What do you believe?  About learning I mean.  Take a few minutes and dig back into the various learning theories we all have studied as educators.  Which ones of these actually work in an online platform?  See my quick (OK, fairly quick) run down of the main ones and what that can look like online.  Get this part straight before you even start with the design process because it will subconsciously direct EVERYTHING.

Ready, set…Once you have the green light to bring your blended learning, hybrid or online course into existence, and you feel good about your learning / teaching theories, there are a few things you should know before jumping right into the creating phase.  The first is this:  have a well thought-out design.

The first step, as unexciting as it may seem, is more logistical in nature than creative.  Find a good platform for your course.  I have chosen to work with Schoology for the purpose of learning how to do this, but at my job I will undoubtedly use Desire 2 Learn, as that is the school-wide online platform we have adopted.

Schoology is a free, top-rated site that performs pretty much any task you might expect or need for an online course.

Next, outline the basics, so that you are crystal clear on your outcomes, audience, and basic information.  It may seem redundant but all of this shapes what comes next.  RESIST the urge to skip ahead – there is nothing worse than having your students struggle or hit a pothole because you neglected to do it right the first time.  Sure, your course will need tweaking and modifying all year long.  But make sure you have thoroughly paved the way before you invite your students to travel along.

You can see my initial outline below under Introduction & Learning Goals for the Unit I am working on.  It may seem tedious but trust me when I tell you that it helped IMMENSELY when it came to the creation phase.  Immensely is a fancy word for A LOT.  Make an outline!

Finally you can find a page of links below which will bring you to more sites you thought existed where you can take online courses (many for free) on virtually any topic.  Photography?  Drawing?  Quantum Physics?  French?  Oui mon ami, they are all there for the clicking.  Mind blown.  This hefty list was compiled by Best College Reviews and I marvel at their fine research work.  Check it out!  The best way to create a course may be to take one first…