Best Practices for On-line and Remote Classes

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many institutions have canceled on-campus courses and are struggling to substitute on-line courses as an academically acceptable alternative means of instruction. However, quickly converting on-campus courses to on-line classes can be a challenging, complex, costly, and both time- and resource-consuming project. Many institutions and traditional faculty are not adequately equipped to deal with it. Full-blown on-line course development efforts may also be overkill for this (hopefully) short-term crisis.

Our Instructional Design Services Team can help your institution respond to this problem. Our instructional designers have decades of experience working with individual faculty members at dozens of colleges and universities across the U.S. We have been able to assist them in creating online courses that comply with the highest quality standards, such as the Quality Matters Rubric.

Our Approach for Moving On-Campus Courses to Remote On-line Classes:

While we’re philosophically committed and highly experienced in this process, we’re proposing something quite simpler and significantly more affordable to help you respond to the immediate problem. Our team will:

1. Quickly review and analyze your institution’s learning goals, course design standards, instructional technology infrastructure, and LMS (learning management system) course design templates to adapt an approach tailored to your needs.
2. Create one or more 20-minute tailored online sessions to orient your face-to-face-teaching faculty to the general approaches applicable for online instruction. These sessions can be held synchronously and recorded for subsequent use asynchronously. We can perform this work either independently or in collaboration with your local instructional design and instructional technology support staffs.
3. Schedule and conduct one-hour online consulting sessions with individual faculty tailored to their courses and their specific needs. Additional follow-up sessions can also be made available if desired. These virtual sessions will be held via Zoom or over your institutional web conferencing solution.

This efficient combination of brief online group orientations and limited individualized consulting sessions can dramatically improve the quality of the student course experience, as well as fulfill an important faculty development function.

The goal of this effort is not to help faculty develop fully online courses, but rather to help them temporarily teach their courses in a remote manner. Our instructional designers can help each instructor:

Determine whether they want to teach in a synchronous or asynchronous format, or a unique combination of both approaches.
Align course goals, teaching strategies, types of interaction, and assessment strategies to help select appropriate course material and formative and summative assessments.
Select, implement, and manage meaningful synchronous and/or asynchronous communications, such as discussion boards and group activities, between and among their students.

remote on-line classesOur approach is student-centric and helps ensure a consistent course organization, look, and feel so students can easily learn to navigate their online materials and experiences. Our instructional designers are intimately familiar with guidelines and issues related to copyright compliance and ADA compliance for course materials.

Our model is powerful and flexible. It can be tailored to match how you prefer to work as an institution. If desired, we can also provide instructional technology and course-building staff resources to assist in these processes.

Please contact focusEDU to discuss how our Instructional Design Services team can be of assistance and value to you.