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Teaching Essentials

Develop

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There are two options for developing your course in the Course Introduction Package – one for working with an existing course, and one for developing a new course.

Download the Course Introduction Package ›

Building your online course in LEARN

This guide has been designed for instructors new to online learning and using LEARN. The guide will help you plan and build the components of your online course and walk you through publishing the course (making it live).

Stage 1: Plan your course online

Request Support

If you are new to online teaching, support and resources are available for getting started with planning your online courses.

Actions:

Review the Course Outline

Get started by reviewing the course outline.

Actions:

  • Identify current learning materials you will use or repurpose
  • Review the course learning outcomes to identify changes or alternatives to activities and assessments
  • Review the instructional schedule to plan for lessons, demonstrations, presentations or discussions

Review Current Learning Materials

Provide learning materials that support student achievement of the course learning outcomes.The learning materials should be current, accurate and relevant. Use a variety of learning material types and perspectives.

Actions:

  • Review the learning materials to ensure they align with the achievement of the course learning outcomes and are current and relevant.
  • Identify what learning materials you will be able to use or repurpose, such as, readings, PowerPoint presentations, videos, etc.
  • Review the Course Content Resources List for learning materials that may be relevant to your course.
  • Identify a variety of external learning materials you plan to use to support your lessons, such as:
    • Web pages
    • Open Educational Resources
    • Videos
    • Virtual labs
    • Simulations
    • LinkedIn Learning lessons

Plan for Student Engagement

Use lessons, discussions, demonstrations, or presentations to create a sense of community, instructor presence and engagement with students. Discussions will allow you to model behaviour and provide opportunities for you to intervene to provide students with guidance.

Actions:

  • Plan asynchronous discussions using Discussion forums in LEARN
    • Build a Discussion forum for each module or week.
    • Encourage students to engage with one another in discussing course themes and topics
    • Use discussion forums to focus on relevant issues
    • Pose two to three questions to elicit student response.
  • Plan synchronous or live sessions using Microsoft Teams or WebEx.
  • Use Mediasite to build demonstrations and presentations
  • Provide guidelines on how to engage in discussions and pose questions to elicit student response.

Consider Alternatives for Online Activities and Assessments

Activities engage students in learning fundamental concepts, but also give students opportunities to use higher level learning skills such as apply, analyze, etc., to make connections with real-world problem solving. Assessments allow students to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes.

Actions:

  • Review the activities and assessments to ensure they align with the achievement of the course learning outcomes
  • Consider changing your activities and assessments or to create alternatives for online delivery
  • Consider using experiential learning, case studies, and problem-based activities designed to immerse learners in real world scenarios, with the goal of having learners build on their existing knowledge and skills to analyze specific problems and find solutions.
  • Plan the activities and assessments using the Activities and Assessments Worksheet
  • Provide clear and detailed instructions for students to complete assignments and assessments

Design Activities and Assessments Using the Activities and Assessments Worksheet

Rubrics communicate what is expected of students. They provide sound assessment by using a consistent grading standard in assessing student performance. Rubrics also provide explicit performance criteria for students to evaluate their work before submitting.

Actions:

  • Provide rubrics for each assessment outlining the criteria used to grade student performance.

Stage 2: Develop your online course in LEARN

Explore LEARN Resources and Supports

If you are new to using LEARN, explore the LEARN resources and sign up for a training session.

Actions:

Resources: Getting Started with LEARN

Find or Request a MASTER Course

You will be building your online course in a Master course shell. After building your online course in the Master, you will be copying the course components into a live course that contains your students.

  • Search for your Master course on your LEARN homepage under My Courses
  • If your Master course doesn’t exist, contact LEARN Support at learn@rrc.ca to request one

Resources: What is Master/Sandbox/Live Course Shell?

Edit the Course Introduction Pages

Actions:

  • Download and import the Course Introduction Package into your online course
    • Provide clear and detailed instructions for students to begin accessing all course components, such as the course outline, learning s and assignments.
  • Edit the Course Introduction pages following the instructions given on each page
    • Course Orientation
      • Examples: video ‘tour’, readiness readings and/or assessment
    • Course Overview page
      • Provide an overview of the course
        • By welcoming learners to the course and providing context for what they will be learning, the instructor sets a tone for success from the start of the course. The course welcome should establish instructor presence and provide enough guidance to ensure that learners will get off to a good start in the online space. In essence, this is the learners’ first impression of the instructor, and the course.
        • The course description includes the purpose and format of the course, as well as prerequisite knowledge, if applicable.
        • Introduce the purpose of the course, the course format (online or blended), and any prerequisite knowledge required.
    • Upload the Course Outline
    • Course Materials page
      • Provide a list of the learning materials used in the course
      • When possible, provide options in terms of how students acquire course materials, including Open Educational Resources (OER).
    • Instructor Bio page
      • Provide detailed instructor information for being contacted by students, availability information (time and technology), brief biographical information, and a picture of yourself
      • Provide a short bio, a photo of yourself, and contact information
    • Course Schedule page
      • Post the instructional schedule from the Course Outline
      • The instructional schedule is provided within the course to ensure students are aware of the lesson topics, important dates, and scheduled activities and assessments.
    • Course Communication page
      • Explain to students how they should contact you
      • Provide remote office hours to provide students with a regular time they can contact you
    • Activities and Assignments page
      • Identify which activities are synchronous (live) and asynchronous

Resources: Course Introduction Package

Add an Introductory Announcement Using the News Tool

Action:

  • Use the News tool to add an introductory announcement to your course that welcomes students and guides them to start with the Course Introduction module.

Resources: Using the News Tool

Build Lesson Modules Using the Learn Templates

Actions:

  • Use the LEARN course templates to build your online course
  • Use the Guided Module template to build lesson modules. Follow the instructions provided on the template page.

Resources: Using LEARN Templates

Upload Learning Materials and Create Links to External Content

Actions:

  • Upload learning materials
  • Create links to any external learning materials you plan to use, such as:
    • Web pages
    • Virtual labs
    • Simulations
    • LinkedIn Learning lessons
  • Use Microsoft Teams or WebEx if you plan to host live video sessions for lessons, discussions, presentations or demonstrations

Resources: Uploading and Creating Content in a Course

Add an Introductory Discussion Forum

Actions:

  • Create an introductory discussion forum using Discussions to engage students
    • A good place to start is to create a discussion where you introduce yourself informally to set the tone for how to engage in discussions
    • Encourage your students to self-introduce to develop a sense of community.
  • Build a Discussion forum for each module or week.
    • Encourage students to engage with one another in discussing course themes and topics
    • Use discussion forums to focus on relevant issues
    • Pose two to three questions to elicit student response.

Resources: The Discussion Tool

Build the Assignments Using the Dropbox Tool

Actions:

  • Build the assignments from your completed Activities and Assessments Worksheet using the Dropbox tool in LEARN.
  • Provide clear and detailed instructions for students to complete assignments.
  • Use the Dropbox tool to provide timely feedback using text, audio or video.

Resources: The Dropbox Tool

Build the Assessments Using the Quizzes Tool

Actions:

  • Build the assessments (quizzes, tests, and exams) from your completed Activities and Assessments Worksheet using the Quizzes tool in LEARN.
  • Provide clear and detailed instructions for students to complete assessments

Resources: The Quiz Tool

Construct Rubrics Using the Rubrics Tool

Actions:

  • Build rubrics from your completed Rubric Construction Worksheet using the Rubrics tool in LEARN
  • Link assignments in Dropbox to rubrics

Resources: Building Rubrics in LEARN

Develop the Gradebook Using Grades

  • Before you build the gradebook, refer to best practices using LEARN resources and support training.
  • Develop the gradebook using the LEARN Grades tool
  • Link the assignments in Dropbox and the assessments in Quizzes to the grade items in the gradebook

Resources: LEARN’s Gradebook

Stage 3: Publish your online course

Go Live

Actions:

  • Search for your live course on your LEARN homepage under My Courses
  • If one doesn’t already exist, contact LEARN Support at learn@rrc.ca to request a live course

Resources: What is Master/Sandbox/Live Course Shell?

Copy Course Components

Action:

  • Copy the course components from the Master course into the live course

Resources: Copying Content from a Development MASTER