Rose Colored Glasses

Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Guide to Planning Online Courses – Part 10 of 11

Create Announcements

Post and introductory message in the announcements area. Welcome the students to your course, direct them to the Course Information area to obtain the syllabus, and indicate the location of the first class assignment or reading.

Example

This course is set up to examine a different aspect of pharmaceutical marketing each week. You will have readings which explore the topic of the week, and web links that provide examples or resources. I have listed activities for each week which are to serve as guides for learning. Class weeks will officially begin on Mondays. Each week, you will conduct research, post a portion of your final project to the discussion forum and participate in group discussions. Each team is expected to post their materials to the discussion forum on the Sunday at the start of the week, and wrap things up on the Saturday. Activities and discussions are a big part of making this work, and in the course section — "How you will be evaluated — you will see that discussion room activity accounts for nearly 30% of your grade. Various activities account for the rest, culminating in two final projects that demonstrate mastery.

Since discussion in an asynchronous environment takes place over time, I expect that you will be checking in — and participating — several times during the week. This is extremely important if we are going to reach a "critical mass" needed for a discussion to continue to thrive.

To reduce the likelihood of the technology interfering with your learning experience start exploring the site links and the materials prior to the official course start. Please start your exploration by reviewing the Course Description by clicking on the link located on the left-hand side of the screen.

Wherever you see an icon symbol means that there is additional information to be found — try clicking on different words and symbols to see what happens. When you finish with this activity you may want to drop into the Communications Room and click on the Discussion Board link to see who has been out there chatting.

Next take a look a course materials nested under the "Resource Room" link.

If you are not sure how to use the online course tools, click on the "Help" link located of the left side of the screen to access visual quick-start tutorials.

Have fun with your explorations!

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2006 by in Distance Education.

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