A. Course Design

Course Design addresses elements of instructional design. For the purpose of this program, course design includes such elements as structure of the course, learning objectives, organization of content, and instructional strategies.

Sub-category Distinguished to Exemplary (5-6)  Satisfactory to Accomplished (3-4)  Promising (2) Incomplete (1)
1. Objectives
  • Objectives are made available in a variety of areas in the course (within the syllabus and each individual learning unit or module)
  • Objectives are clearly written at the appropriate level and reflect desired outcomes
  • Objectives are written in measurable outcomes (students know what they are expected to be able to do)
  • Objectives are located within the course syllabus or the individual learning units
  • Objectives are written to reflect desired learning outcomes, although not all are written as measurable outcomes
  • Students understand of what is expected of them
  • Objectives are not easily located within the course
  • Objectives are not written at the appropriate level to match the desired outcomes
  • Objectives are not clearly written in measurable learning outcomes
  • Students may be unsure of what they are expected to be able to do
  • Objectives are not easily located within the course
  • Some are missing and others poorly written
  • The level does not match the desired learning outcomes
2. Content Presentation
  • Content is made available or “chunked” in manageable segments (i.e., presented in distinct learning units or modules)
  • Navigation is intuitive and content flows in a logical progression
  • Content is presented using a variety of appropriate mechanisms (content modules, single pages, links to external resources, and/or multimedia, etc.)
  • CMS tools are used to reduce the labor-intensity of learning (e.g., providing links to needed resources where they will be used in the course, integrating publisher resources that are tailored to the course materials, and providing streamlined access to supplementary materials)
  • Clearly labeled tutorial materials that explain how to navigate the CMS and the specific course are included
  • Content is made available or “chunked” in manageable segments (i.e., presented in distinct learning units or modules)
  • Navigation is somewhat intuitive, but some “exploring” is required to determine the flow of content
  • Content is presented using a variety of mechanisms (content modules, single pages, links to external resources, RSS Feeds, print material)
  • CMS tools are made available to assist students, but could be organized or arranged for even greater usefulness
  • Clearly labeled tutorial materials that explain how to navigate the CMS and the specific course are included
  • Some content segments are overly large (or possibly too small) for the specified objectives
  • Navigation is only occasionally intuitive, thus the flow of content is sometimes not easily determined
  • The design does not avail of the content presentation tools (content modules, single pages, links)
  • Only a few tools (of those available within the CMS) are used in a way that streamlines access to materials and activities for students
  • Tutorial materials that explain how to navigate the CMS and/or the specific course may be evident, but not easily found
  • Content is not “chunked” into manageable segments;
  • Navigation is not intuitive and the flow of content is unclear
  • The design does not avail of the content presentation tools (content modules, single pages, links)
  • Tools that could reduce the labor- intensity of online instruction are not utilized
  • Tutorial materials explaining how to navigate the CMS or the specific course may be included but are difficult to find, lack detail, are not well organized, or are incomplete
3. Learner Engagement
  • It is clear how the instructional strategies will enable students to reach course objectives
  • Course design includes guidance for learners to work with content in meaningful ways
  • Individualized learning opportunities, remedial activities, or resources for advanced learning activities are provided
  • Tools available within the course management system (CMS) are used to facilitate learning by engaging students with course content
  • Technologies are used creatively in ways that transcend traditional, teacher-centered instruction
  • Learners have the opportunity to give anonymous feedback to the instructor regarding course design and course content both during course delivery and after course completion
  • Instructional strategies are designed to help students to reach course objectives, although this relationship may not be obvious to learners
  • Guidance is provided, but could be improved with greater detail or depth
  • Individualized learning opportunities (such as remediation) may be available on a limited basis
  • Tools available within the CMS could be utilized more (or more creatively) to engage learners with course content
  • Technologies within the course are used in many cases merely to replicate traditional face-to-face instruction
  • Learners have the opportunity to give anonymous feedback to the instructor regarding course design and/or course content, but only after course completion
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  • It is not clear how the instructional strategies will help learners achieve course objectives
  • Guidance in using content materials may only be provided on a limited basis
  • Individualized learning opportunities are not provided, although there may be supplementary content resources available
  • Tools available within the CMS are not used to their full extent or not used when it would be appropriate to do so
  • Technologies within the CMS are used primarily by instructors and not students (“students as recipients of content” model)
  • Learners have the opportunity to give feedback to the instructor regarding course design or course content, but only after course completion, or the feedback is not anonymous
  • Instructional strategies do not provide students with skills needed to achieve course objectives
  • Content is provided but it is not clear what students are expected to do with it
  • No supplementary resources or activities are provided for remediation or advanced study
  • Technologies used within the CMS do not engage students with learning
  • Students are not expected to use technologies available within the CMS
  • Learners do not have the opportunity to give feedback to the instructor regarding course design or course content

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