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.




🙋What methods – for example, exams, assignments, and projects – will you use to evaluate student learning in the course?

Think about what assessments and assignments you plan to implement to evaluate student learning in your course. You can provide a document such as this course planning worksheet (Online Course Sample | Hybrid Course Sample) to let administrators know your plans.

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 do you anticipate that the specific course components you’ve chosen will help achieve course learning outcomes? You can consider, for example, individual learning assessments as well as an overall assessment of whether the course is accomplishing your own objectives, ways for effectively keeping students engaged throughout the quarter, and active learning exercises especially suited to online instruction. If a traditional version of this course already exists, compare the proposed approach with the existing one?

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.  Also consider the strategies or tools you will integrate in your course to encourage interaction and keep students engaged in an online learning environment. Visit the Online Student Engagement webpage to see different options for digital active learning strategies.

  • 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 use it to modify them to meet the learning outcomes for this online course and add it to the Canvas Assignments

🙋What is the recommended training for the instructor(s) who will teach this course? You may include your own past experience with teaching online courses, and/or any training that you or other instructors should have prior to teaching the 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

🙋Indicate whether major course components will be delivered synchronously or asynchronously and describe how the instructors, TAs, and students will interact with one another (in lectures, office hours, discussions, labs, etc.). Explain why you have chosen these specific methods for this course.

Think about what type of lecture content and assignments you will offer in your online courses and what tools will support this type of format to motivate students to engage in your course content, peers, instructors, and TAs.

  • Defining consistent patterns of delivering course materials and activities and communicating it clearly and transparently to students is very important.
  • You can provide a document such as a “Lecture Delivery Plan Worksheet” to explain your lecture content. 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. You can find sample verbiages of these items above in the Multimodal Syllabus Template.

🙋What measure will you take to address academic dishonesty and promote academic integrity in the course? You can consider, for example, specific online proctoring tools, or course design strategies that minimize the potential for dishonesty.

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 know their (1) draft paper’s similarity report and have a second chance to re-submit and complete their assignment in (2) final paper assignment.

🙋How do you plan to support students with different levels of preparation or skill – for example, first-generation college students – to meet the course learning outcomes?

Think about the different ways you communicate with your students and support them in boosting their study skills. Share any helpful campus resources that can help them to achieve learning outcomes.

Referenced from Five Evidenced-Based Ways To Improve Online Courses by OLRC, UCI

  • Provide students with many opportunities (activities) to self-regulate their learning (check-in questions, weekly reflective journals, as they access the materials.
  • Break content and activities into chunks with low stakes assignments and make these assignments to scaffold into a final work.
  • Provide “How to Succeed in the Course” tips for succeeding in the course and student support resources that are available on campus as Student Outreach and Retention Center (SOAR). More student support resources can be found in the Multimodal Syllabus Template.
  • Include many ways to cultivate and build your students’ knowledge and skills. You may want to refer to: Building Upon Students’ Prior Knowledge and Skills.

🙋How will you ensure that students who may not have consistent access to necessary resources – for example, unrestricted internet access and up-to-date computer hardware or software – can fulfill the requirements of the course?

Think about how you present your course materials, content and assignments to allow your students to access it at any time and anywhere.

  • Design your online course in the UCI supported Learning Management System, Canvas, to provide course materials and activities.
  • 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 for all technologies you are planning to use in class and invite them to contact you if they have any concerns or questions.

🙋If you envision synchronous components to the course that require students to participate at a pre-specified time but that are not explicitly listed in the official UCI schedule of classes, how will you accommodate those with scheduling constraints (including, for example, living in other time zones, inflexible work schedule, child/elder care responsibilities or conflicts with meetings for other courses?

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

  • In Week 0, or “onboarding time”, survey students about demographic info, preferable class meeting time and possibly office hour times.
  • Record the class meeting/office hour 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 as a review purpose for all students.
  • Create an asynchronous activity, such as writing a short journal, that students can participate after watching the recording.