional Designer at Fresno State working with faculty in the development of online courses. She also leads professional development opportunities, develops curriculum, and serves as a mentor to educators new to online teaching. Additionally, as the QLT (Quality Learning & Teaching) Course Manager for the CSU Online Course Services, she manages the systemwide QLT course offerings. Mary earned a Masters in Education with a focus on Educational Technology and she is a Google Certified Innovator and a Google HE Trainer. She has special expertise in integrating new technology into online courses using pedagogical strategies and outcomes.

Session Info:

The continued growth of distance learning and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us of the importance of “quality course design” which are critical factors to student success and completion. Having clear expectations, intuitive navigation, easily found course components, course alignment and accessibility are all good ideas for online course design, right? We know them when we see them, but can we purposefully design them? In this session we will share how we have evolved our training courses over the past two years to show a much improved course design that is visually appealing with a consistent structure across each module, along with purposeful course alignment, and improved accessibility across course content.

In this session you will also explore how we use the features of Canvas and third party free tools to strengthen active learning, interactivity with peers, and to motivate students with the use of badges. Additionally, the “High Touch Model” of support will be demonstrated that is used to ensure no learner will be left behind. This model of support can be used to manage large scale training with multiple instructors. Common pitfalls to avoid and tips include providing an instructor guide, monitoring access, timeliness, and modeling best practices of effective online instructors will be presented. Lastly, examples of course structures that can serve as a guide when designing, updating, or improving online courses will be broken down. You will be able to access the summer and semester course design templates available in Canvas Commons.

Session Outcomes:

  • Download and access a 6 and 16 week course template in Canvas Commons.
  • Discover strategies and ideas for creating a consistent course navigation with visually appealing design elements.
  • Learn tips for “humanizing” and providing a “high touch” model of support.

Session Resources:

View the Recorded Session

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