News & Updates

How does your online course measure up?
A good online course takes into account the following points:

  • The course is well organized, easy to navigate, and logical.
  • The syllabus clearly states learning objectives and performance expectations.
  • The course complies with accessibility guidelines.
  • The course includes multiple opportunities for student input, feedback, and interaction.
  • The course promotes critical thinking.
  • The course objectives, instructional objectives, and assessment techniques match.
  • Students have the opportunity to assess themselves and each other.
  • The course used a variety of appropriate technology tools.
  • Student feedback is used to improve course delivery.

Online Syllabus Tips
Online course syllabus needs to be more detailed and include several additional features to help students navigate the online environment. 

    • Post a downloadable version of the syllabus so students can print it easily.
    • Include more details to avoid confusion and misinterpretation.
    • Identify student roles and responsibilities, particularly emphasizing the resources, procedures, and issues relevant to the online class.
    • Be redundant.  The syllabus should contain information that is also available in course announcements and calendar pages, such as due dates, assignments, and procedures.
    • Include a detailed description of the course layout – an explanation of what students can expect in each area of the course.
    • Explain course procedures in detail so student know how to proceed each week, how to submit assignments, etc.
    • Give clear participation expectations such as number of postings per week and what constitutes a quality contribution, etc.
    • Inform students of your schedule so they know when they can expect you to return graded assignments, when you are available for online office hours, etc.
    • Provide a schedule that lists the start and stop dates of each module.
    • Provide a weekly overview that explains what students should do each week.

    Professional Development Non-Credit Courses

    The Brenton Center recently become approved to accept credit cards for professional development non-credit courses. If you have an interest in developing and offering professional development non-credit courses contact the Brenton Center for details.

    Online Education Video

    View the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online Education video and learn what faculty, staff, and students have to say about their courses.

    Iowa Distance Learning Association Innovators Award

    Iowa State University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Distance Education received the award in 2009.