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In the analysis phase, you identified possible tasks that need to be done to develop your course. For the design phase, you will create a blueprint of your course on paper. You will start developing the overall structure of the course, and then you will develop the content that you will use. You will also identify dates, topics, teaching strategies, resources, and assessment strategies.

Schedule Days and Times to Work

Designing and developing a course can take a considerable amount of time. Dare I say months!? How much time are you willing to set aside to develop it? When you first begin working on the course, it might help if you set aside certain days and times, and stay on a regular schedule.


The Semester's Units (Topics) of Instruction

Instruction is usually divided into discrete units. This typically takes the form of instruction for each week during the semester, thus we plan for a "week's worth of instruction." There are variations on this, though. Not all instruction falls neatly into the "week of instruction" framework. Instead of 15 discrete units of instruction, there might be five major topics or units of instruction with each unit lasting three weeks. Whatever the case, you will now consider how those units of instruction will be organized, and decide what you will call them. The names you identify will become the name of the learning modules.

Your task: Come up with the names for your units of instruction for the entire semester. Call them "Week 1, Week 2," or "Topic Name 1, Topic Name 2," or whatever you want to call them.

Worksheet for Unit Names


Individual Unit of Instruction

For each unit of instruction (learning module), we will consider the following.

  • State the Goal of the instruction in general terms.
  • State the specific learning objectives for the students.
  • State the content that will be used (documents, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • State the instructional strategies you will use (See Instructional Strategies).
  • State the assessment strategies you will use.
  • Are there due dates?
  • Identify the Vista tools that will allow you to perform all the above.
    • Assessments - Quizzes
    • Assessments - Self-Tests
    • Assessments - Survey
    • Assignment Tool
    • Chat Room
    • Discussion Area
    • URL for Links to External Sites
    • Grade Book Columns

For each unit of instruction that you outline, make sure you have all the supporting documents. If you do not have them, you will want to create them before you start building the course in the Development phase. Look back at the Analysis phase and review the "Identify Content" section.

Your task: Design your units of instruction in the worksheet below.

Worksheet for Individual Unit of Instruction


Structuring the Learning Event

Overview Page with Instructions and Menu Item Names


Think of the items you identified in the "Individual Unit of Instruction" section above. Sketch out the sequence of instructions you would give your students to work them through the content and learning strategies in each of the units. This will become your "Overview Page" in each learning module. For example:

  1. Read Chapter 1, pages 5-10.
  2. Take the quiz named "Quiz - Chapter 1" The quiz will test your knowledge over basic terminology associated with writing research papers. You will only have one chance to take the quiz.
  3. Read the document named "Introduction to Writing Research Papers."
  4. Read the document named "My Research Proposal."
  5. Post comments in the discussion area named "Discussion - My Research Proposal." Instructions for posting your comments are in the "My Research Proposal" document. Comments are due by Wednesday at 12 midnight.
  6. Read "Assignment One: Reviewing the Research Literature." This assignment is due next Thursday by 12 midnight. If you do not submit the assignment before that time, you will not be able to submit it.
  7. If you have questions about Assignment One, post them in the discussion area called "Unit 1 - General Class Discussions."

Instructions should be short, concise, and explicit. Too much information tends to confuse the students. The purpose of the instructions is to move them through the learning exercises, and to prompt them what to do when.

Menu Item Names

We will use Vista's learning modules to organize content and Vista tools to facilitate teaching and learning events. Each learning module has links to documents and Vista tools. Now that you know how you will move the students through the learning event, you need to decide on what you will call the documents and Vista tools (assignment tools, discussion areas, etc) in the learning unit. In the previous section called "Instructions," you notice that item #3 says "Read the document named Introduction to Writing Research Papers." The instructions are referring to a specific document in the learning module's menu. It is important to name the link the exact way you refer to it in your instructions to avoid confusion. There must be a one-to-one correlation. The same is true for assignments and discussion areas, too.

Your task: Decide on the menu item names based on your instructions.

Repeat this process for each unit of leaning you identified in "The Semester's Units of Instruction."

Worksheet for Structuring the Learning Event and Menu Item Names