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Developing Your Course Framework

If your course is part of an online program then you will be asked to work with other faculty in your department and an instructional designer to develop a course structure or framework. This is necessary to not only brand the program but to make navigating the courses within a program easier for students. NIU course frameworks also follow the Quality MattersTM guidelines for course design. Once the framework is approved the instructional designers will help faculty to implement the framework into their online courses. Elements of a framework might include:

A Blackboard structure might include:

Sample framework
  • Welcome page 
  • Announcements
  • Course information
  • Course modules
  • Gradebook
  • Adobe Connect or Blackboard Collaborate
  • Discussion board

A typical module might include:

  • Introduction (module overview)
  • Learning objectives stated
  • Standards
  • Numbered list of activities
  • Due dates
  • Content (multiple format: readings, lecture, websites)
  • Assignments (redesigned for online format)
  • Interactive activities (e.g. discussion forum topics, group projects)
  • Grade point values for all activities