Designing Exemplary Online Courses in Blackboard

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The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program began in 2000 with the goal of identifying and disseminating best practices for designing engaging online courses. Using an established rubric for online course …

The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program began in 2000 with the goal of identifying and disseminating best practices for designing engaging online courses. Using an established rubric for online course quality, faculty and course designers can evaluate how well their course conforms to proven online teaching best practices for Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. During this online session offered 12/17/13, we explored suggested best practices included in the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric for designing engaging online courses. Practical tips for building a course in Blackboard that meets the established quality benchmarks and links to sample award-winning course tours were provided. We also covered the steps and associated deadlines for faculty interested in submitting their course for consideration as a Blackboard Exemplary Course. This workshop was geared toward an audience already familiar with the basic online teaching tools available in Blackboard.

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  • During this online session, we will explore suggested best practices included in the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric for designing engaging online courses. Practical tips for building a course in Blackboard that meets the established quality benchmarks and links to sample award-winning course tours will be provided. We will also cover the steps and associated deadlines for faculty interested in submitting their course for consideration as a Blackboard Exemplary Course. This workshop is geared toward an audience already familiar with the basic online teaching tools available in Blackboard.
  • Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program recognizes courses that demonstrate excellence in course design, interaction & collaboration, assessment, and learner support. The exemplary course rubric is used by volunteer course reviewers to rate nominated courses. The rubric is comprehensive and offers valuable tips for improving the design of an online course.

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  • 1. Designing Exemplary Online Courses in Blackboard
  • 2. Presenter Jason Rhode Email: jrhode@niu.edu Phone: 815.753.2475 Twitter: @jrhode
  • 3. Overview Sample Courses Practical Tips Best Practices
  • 4. What Constitutes Quality Online?
  • 5. Blackboard Catalyst Program The Blackboard Catalyst Award Program honors those who push the boundaries of their educational programs and technology in order to delivery innovative and effective learning experiences.
  • 6. Catalyst Award Categories exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning individuals and/or institutions that successfully increased levels of student engagement or retention Exemplary Course Award Student Impact Award Staff Development Award Innovation Award those who support and enhance faculty and professional development skills those that think outside the box in such areas related to teaching and learning practices, online program management, etc.
  • 7. Exemplary Course Program Blackboard.com/ecp
  • 8. Exemplary Course Program Rubric Developed based on research and best practices, used for evaluating in four areas: Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support
  • 9. Exemplary Course Program Rubric j.mp/bbecprubric14
  • 10. Course Design • Elements of instructional design, including aspects including: – Structure of the course – Learning objectives – Organization of content – Instructional strategies
  • 11. Interaction & Collaboration • Interaction: communication between and among learners and instructors, synchronously or asynchronously • Collaboration: subset of interaction, referring specifically to those activities in which groups are working interdependently toward a shared result Learning Community = sense of belonging to a group, rather than each student studying independently
  • 12. Assessment • Assessment focusing on instructional activities designed to measure progress towards learning outcomes, provide feedback to students and instructor, and/or enable grade assignment
  • 13. Learner Support • Learner Support addresses the support resources made available to students taking the course. • Resources may be accessible within or external to the course environment. • Specifically, learner support resources address a variety of student services.
  • 14. Major Areas & Sub-Categories Course Design • Goals & Objectives • Content Presentation • Learner Engagement • Technology Use Interaction & Collaboration • Communication Strategies • Development of Learning Community • Interaction Logistics Assessment • Expectations • Assessment Design • Self-assessment Learner Support • Orientation to Course and LMS • Supportive Software Plug-ins • Instructor Role and Information • Policies & Support • Accessibility • Accommodations • Feedback
  • 15. Sample Course • ETT 510 – Instructional Media & Technology • 10-week, online course with initial f2f meeting • Graduate course in Technology Specialist online cohort program, NIU Department of Educational Technology, Research & Assessment • Developed and taught for first time in Blackboard, Fall 2013 • Presenter plans to submit for consideration as ECP, available for NIU faculty to be enrolled
  • 16. ETT 510: Instruc. Media & Tech.
  • 17. Example Attributes to be Shared Course Design • Goals & Objectives • Content Presentation • Learner Engagement • Technology Use Interaction & Collaboration • Communication Strategies • Development of Learning Community • Interaction Logistics Assessment • Expectations • Assessment Design • Self-assessment Learner Support • Orientation to Course and LMS • Supportive Software Plug-ins • Instructor Role and Information • Policies & Support • Accessibility • Accommodations • Feedback
  • 18. Welcome – Start Here
  • 19. Goals and Objectives Easily Located
  • 20. Goals and Objectives Available in a Multiple Areas
  • 21. Content Available or “Chunked” in Manageable Segments
  • 22. Consistent Unit Structure
  • 23. Navigation Intuitive Info needed at beginning of the course Course news and updates Social connections for building sense of community Course content, activities, and assessments Interaction Reflection, feedback, & self-paced assistance Collaboration in group
  • 24. Content Flows in Logical Progression
  • 25. Content Presented in Variety of Appropriate Mechanisms
  • 26. Content Enhanced with Visual & Auditory Elements
  • 27. Guidance for Learners to Work with Content
  • 28. Tools Available in LMS to Engage Students with Course Content
  • 29. Wide Variety of Delivery Media Incorporated into the Course
  • 30. Effort Made to Use Low-Cost or No-Cost Materials When Available
  • 31. Plentiful Opportunities for Synch. and/or Asynch Interaction
  • 32. Asynchronous Communication Promote Critical Reflection
  • 33. Asynchronous Communication Promote Critical Reflection
  • 34. Synchronous Communication Activities, Real-Time Interactions
  • 35. Communication Activities Designed to Help Build Sense of Community
  • 36. Student-to-Student Interactions Required
  • 37. Collaboration Activities Reinforce Learning Outcomes
  • 38. Guidelines Explaining Required Levels of Participation
  • 39. Rubric or Equivalent Grading Document is Included
  • 40. Instructor Actively Participates, Including Providing Feedback
  • 41. Instructor Uses Communication Tools to Provide Course Updates
  • 42. Instructions Written Clearly and with Sufficient Detail
  • 43. Assessment Activities Occur Frequently Throughout Course
  • 44. Multiple Types of Assessments are Used
  • 45. Opportunities for Self-assessment Provided
  • 46. Contact Information for Instructor Easy to Find
  • 47. Links to Institutional Policies
  • 48. Course Materials are Accessible Transcript provided for videos YouTube videos captioned
  • 49. Supportive Mechanisms for Learners with Disabilities
  • 50. Learners Have Opportunity to Give Feedback on Course Design
  • 51. View Exemplary Course Tours j.mp/bbecptours13
  • 52. ECP Winners Gallery ecpgallery.coursesites.com
  • 53. Volunteer to Review • Explore in-depth a variety of different online courses and get ideas and inspiration for your own online courses • Apply lessons learned from the Exemplary Course Rubric to your own courses or those you are helping to develop • Share your knowledge and experience with others by providing feedback on their course designs • Gain professional development experience and recognition for your accomplishments and participation in the program j.mp/bbecpreviewer14
  • 54. Request Access to Sample Shared Send email to: jrhode@niu.edu
  • 55. Submitting Your Course Blackboard.com/ecp
  • 56. Questions?
  • 57. Contact Me Jason Rhode Email: jrhode@niu.edu Phone: 815.753.2475 Twitter: @jrhode