How Are Online Courses Developed?
Fundamentally, the development of quality face-to-face and online courses follows a similar process. In simple terms, faculty members plan and design their course outcomes, activities, assessments, content and activities. They then develop and build the elements needed for teaching the course and, once they have created the course and taught it, they review their work, evaluate the course and make revisions where necessary.
The Transferring versus The Transforming of Courses
As most online courses evolve from existing face-to-face courses, it can be tempting to create an online course by transferring that course and all its elements (e.g., assignments, content, materials, assessments, activities) into an online environment. Though this process may seem the easiest and quickest solution, it inevitably leads to problems when trying to use course elements designed for a face-to-face environments in a wholly unique online space. Imagine taking the lectures, assessments, and activities designed to fit the unique needs of a 300 student large-lecture class and using them in a 25 student class.
Transforming face-to-face courses for online delivery takes more than just placing materials into the online environment. Creating a course for an online environment requires taking into account the unique risks and challenges as well as benefits and advantages found in an online environment. To this end, eCampus uses the instructional design process to ensure faculty members neither become mired in the challenges and risks nor miss the benefits and advantages that exist for all online courses.