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Online Instruction >> Pedagogy >> ONLINE COURSE COMPONENTS

Completely online courses need several components to be successful. Conversion Chart

  • Homepage--The homepage is the first page the student will come to for the class, so should be clear and friendly. This is the URL which you will first give the students in email or they will have by finding our online guide in the Schedule of Classes. The Homepage could include your contact information, personal information like a welcoming photo and background, links to the other course essentials. If you use a course management tool like WebCT, there is a Welcome page in it which can serve as a homepage or introduction for students who are considering taking the course because they may read it without signing in with a password.
  • Syllabus and/or Calendar--All the essential information about the class should be easy to find. The requirements for undergraduate syllabi at CSUN can be found at Good Syllabus Design

  • Content--There are many forms for content. It can be a good textbook with graded quizzes to ensure that it is read, online lectures with discussion, or CD Roms with video, student research and projects, and/or links to websites.
  • Communication Tools--The heart of an online course is communication. Studies show that the most successful online courses with high retention rates have the most communication and feedback for the students. Communication tools can include email for office hours, asynchronous online bulletin boards for posting reports and responses or group work, and synchronous chat for group discussion, lecture, or office hours.
  • Assessment Tools--Online quiz tools can create self-tests, surveys, and open-book content testing. Course management systems like WebCT and Blackboard can automatically grade the quizzes and enter the numbers into an online gradebook. It is particularly important to grade and provide ample feedback for anything you want students to do in an online course.