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Reviewing the Planning Matrix for an Online Course

Review your planning matrix to determine if: 

  • Each objective is aligned with an observable assignment or assessment.
  • You have included a sufficient number of activities that promote active learning (e.g., discussion forums, Web conferencing, collaborative assignments, interactive Web activities). Visit Active Learning to read available strategies.
  • You have included a sufficient number of activities that help create an online learning community. Visit The Journal to read 9 tips on creating an online learning community.
  • You have included a sufficient number of practice opportunities to help students achieve the objectives (e.g., non-graded quizzes, worksheets, and on-your-own activities).
  • The workload is manageable for both you, the instructor and your students. Online activities take longer than you think. Be careful that you do not create a course and a half. If you have developed more activities that students will have time to complete or that you will have time to grade, you may need to either delete some objectives or simplify how you will assess them.
  • You will have time to create the content and activities you describe in the matrix. Some instructors take a phased approach by determining a simpler approach the first time they teach the course and then adding enhancements as time permits during subsequent course offerings.