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Developing Online Lessons and Assignments

Here are some tips on developing lessons and assignments: 

  • Lesson notes. The notes should be clear, organized and accurate. The more detailed your lessons are, the more easily students will understand the content.
  • Mini-lectures (short recorded presentations). PowerPoint slides are probably insufficient by themselves to communicate content unless you provide detailed notes for each slide. (Often this is more easily accomplished and consumed by students in a Word document.) We recommend 10- to 15-minute recorded lectures with visuals that focus on key or difficult concepts.
  • Assignments. Instructions should be detailed and thorough since assignment instructions are often prone to misunderstanding by online students. View an example. Provide a rubric for subjectively graded assignments to help make expectations clear and provide criteria for levels of performance. View an example.
  • Discussion forum prompts. Good prompts usually consist of one or two open-ended questions that invite critical, reflective discussion. Communicate your expectations regarding the quality and number of responses and how often students should respond. View an example