An online course creates an entirely different learning environment that requires the instructor to rethink the pedagogy and learning strategies for the Internet medium. Analysis and planning become crucial in online course development. It is important to determine why an online course is needed, what it will take to teach an online course, and what resources and support are available. The next step is to clarify course-level student learning objectives. You’ll complete your analysis by determining possible online course delivery methods and technology requirements.
The first question for the aspiring online instructor to ask is “Why is an online course needed?” Cost savings is not going to be an answer, at least at the beginning. A quality face-to-face course must undergo a complete transformation to be successful in the online learning environment. This requires additional faculty time to develop and teach the online course, faculty training, technology resources and support, and logistics management.
Teaching an online course requires all the skills and knowledge necessary to teach in a classroom…and then some. If you are new to teaching online or a seasoned online instructor seeking new ideas, it will be wise to take advantage of all resources available to you, including Instructional Support resources and training offered by UTK’s Office of Information Technology (OIT).
Are you ready to teach online? Click on the link below for a list of questions that will help you identify your weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities in becoming a successful online instructor.
As you start planning your online course, review your course goals and articulate them as student learning objectives (SLOs). Student learning objectives will drive the design of your online course; they will serve as the basis for determining and prioritizing course content, learning activities, assignments, and assessments. Read about the benefits of clear learning objectives for students’ learning (pdf).
When writing SLOs, use active verbs and specific words that describe what students should be able to demonstrate at the end of the course.
The Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives is particularly useful when writing SLOs because it associates particular verbs with each level of learning. Student learning objectives may span across three domains of learning (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor), each with a range of levels of learning as described by Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Make a list of course-level student learning objectives. For help, please use the resources below.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, utilizes the Canvas (asynchronous) and the Zoom (synchronous) systems to deliver courses in an online learning environment. The UTK-branded name for Canvas is Online@UT. The UTK-branded name for Zoom is LiveOnline@UT. All students, faculty, and staff have access to Canvas and Zoom.
Access to Online@UT
As long as you have an active NetID and password, you can access the Online@UT system via the Login to Online@UT button. Notice that the Online@UT web page contains a lot of useful information both for instructors and their students.