When teaching remotely, the principles of course design are the same as when teaching a face-to-face course or a traditional online course. Keep the following in mind:

  1. Keep it simple: use learning tools that you and your students are already familiar with. 
  2. Make sure your intended outcomes, learning activities, and assessments are aligned. 
  3. Ensure your course site is clear and well-planned. Include a weekly course schedule to map out the term for the students.
  4. Foster a sense of instructor presence and communicate with your students regularly.
  5. The University strongly encourages the use of asynchronous strategies.

Remote teaching course design checklist 

  • Consider the context of your course and identify opportunities and obstacles that you and your students are likely to encounter. 

  • List the desired content for your course, then streamline it by identifying the knowledge and skills that are absolutely essential. From this condensed list, develop the revised intended learning outcomes

  • Identify assessments and teaching strategies that align with the learning outcomes: how will you know how well your students have achieved the outcomes, and how will you teach so they are prepared to do the assessments?  

  • Develop an assessment plan that gives students some elements of choice. Avoid having deliverables for marks every single week; instead allow them to skip some submission dates or only count a subset of the marked work.  

  • Provide flexible ways for students to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes. Not all students need to complete the exact same assessments to demonstrate achievement. Ask then for their input into flexible assessments as well. 

  • Include scaffolded assessments that let students build their skills and knowledge incrementally and provide multiple opportunities for formative feedback throughout the term. 

  • Develop a clear and well-planned course site to minimize the potential of cognitive overload for your students. Course templates are available in LEARN to help you quickly and easily create a well-planned and usable LEARN site.

  • Determine how you are going to share your content with your students – for example, via pre-recorded lectures or screencasts, narrated PowerPoint presentations, textbook or online readings, open content, and so on. When possible, choose asynchronous tools over synchronous tools. 

  • Don’t livestream complete lectures; instead, break your lectures down into 5-10 minute, self-standing mini-lectures which can be recorded and made available to students. Livestreaming should be reserved for tutorial sessions and online office hours.