New Online Course Proposal Questionnaire

The Subcommittee on Courses (SCOC) requires additional information for course proposals that replace the traditional classroom activities (lectures, discussions, laboratories, studio lessons, etc.) with synchronous or asynchronous online activities. Any course currently approved as a traditional course must be resubmitted for approval if it will rely on online components.  A set of required questions is intended to help guide the development of the proposed online course, as well as support SCOC in its evaluation.

The faculty fellows and instructional designers are available to provide consultation and assist UCI faculty to answer these questions and determine the essential course elements for online delivery.

Here is an online course proposal example provided by Brandon Golob, Assistant Professor of Teaching in the School of Social Ecology.

All Courses

Online/Hybrid Specific Pedagogy & Implementation

Inclusivity and Accessibility

🙋How do you anticipate that the specific course activities and assessments you’ve chosen align with your course learning objectives?

Think about how you will convey learning expectations to your students. How will you know if your learning assessments (LAs) are aligned with learning objectives (LOs)? You can use the Course Mapping Worksheet to check the alignment for LOs and LAs.

  • Provide clear and measurable learning objectives/outcomes.
  • As you develop an assessment plan for students to achieve a specific course learning outcome, think about
    • What are you asking students to do?
    • Why are you asking them to do it?
    • How will you evaluate their work?
  • Try to give as much information as possible regarding assessment requirements and expectations, grading and evaluation criteria (e.g., will rubrics and/or previous examples be provided).
  • If you have existing in-person class material, assignments and rubrics, you can modify them to meet the learning outcomes for this online course and add it to the Canvas Assignments

🙋How will the activities and assessments be appropriate for the anticipated size of your course?

Think about the types of activities or assessments that would best support student learning and that instructors or TAs can handle in a smaller versus a larger class setting. Additionally, contemplate the UCI Supported technologies that not only facilitates efficient delivery of the activity but also eases the preparation and grading burden for the instructor.

  • The Teaching Tools widget’s Active Learning Library can assist you in identifying suitable activities for your class size. Although you can adopt the active learning approach, you may need to customize the format to align with your class size requirements. As an example, in a larger class, you can modify Think-Pair-Share to become Think-Group-Share.
  • Visit UCI EdTech Tools to explore the various technology options that are accessible to you at UCI, and refer to DTEI’s Learning Technologies and Exam Digitization and Grading resources to gain further insights into these tools and their optimal use.

🙋What measure(s) will you take to promote academic integrity in the course (such as proctoring or course design strategies)?

Think about how you communicate academic dishonesty and promote academic integrity in your course. Also think about alternative assessment options to mitigate cheating.

  • Academic Integrity & Assessment, UCI Teach Anywhere provides various alternative assessment options for your reference. Explore these assessment options to rethink your assessment design.
  • If you want to use “Turnitin,” we suggest you mention why you wish to use this tool to support your students (i.e., you are not the police, you want to encourage good writing behaviors and ensure sources are cited appropriately). You may also consider offering (1) draft (2) final paper to allow students to view their (1) draft paper’s similarity report and have a second chance to re-submit and complete their assignment in (2) final paper assignment.

🙋Describe the structure of the course (i.e., how many hours of instruction per week will be online synchronous, online asynchronous and/or in-person). Explain why you have chosen these specific modalities for this course. While flexibility for students is a worthwhile justification for teaching a course online, course design should also demonstrate a benefit to student learning with regard to the online modality.

Think about what type of content and assignments you will offer in your online course, what modality you will be using to present the content, when the content and assignments are due in a given week, and what tools will support your instruction.

  • It is very important to make clear and consistent plans for how course materials and activities will be delivered and shared with students. You can provide a document such as a “Lecture Delivery Plan Worksheet” or “Course Planning Worksheet” to let administrators know your plans.
  • You may also want to consider including in your syllabus items such as your course meeting time and learning mode, your instructor and TA’s contact information, course technology requirements, communication expectations, assignments details, grading methods, student resources, and course policies. View the SCOC syllabus guidelines.
  • Explain why you chose the modality you did for different types of activities, assignments, or learning content.

🙋If a traditional version of this course already exists, how will students benefit from the online or mixed modality version in terms of the learning goals?

Think about how your learning objectives/goals will differ between the online and traditional versions of this course. What benefits does the online version of this course offer that may not be as effective in the traditional version of this course? Think about your activities and assessments and if they are still an effective measure of the learning goals in the online version of this course. If not, how might you adjust them and how might this new modality benefit student learning.

  • Compare your online or mixed-modality learning objectives and goals to your traditional ones
  • Describe adjustments that you would make to ensure learning is just as or even more effective in the online or mixed modality version of this course

🙋How will you evaluate student engagement throughout the course?

Think about what assignments and activities you plan to implement to evaluate student engagement in your course. You can provide a document such as this course planning worksheet (Sample 1  |  Sample 2) to detail your weekly plans and demonstrate how students will be engaging with course content. Try to include a mix of formative and summative assessments:

  • Formative Assessments (low stakes): The goal of formative assessments is to monitor student learning and for students to monitor their own learning progress (a metacognitive process). Formative assessments are typically designed to provide students with constructive feedback from instructors, TAs or their peers to improve their learning. To encourage student participation and learning mastery, formative assessments can be set up to allow multiple submission attempts and/or as a fixed participation grade.
    Examples of Formative Assessments: Weekly/Topical Discussion Boards, Weekly/Topical Quizzes, Weekly/Topical Reflection Journals, Low stakes Writing Assignments (essays), Poll Everywhere activity
  • Summative Assessment (high stakes): The goal of summative assessments is to evaluate student learning and proficiency at the end of instructional units. Summative assessments are where students will demonstrate their comprehension of learning in higher order thinking levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.
    Examples of Summative Assessments: Project/Presentation, Term Paper, Midterm, Final

🙋How will your students interact with their classmates? How will students interact with the instructor and TAs?

Consider the strategies or tools you will integrate in your course to encourage interaction and keep students engaged in an online learning environment. See Online Student Engagement for digital active learning strategies:

Referenced from Moore, M. G. (1989), Editorial “Three Types of Interaction”

  • Student-to-Student Interactions: Think about how you will encourage students to interact with each other in an online environment. Will they work together in groups to complete a project? Will they be given opportunities to collaboratively solve problems? They can also review each other’s work. What tools or strategies will you utilize or suggest to facilitate these peer interactions?
  • Student-to-Instructor Interactions: Think about how you and your TAs will connect with your students in an online environment. Will you have office/student hours where students can schedule a time to meet with you? Will you still have weekly synchronous class meetings online? What activities might you include during your lecture that would facilitate student interaction with the instructor and TAs? How will students reach out to their instructors and TAs if they need help? Put all of the ways you expect students to communicate with you in your course syllabi (Ex. Tell your students when they can expect to hear back from you after they send you an email)

🙋How will students interact/work with the online course content (for example, students will read and answer questions related to the reading, students will watch the lectures and write a short reflection, etc.)?

There are many ways to encourage students to interact with your online learning content. Visit the Online Student Engagement webpage to see different options for student-to-content interactions. Examples include:

  • Posting reading articles online with a question prompt so that students can make notes and give feedback (i.e. Perusall, Canvas discussion or Ed Discussion).
  • Putting your lecture videos into Canvas assignments and ask students to watch and answer questions. Or, upload your lecture videos to YuJa and put quizzes into the YuJa videos to ask students to reflect on their learning.
  • Make an assignment and let your students upload their projects to a shared drive. Then, provide your students with feedback to help them reflect and improve their learning.

For each type of learning content you provide, think about: The type of activity you will provide to encourage students to engage more deeply with the learning content and what students will need to do to demonstrate their understanding of the learning content.

🙋Describe workshops you’ve attended, materials you’ve consulted and/or meetings with instructional designers about best practices for inclusive online teaching. What practices will you implement in your course?

Think about any past experiences or training workshops you have attended related to online teaching. What skills or knowledge have you attained through these experiences/workshops? You may also reference your teaching experiences during the pandemic.

Recommended training Workshops/Programs:

  • Canvas Course Design Workshop: This workshop is to assist faculty in designing Canvas courses in preparation for teaching. This workshop will discuss best practices in course structure and design, do’s and don’ts and accessibility considerations.
  • Digital Learning Institute (DLI): This institute is to encourage faculty to rethink teaching and redesign their courses to foster student engagement, support learning needs, and enhance the student learning experience.
  • A 4-Steps Approach to Remote Teaching (Self-Paced Training): Four steps to remote teaching are introduced in this eLearning module in preparing faculty for remote teaching. Step 1: Determine Course Goals, Step 2: Set Up Course Space, Step 3: Remote Teaching Guidelines, Step 4: Essential Course Policies
  • Inclusive Course Design Institute: The Inclusive Course Design Institute (ICDI) is a faculty-led professional development program designed to support faculty in cultivating a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEI-A) culture in the classroom. The Goal of the program is to provide pedagogical resources and encourage faculty discussion in the areas of inclusive excellence, transparency in course design, accessibility, humanizing teaching, and pedagogical wellness.

🙋How have you made your videos and class materials accessible (e.g., captioning pre-recorded videos, providing transcripts, creating accessible documents/online sites, etc.)?

Videos and learning content in your online course need to be accessible to all learners, which means all students, with or without disabilities, should be able to fully participate in your course:

  • Videos should include captions so that online students with hearing loss or international students can watch them and everyone can understand what is being shown.
  • Provide multiple language captions when uploading videos to YuJa; that will allow a more diverse group to view and select their language when they watch the lecture videos.
  • When lecture videos or audio are available, transcripts should be made available for students to easily access or download.
  • Use simple language and formatting to make online digital documents more accessible. For example, include images that relate to the lecture content, include alt text to give a short explanation of what the images show, give meaningful link information instead of the URL address, use the formatting on the reading document, etc. Make accessible online sites with a responsive design and use existing accessibility testing tools, like Canvas, to make sure the courses are ready to be released before you put them online.

Visit DTEI’s “Teaching Accessibility” web page for more resources on how to make your learning content accessible to all learners.

🙋If there will be synchronous components to the course that require students to participate at pre-specified times, but that are not explicitly listed in the UCI Schedule of Classes, how will you accommodate those with scheduling constraints (e.g., living in other time zones, inflexible work schedule, child/elder care responsibilities or conflicts with other courses)?

Think about what you can do to learn more about your students’ backgrounds and, if needed, to accommodate students who are not in the same time zone.

  • During Week 0, or “onboarding time”, survey students about demographic info, preferable class meeting time and office hour times
  • Record class meetings/group office hours and provide the recordings in Canvas so that students who may not be able to attend the synchronous meeting can watch. This recording can also be used for review purposes for all students
  • Create an asynchronous activity, such as writing a short journal entry, that students can participate in after watching the recording

🙋How will you support students who have technical issues with some aspect of the course website or applications used in the course (e.g. create how-to handouts or videos, links to support websites or tutorials, practice assignments, deadline flexibility etc)?

Think about how you present your course materials, content and assignments to allow your students can access them anytime and anywhere. Outline support resources and contact information for any applications used in the classroom:

  • Design your online course in the UCI supported Learning Management System, Canvas, to provide course materials and activities and utilize UCI supported third party tools when possible for optimal instructor and student support
  • Provide multiple formats to access the course materials as well as activities and be flexible with the time they are accessing them.
  • Provide technical requirements and support resources for all technologies you are planning to use in class and invite them to contact you if they have any concerns or questions.
  • As part of the course onboarding module, create practice assignments and activities for students to learn how to use classroom technologies.