As Edward Waters University grows its online presence, it must begin implementing generally accepted standards for online education, here are a few content requirements for the Spring 2024 terms. This is not an exhaustive list, but merely areas we are trying to improve upon.
Social presence is an important part of asynchronous online courses. Students need to feel that they are more than an anonymous number – they need interaction. Discussion forums are one way to help address this need. Instructors are urged to participate in the forums.
- Introduce Yourself Discussion (Required) Students are required to respond to at least two classmates. Course credit is optional. You could choose to allow students to submit a video response. This assignment should include at least the following prompts:
- Where are you from?
- What is your major?
- What are your long-term goals?
- What do you like to do in your free time (or something similar)?
- Course Topic Discussions (Required). There should be at least two discussions for 8-week courses (4 preferred), and at least 4 discussions for full-semester courses (6-8 preferred). Students are required to respond to at least two classmates to receive full credit. How much credit to give is up to you as the instructor. Some disciplines will require more creativity to implement discussions. A College Algebra instructor might post a complex problem for all students to solve and include their steps to solving the problem (just be sure to select the “Question and Answer” forum type so students must post first before seeing their classmate’s responses). The key is to be creative and to have our students interact with each other as well as the instructor.
- Welcome to the Course Video (Required). Please create a video and place it at the top of the course home page. In this video, please address the following prompts:
- Tell your students a bit about yourself
- Explain your goals for the course.
- Go over the syllabus. Be sure to talk about the course outcomes & academic integrity.
- Explain any special policies (grading/late work/etc.)
- Explain any special or larger projects
- Weekly Assessments (Required). There is to be at least one graded assessment per week. This can be any assignment, discussion, midterm/final exam, quiz, etc.
- Zoom Office Hours (Required). Having a regularly scheduled time that students can reach you in your Zoom room would be beneficial. Your Zoom office hours can certainly be during your regular office hours.
- Faculty Responsiveness. Student inquiries should be addressed within 24 hours. An assignment should be graded within 3-5 days of receiving it.
- Pre and Post Test (Optional). Consider utilizing a pre-and post-test to track learner improvement as well as course quality.
- Course Structure (Required). Courses should utilize a weekly modular format.
- Moodle Gradebook (Required). Moodle gradebook is to be the primary method of grade keeping.
- Accessibility (Required). Course materials/technologies must be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. It’s not just the law, it’s the right thing to do. Visit the Distance Learning web site for more information.
Course Learning Outcomes are required to be assessed in every course. Conversely, content that does not align with a Course Learning Outcome should not be in the course. As we go through the accreditation process, we need assessment data from our courses.