Designing a Course

Where should you start when designing an online course?

The SOAR2 model, shown below, has two phases: identification and design:


A foundational step in the design phase is identifying instructional strategies. When thinking about instructional strategies, stay focused on acquisition (how students will gain the desired knowledge and skills) and application (how students will use the desired knowledge and skills).

Concomitant with the consideration of how student knowledge will be acquired is the determination of what the students will learn or be able to do as a result of their participation in the course. A good starting point is to begin the process of identifying the course objectives.

Learning assessments are tightly coupled with instructional strategies and learning objectives. Assessments provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their newly acquired or enhanced knowledge and skills. These include both traditional (exams and essays) and alternative (performances, experiments) assessment methods.

Finally, identify resources that will support student knowledge and skill acquisition that are effective for online learning environments. These will include content, media, research and communication resources.

Further Reading

D’Agustino, S. (2013) Toward a course conversion model for distance learning: a review of best practices in Estelami, H (Ed.) Frontiers of distance learning in business education. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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