Page 14 - Online Course Development Manual

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12
What Are the Guidelines for Developing Course Modules?
Write Clear and Achievable Learning Objectives
Learning objectives should include a lead-in statement such as “Upon successful completion of this
module, students will be able to...” Module objectives must include actions verbs, performance criteria,
and conditions expressing what the student will be able to do after taking the course.
When developing learning objectives, list verbs that demonstrate a measurable outcome. Place the verb
at the beginning of the objective. Explain briefly “how” the knowledge will be shown: e.g., “Define, in
writing, the influence of the Bauhaus movement on the design of contemporary buildings” or “Give a
graphical representation of what it means for a function to have a limit at a point.”
There are many guides on the Web about writing objectives according to models of Benjamin Bloom
(see
Appendix G
), Gagné and Briggs, and Robert Mager. Use your own criteria to determine to what
extent your objectives will follow from your chosen model; the most important aspect to keep in mind is
that learning objectives are clear to the student and measurable through assessments.
At the module level, it is convenient not only to write the list of objectives but also explain how the
materials and activities included in the module will help the student achieve these objectives. This can
be done by referencing the objective that a particular task satisfies. For example, “Read Chapter 5.
(Module Objective 4).”
Provide Learning Activities/Tasks/Assignments to Engage the Student
Learning activities actively engage the learner with the course content. These activities are varied to
provide reinforcement and mastery in multiple ways and to accommodate multiple learning styles. A
module may include 2 or more learning activities. Learning activities align with the course and module
objectives of the course by engaging students in activities that directly contribute to the achievement of
those objectives.
The learning activities should:
1.
Summarize key topics of the module, providing context and organization to course content
appropriate to the level of the student.
2.
State clearly the type of interaction expected of the student with the materials, the team or the
instructor, using sentences such as “Read X,” “Participate in discussion of X,”
“Submit exercise X,” etc.
3.
Clarify aspects that are missing or not sufficiently exposed in the readings.
4.
Point at connections with other topics.
5.
Explain procedures.
6.
Provide interactive exercises for the entire class or teams.
7.
Indicate whether the instructor will or will not be available to answer questions and provide
help.