Here’s my suggestion given my readings and workings with teachers developing and teaching online courses.
1. Teachers should provide regular effective feedback and guidance to students
a. Some course tools such as the assessment tool can provide immediate feedback on individual student performance
b. Students can give feedback to each other on performance
c. Some publisher site activities are designed to provide instant feedback on performance
2. Course design should include authentic activities that are designed so that students learn to apply what they have learned to real world scenarios, i.e., anchored instruction/active learning
3. Teachers should design activities that connect new content to be learned with students’ existing knowledge structures
a. Pre-test students on material to be learned by creating an assessment or asking all students to answer a series of questions. Content presented by the teacher is dependent on students’ answers
b. Teacher summarizes what was learned in module one and explains relationship of it with material to be learned in module two
4. Class should include a variety of collaborative (paired or small group) activities so that students develop awareness of diverse perspectives and to promote classroom community
5. Provide course resources (scaffolds) for under-prepared students
a. Prepare materials or locate resources to help those under-prepared students
6. Make use of time management techniques and course tools to keep students organized and on task
a. Create a course check-in routine that students follow every time they log into the course
b. Make use of course tools like the calendar and get students used to checking it to alert them of pending deadlines and assessments
c. Hide/Reveal course content to focus students’ attention on current and upcoming course activtities
7. Online course materials should be designed to work in tandem with on ground materials, e.g., textbooks
a. Course materials in books, textbooks, and handouts do not necessarily need to be converted to present in your course
b. Online course materials can act as an advance organizer to students’ on ground materials, i.e., textbooks, etc.
c. If online materials are a duplicate of paper handouts, then students will likely read one or the other but not both
8. Class activities should require students to make use of multiple sources of information including the Internet, library databases, etc., in completing assignments.
9. Course should be designed so that students can easily find what work they’re supposed to be doing, when it’s due, where in the course they have to do the work, and how they’re going to be assessed on their work.
a. See time management technqiues in number six
b. Create a table/matrix that displays time period, activity, due date, toolset being utilized, and method of assessment.
10. Course should include pre-course (before course begins) and during course assessments to help students assess their readiness prior to instruction and graded activities
a. Make use of college pre-course readiness assessment so students can determine their level of preparedness to begin the class
b. Create readiness assessments prior to grade assessments to help students check their understanding