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Principles of Online Design
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Instructional Design

Instructional/Audience Analysis | Goals/Objectives | Instructional Activities | Evaluation | Teaching Strategies

1.3 Instructional Activities
1.3.1 Specific instructional activities should be directed toward providing learners with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience required to meet the goals and objectives of the course.


A. Design and utilize learning activities that engage students in active learning.

B. Provide meaningful and authentic learning experiences that help learners apply course concepts and achieve course objectives.

C. Use strategies that consider the different learning styles of students .

D. Remember that active participation facilitates learning better than passive participation.


Online courses can accommodate varied learning styles. Be creative and use several different activities. Use interactivity to enhance the learning experience. Get students interested and involved in the subject through learning activities. Some examples include:

Case study
Reflective Journal
Research report
"Wikis" and "blogs"

Authentic project
Group Projects

Bulletin board or chat discussion

1.3.2 Content should be sequenced and structured in a manner that enables learners to achieve the stated goals.


A. Instructional materials that have been successful in the classroom may not be successful in an online format. Decide how these might be modified for online use.

B. Information should be "chunked" or grouped to help students learn the content.


You will need to divide the content/information into "chunks" that enhance student learning. Determine a course schedule based on how the content/information "chunks" such as modules, chapters, weeks, etc.

Many textbooks now come with accompanying CD-ROM, Internet sites, activities, etc. When choosing a textbook for the course, examine accompanying materials to determine their usefulness for the course.

All instructional materials should be thoroughly reviewed for appropriate content and problems before they are chosen for a course. Ensure that the materials address the learning objectives. Prepackaged materials may be supplemented with summaries, examples, etc. to connect them to objectives and personalize them to your teaching style and preferences.

With an online course you are not limited to presenting text. Links to other resources and informational sites will help student learn to use the Internet as a research tool. Multimedia within your course may enhance student's attention.

1.3.3 Instructional and learning activities should encourage frequent and meaningful interactions among learners and between learners and instructors.


A. Develop strategies and techniques for establishing and maintaining "learning communities" among distance learners through the use of instructional technologies. This will help to overcome the isolation that students could experience when taking an online course.



Creating a Virtual Community

Learning activities for an online course should encourage human interaction. Student involvement with the instructor and other students is an integral part of an online/Internet course. Some strategies to do this include:

Bulletin Boards
Social Chatrooms
Phone conferencing
Personal web page with photos
Collaborative projects
"Instant Messaging"

1.3.4 While selecting appropriate instructional materials, the instructor should be aware of the online instruction copyright issues and carefully observe all applicable laws.


A. FGCU policy states "All copyright laws apply to electronic pages and therefore permission must be obtained to publish information, graphics or photographs that are not original material".


The course developer should obtain copyright permission for any media and content according to current copyright and fair use laws. See the FGCU Copyright Policy for more information on copyright permissions. Be sure that the source/author of any media or information on your web site is properly cited.

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