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Overview of Support for Online Course Development

The NIU eLearning Services team provides a wide variety of course development services, including:

Instructional Design

Developing an online course is significantly different from preparing to teach a face-to-face course, both pedagogically and technologically. Each course that is approved for support by the Office of Online Program Development and Support will be assigned an instructional design lead. This instructional designer will be the point of contact to help faculty develop his or her course materials, to troubleshoot issues, and make updates, for as long as the course is offered online. Click here to learn more about working with an instructional designer.

The 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.  Click here to learn more about some of the elements of  a common course framework.

Presentation Materials

Faculty who are developing online courses typically want to use PowerPoint presentations just like they do in their face-to-face courses. But imagine going to a workshop, having the instructor turn on their PowerPoint and walk out of the room forcing you to read the slides to learn the materials. Not what you might expect. The same is true for online course presentations. Proper use of the technology means PowerPoint presentations should be accompanied by audio. Click here to learn how your instructional designer will not only help you make your presentations look great, but sound good as well.

Online Assessments

There are many ways to assess learners in an online course. Blackboard provides quizzes, exams, and assignment tools. Bu did you know you can build assessments right into your presentation materials to make sure students are not only viewing your materials but understanding them as well? Click here to find out how SCORM can help with assessment.

Video Production

A picture is worth a thousand words, and so a video is worth… well a lot more.  When you work with your instructional designer you may decide the best way to teach a concept is with a video.  Video production is part of the support available to faculty developing online courses with us. Click here to learn more about adding video to your course. 

Interactive Media

Occasionally when working with faculty we hear them say “there is this fun and interactive thing I do in my class that I can’t imagine how we can replicate online”. Often we can find a way with an interactive simulation, a game, or multi-user virtual space. Click here to learn more about interactive media.

Desktop Video Conferencing

Another interactive tool that benefits online community is live webinars. These are scheduled live meetings with students through online tools such as Adobe Connect or Blackboard Collaborate. Both applications are available to all faculty, staff and students for free online collaboration in and out of the classroom. Click here to learn more about how to use desktop video conferencing tools in your online course.