Creating Online Learning Experiences
Matt Crosslin, University of Texas at Arlington
Brett Benham, University of Texas at Arlington
Justin T. Dellinger, University of Texas at Arlington
Amber Patterson, City of Mesquite, Texas
Peggy Semingson, The University of Texas at Arlington
Catherine A. Spann, University of Colorado
Brittany Usman, University of Texas at Arlington
Justin T. Dellinger, University of Texas at Arlington
Rebecca Heiser, Penn State University
Katerina Riviou, Greece & Open University of Netherlands
Brittany Usman, University of Texas at Arlington
Copyright Year: 2018
ISBN 13: 9780989887816
Publisher: Mavs Open Press
Conditions of Use
The book provides a broad overview as well as specifics regarding online learning in the current environment. read more
The book provides a broad overview as well as specifics regarding online learning in the current environment.
A broad range of views and approaches to online learning are supported by cited research.
The book is very relevant within the current time frame considering the influx of online learning delivery. It is difficult to tell the future direction of online learning, but the material presented presents a grounded, foundational knowledge of effective online course delivery.
All information is supported by definitions and additional resources to ensure clarity.
Terminology is consistent throughout the text.
With the layout of chapters, it would be easy to divide the book into reading sections to produce more bite-sized chunks that align with the course and module objectives.
The text is organized through presentation in chapters. While there are some areas that seem to veer off of the specific topic, the information provided is useful and would easily be modified within the context of any specific course.
Navigation through the text was easy and seamless.
No grammatical errors were noted.
Examples used were culturally inclusive.
A great deal of information is presented making it important to consider which sections/chapters are used as to not overwhelm those getting started with the creation of online learning experiences.
Table of Contents was well organized and the content of the book as a whole is much more thorough than other textbooks I have read about online learning instruction, however the focus on MOOCs in the initial chapter prepares this book to be setup... read more
Table of Contents was well organized and the content of the book as a whole is much more thorough than other textbooks I have read about online learning instruction, however the focus on MOOCs in the initial chapter prepares this book to be setup for this specific type of online instruction. If MOOC, a very specific form of online learning is the focus of the book, I would expect the title to be changed to reflect this.
Overall, from my perspective, each chapter “touches” on too many topics, sometimes misaligned with the chapter title. With this approach, no specific concept is covered in any depth.
Information provided is broad but relevant and accurate. This is an excellent reference if you are new to instructional design and provides a clear and thoughtful roadmap as to how you can develop online courses.
I like that they open the book noting that they plan to continually update and expand the material and are open to additions from those w/varying viewpoints. Citations of work are referenced consistently throughout the textbook, although there are few inclusions of recent research (within the last 7 years). This is a factor that should be considered for revision when considering updates. The intro to online learning (Chapter 1) is focused mainly on MOOCs, which was the initial purpose of the book, but this type of learning is just one part of the online learning domain and seems to be continually referenced throughout.
Text is easy to read and understand. The terminology used varies from chapter to chapter and some requires additional (recommended) reading to better grasp.
Although this text was written by many different authors, this is not particularly noticeable throughout. The major area where I can see inconsistencies is use of references. While some authors cite the references in text, especially when using direct quotes (which is appropriate), others reference at the end of the paragraph or chapter. References of others’ work should be noted both in-text and at the end of each chapter and those references should be consistent throughout the book.
The text is organized nicely into specific sections that could be assigned sequentially or referenced individually, as needed. This would be a great option to use as a reference for professional development with individuals who are looking to expand online course selection/development, but would be best if it included someone who is familiar with online learning already as a lead/support.
Some of the information presented does not seem to be aligned with chapter titles and may be better organized elsewhere. For example, from my viewpoint, discussion of asynchronous versus synchronous learning falls more into “Overview of Online Courses” rather than “Basic Philosophies.” Similarly, I don’t view goals/objectives/competencies (currently organized in “Basic Philosophies” chapter as a philosophy, but rather as course/instructional preparation. This chapter, specifically, seems highly disorganized in organization of content. For example, several paragraphs address “openness” and open content in this chapter. Why, when there is a complete chapter already devoted to this topic in the book? I think the author(s) were trying to cover a vast amount of information in a more concise format and sometimes this can lead to difficulty identifying where content is most logically placed.
The book is easy to read and broken into appropriate paragraphs. Very few images/charts are included, and those that are included are simplistically developed- no issue with distorted text/graphics. Additional graphics and more professional formation of graphics would be helpful to reinforce topics and engage learners who exhibit a preference toward visual learning.
Check capitalization – for example, “Closed Captions” on p. 26. Spelling on p. 117 – thorough - intent was “through” I believe. Review grammar: “A statement that declares that codes apply at all…..” on p. 167.
While not discussed in-depth in the book itself, different viewpoints were noted and recommended for further reading (example, Ch. 3: Institutional Courses in reference to technology usage in education). This approach requires the reader to access additional (provided) resources outside of the textbook. To maximize readers’ time and address these different viewpoints directly, embedding within the book itself may be appropriate. I do appreciate, though, how it was noted throughout the textbook in multiple areas that instructional design is influenced by the designer so reflection of this as you are building a course is a must.
Overall, this was a book that I found informative and well-rounded. This is an excellent starting point for the novice course designer and for any online instructor. For those with more experience in the area of online learning, this serves as a great method to reflect on the many areas that are required in online learning design and to extend learning in areas that may have been lacking before. Some areas did not go into as great of depth as I wanted, but I appreciated the many links embedded within the chapters so that you could complete other suggested readings for additional information on topics addressed.
This text was comprehensive and included an appropriate level of detail for a book about creating online learning experiences. There was no index, but there was a clear table of contents and list of links at the end of the text. read more
This text was comprehensive and included an appropriate level of detail for a book about creating online learning experiences. There was no index, but there was a clear table of contents and list of links at the end of the text.
The content was accurate and generally unbiased.
The content was relevant to teaching online, but several of the chapters used the terminology/context of MOOCs instead of more general online courses. Given the current context (summer 2020, with many universities about to move online for some or all of the fall and possibly beyond), it would be a useful update to cull these references to MOOCs and make this more about a general online teaching experience.
The writing was very accessible and conversational. More graphics may have helped convey points quickly and succinctly--those in the chapter on advanced course design were especially thoughtful and engaging.
I appreciated the explanation that the book did not take the "one author, one chapter" approach; however, I am unsure about whether this is the cause, but at times the voice felt scattered. This was especially true when links to outside resources were shared without comment throughout the chapters.
The utility of this text would not be to use as a course text, to teach chapter by chapter, but rather as a source of professional development for those wishing to teach online. That said, the topics were divided clearly and logically.
The book was logically organized. Given that there was sometimes a focus on MOOCs, and sometimes a more general online approach, it may make sense to further subdivide the book into those two areas. For example, mentions of the help of instructional designer or of marketing the course would likely not apply to most people teaching their first online courses and turning to this book for advice, but the reach could certainly be widened if the chapter organization more clearly represented the title of the text.
The interface was smooth. I chose to read the book as a pdf, but there were other options as well. The links were easily visible.
There were no errors in grammar or usage.
The book did not have instances of cultural insensitivity.
The text is an approachable well-indexed and well-outlined one-stop-shop introduction to instructional design and online learning. You can always learn more about creating and improving online learning experiences. We're all building and enhancing... read more
The text is an approachable well-indexed and well-outlined one-stop-shop introduction to instructional design and online learning. You can always learn more about creating and improving online learning experiences. We're all building and enhancing our skills in that arena right now and nothing is going to be FULLY comprehensive in this field but I would not hesitate to recommend this book for someone wanting to learn more about the subject.
Text accurately presents how to create online learning experiences. We are in a time of rapid change in terms of what is available in and best practices for online pedagogy but the content seems accurate (and is being updated with new links).
As long as the text is viewed as a living document and is updated regularly it should have longevity. New research on use of technology and engagement can be added as it is published. Sections can be added into the text with new pertinent information as well. Instructional Design is growing rapidly as a profession. Folks new to ID (and folks new to online teaching in general) can benefit from this text.
The text easy easy to understand and provides clear, concise explanations of complex and discipline-specific terminology.
The text is even and engaging in tone throughout. Nothing struck me as jarring or out of place.
The text can be divided into course modules by chapter easily. Plus using this book in a modular form in an online course would be useful to help teach those in the course how to use a text to develop modules for an online course.
I started by selecting chapters at random, then went back and from read the beginning and found the presentation of material thoughtfully organized in a logical order. The text is designed so that a reader without a background in creating online learning experiences could start at the beginning of the text, gain skills as they progress through the chapters, and not feel intimated.
No issues with user interface on computer and tablet but it was difficult to read on a phone (see "cultural relevance" and user access to technology)
No noticeable grammatical errors.
If we're discussing academic culture and the online pivot, the text is relevant to current academic culture. It is not culturally insensitive but the text does not expressly address systemic racism and classism in the academy in terms of access to technology as a barrier to fully using online teaching and learning tools in online course environments.
I would recommend Creating Online Learning Experiences as one of the texts for an instructional design course. I'd also recommend it as a text for any pedagogy course (or as a text for any new or veteran faculty member) because everyone should learn best practices for developing online learning experiences.
We taught a course for graduate students that covered teaching online. This textbook gave the students a good overview of the guiding principles for teaching online. It was an easy read. Excellent breadth. read more
We taught a course for graduate students that covered teaching online. This textbook gave the students a good overview of the guiding principles for teaching online. It was an easy read. Excellent breadth.
Content was accurate. Provided a really good introduction of what it means to teach online.
Content was accurate and up-to-date. We would use the textbook again. Students accessed a PDF of the book. That will be easy to replace with a new edition should there be one.
Textbook was easy to read and understand.
Terminology was consistent throughout the textbook and aligned with what you find in the field of practice.
Sections of the book were chunked into manageable sections and in an appropriate order.
Topics were presented in a clear, logical fashion.
Nothing to speak of.
Minimal grammar errors.
Textbook discussed principals, it did not need to include examples of inclusivity
It was a great text. We used it along with another textbook. We only had 4 students and had hoped to get them to review the book but they did not. However, we didn't get any complaints about the textbook either. I would use the textbook again.
This text gives a complete introduction to creating online learning. The index is well labelled making it easy to find what one needs. There is no glossary included in this text. read more
This text gives a complete introduction to creating online learning. The index is well labelled making it easy to find what one needs.
There is no glossary included in this text.
I find the content accurate and up to date. I tried many of the links offered and found them to be functional and current.
Updates should be easy to incorporate.. Technology rapidly changes and new apps appear every day that may be useful to the person using this text. I see that some links have already been updated. As long as the author keeps up with these changes, the text should remain up-to-date
This book contains a great deal of technical terms and acronyms. Each of these is defined in context as the terminology appears.
This book uses consistent language throughout and the framework allows the reader to find the topic that is needed easily
Each chapter can be considered a single unit for purposes of assignments. Readings are not too long. When the students begin to practice developing online
learning experiences there is a tremendous amount of information that can be accessed through links. There is a "Links by Chapter" Section that makes these tools easy to locate.
I read this book from beginning to end and the organization made sense to me. It is also a book that can be used out of sequence without causing reader confusion
No interface issues noticed
No grammatical errors noted.
There is no evidence of bias. There are no pictures or multimedia used so diversity is neither present nor absent.
I would use this book as a supplement to courses that require development of online lessons
Covers everything from determining your course philosophy to the elements of course design and content specific strategies. read more
Covers everything from determining your course philosophy to the elements of course design and content specific strategies.
Based on my knowledge of online learning, which is moderate, the information appeared to be complete and accurate.
The book is current and relevant. Just by the nature of the topic (online learning), the information will need to be updated frequently to stay current.
This title was exceptionally easy to understand and digest.
The book maintains consistency throughout the content.
The book is divided into chapters that make sense and broken down further with adequately labelled subheadings.
The book starts with overarching themes and philosophies and narrows to a variety of relevant topics that need to be considered when developing online content.
I viewed the book as an online PDF. It was easy to read in this format. I would have enjoyed more in depth navigation, like being able to jump to pages, table of contents, or beginning of a chapter.
Book is very readable and appears to be error free.
Although the book is thorough in addressing developing course materials designed to engage all students, it doesn't extensively reference addressing specific needs of varied and diverse learners.
This text is well organized and informative, giving readers a broad overview of online course design to giving specific recommendations for development of content and learning experiences. This is certainly a timely and important topic for educators who are expanding learning beyond traditional four-wall learning environment, whether it be for supplementing traditional course material or developing an entirely online learning model. The author hits all of the major points and assists the reader in thinking through course design from the conceptual stage to the implementation. Very useful resource.
I do believe this is a great text to review for enhancing or developing your online classes. I believe the concepts within the text are precise to online learning and provide the reader with plenty of information for each topic. I was very happy... read more
I do believe this is a great text to review for enhancing or developing your online classes. I believe the concepts within the text are precise to online learning and provide the reader with plenty of information for each topic. I was very happy to see that all the interface within the text, specifically the links, were easily accessed and accurate. I did not see a glossary or index.
The text and information included was relevant to the topic and error free to my knowledge.
The content in the text was very relevant for today's students. Technology is constantly changing so it is nice to see a text that is adaptive.
I am not an expert in online education but I do teach a few online classes. I like that this text is clear for students/teachers with any background. I did not get lost in the text, everything was clear and detailed.
Text was consistent with no major errors in terminology or framework.
Chapters and Sections within the text are nicely laid out. I did not have any issues with "getting lost" in the text.
I felt the overall layout of this text was nicely done. I like that I can go back to specific parts of this text for further course development. I enjoy enhancing the content in my courses as well as the accessibility. I was happy with the amount of knowledge that is in this text as well as the links provided for further review.
I did not experience any issues with links, displays, or charts. I find it refreshing that all the interface within the text is functional, often times we see many issues with interface.
A few simple grammatical errors.
I found the text professional and well written. The text specifically talks about creating Diversity in Online Courses.
I think this is a great text for anyone who is creating or teaching online courses.
This book is delightfully comprehensive. The links provide pathways to ideas beyond the text. I found myself lost in the ideas of rhizomatic education. The basic structure of the book is not overly explanatory. It presents the basic concepts of... read more
This book is delightfully comprehensive. The links provide pathways to ideas beyond the text. I found myself lost in the ideas of rhizomatic education. The basic structure of the book is not overly explanatory. It presents the basic concepts of developing a good online learning environment. The links, however, are the delightful pieces. Following them leads to information that is much more comprehensive on various aspects of creating an online learning environment such as platforms to use, assessment and grading, or utilizing social learning in online courses.
This book has been well researched. I found little to no errors. It is wonderfully comprehensive. Although not all the information is relevant to my particular course redesign, I plan to return to various chapters to continue to follow up on relevant links to additional information. The chapter on creating effective course activities seems to be up-to-date with examples of platforms to research.
The book is current. Because it is a text about creating online learning environments, there may be a period of time in the future where the information is out-of-date due the nature of changing technology. However, the author has requested any new information or updates to be communicated. It seems that this will keep the text from becoming obsolete for a while.
For an instructor, this book’s prose and terminology is appropriate. The jargon used should be accessible for all instructors.
The framework of this book is consistent. The progression from one chapter to the next is consistent and although it was written for developing a MOOC, I found it useful to redesign my online course.
Although I don’t plan to use this book for students in my courses, I do plan to offer it as a resource for redesigning courses with OER. The chapters could be used separately. Not all chapters are as useful for my redesign plans. I have no need to market my course (Chapter 14: Marketing of an Online Course). However, I will be returning to Chapter 9: Assessment and Grading Issues more often to continue to create learning experiences for students that veer away from traditional grading practices.
I appreciated the structure of this book. Although some chapters were not useful for redesigning my online course, I found most chapters to be well organized. I would want to revisit the chapters as I redesign. I applaud the inclusion of a chapter on mindfulness in online courses. As an instructor, I am consistently revisiting the ways in which students engage with my courses, and this chapter is a good reminder of “incorporating contemplation”.
The links embedded within this text all work. I found no problems. The book is easy to navigate. There are a few images near the end of the text which are not distorted.
This is a well-written text with no grammatical errors.
This book includes information on creating course content that is accessible. I appreciated the section on “Diversity in Content and Videos”. These questions are thoughtful. “Do all the people in my examples or graphics look like me? What statements or images would not make sense to those living elsewhere? Am I looking at all issues from all angles, or just the ones I am familiar with? Do I express any of my opinions as facts?”. They are excellent simple questions to keep in mind when designing any course.
This text is a good overview of creating an online course. It focuses on creating MOOC's, but it I found it useful for both my work in creating Open Educational Resources and redesigning my online course.
As the authors write in the introduction, “‘online experiences’ is a broad term that covers a large number of contexts and possibilities” (p. xiii). This textbook covers a wide range of those possibilities. The authors’ stated intention is to... read more
As the authors write in the introduction, “‘online experiences’ is a broad term that covers a large number of contexts and possibilities” (p. xiii). This textbook covers a wide range of those possibilities. The authors’ stated intention is to provide an introductory guide for instructors of small, closed courses as well as massive open courses, and they succeed.
As noted in the title, this is a brief guide. The included content is accurate and well grounded in the literature, but some readers—particularly those with more background knowledge—may argue that some sections of the text are inaccurate by way of omission. I don’t think this is the case if the book is evaluated for what it is intended to be—a brief rather than exhaustive guide.
The text is as up to date as any book about tech matters can be. The text seems to be written in such a way that updates and additions can be made relatively easily.
The authors’ use clear and straightforward prose, accessible to even tech-skittish readers or readers brand new to the field of online learning.
The authors’ key ideas are consistent conceptually and in terminology throughout the text.
The text is easy to navigate and manage in the various formats provided. (I spent most of my time in the PDF version.)
The text is consistent and cohesive. Flow from chapter to chapter is logical.
The book is easy to navigate on a desktop and mobile device.
There were few errors in language and none that impeded clear communication.
The book is appropriate in this regard.
This text is comprehensive and easy to read, understand, and navigate. I would happily use it in an intro course on online learning and would recommend it to others.
This text has a wealth of resources, links, and navigation helps that encourage the reader/learner to explore further. However, the effort at brevity results in some overly simplistic or assumptive approaches to summarizing research or theoretical... read more
This text has a wealth of resources, links, and navigation helps that encourage the reader/learner to explore further. However, the effort at brevity results in some overly simplistic or assumptive approaches to summarizing research or theoretical frameworks (i.e. instructivist, constructivist, connectivism)
From my perspective, the authors make an effort to provide baseline perspectives from a variety of viewpoints, but fall just a bit short. The text is not inaccurate, but it seems to favor a critical approach to course design and learning.
Highly relevant and well-resourced with popular and academic resources to further explore.
Some jargon and informal prose, but very readable.
Connects introductory material to new constructs throughout the text. Consistently defines terms.
Modularity by chapter is fine, but the organization within a chapter and the flow of one section to another is often difficult to follow. For example, the chapter entitled "Effective Practices" lists suggested successful versus unsuccessful teaching strategies. Then, it moves to grading and student issues. The sections did not seem to flow well.
The organization of the chapters and the information flow within chapters seems disjointed given the chapter titles.
The interface was responsive an easy to use.
Very few grammatical errors noted. Most could be viewed as preferences
I am not sure what this standard means. However, I did not observe or note anything insensitive.
Designing online learning can be a complex process with many personalities involved. Such a multifaceted process can be difficult to write about in neutral context. The authors largely meet this challenge and provide a wide array of linked resources and citations. The content is a good mix of classical instructional design approaches and new and emerging constructs in online teaching and learning.
Suggestions for future revisions include more attention the learning theories that inform teaching practices, more nuance when describing and/or assigning value to particular approaches (i.e. "instructivism"), and a much more detailed approach to organization and flow of information.
The book covers most of the major topics that would be included in an introductory course on developing/teaching online courses. At some points in the book I wished for more coverage of the topic. read more
The book covers most of the major topics that would be included in an introductory course on developing/teaching online courses. At some points in the book I wished for more coverage of the topic.
I thought the content that was included in the book was accurate and relevant to work in the area.
When developing online courses there are a lot of basic or core ideas that remain the same despite changes to technology and modes of instruction. This book does a good job of laying out those core ideas in a way that will remain relevant for a longer period. The way the text is structured will allow for further elaboration as needed, or for adding new topics as they enter the core.
The book is written in a clear and accessible manner.
No major errors noticed.
The chapters of the books (and sections within) are well structured in terms of modularity. Each chapter is easily consumable on its own, but the section headers make it easy to pick and choose relevant section.
The organization of the book is largely good, though there are some sections where subsections seem to be a bit disparate from one another.
Overall the interface is very good. As someone who prefers visuals I would have liked to have seen more visual content provided.
I did not notice and major grammatical errors
No issues noticed.
This book is a great text for an introductory course on designing online learning experiences. It would be very relevant for graduate students or faculty learning to teach online, but should be accessible to undergraduates or others interested in the area as well.
This book originated as a guide/manual for MOOCs (massive open online courses) development but has later been expanded into its current OER book form through several authors. It is certainly still skewed a bit towards MOOCs rather than regular... read more
This book originated as a guide/manual for MOOCs (massive open online courses) development but has later been expanded into its current OER book form through several authors. It is certainly still skewed a bit towards MOOCs rather than regular university online courses in its selection of topics handled in more detail, e.g. media production, marketing, social media options. The chapters have somewhat uneven lengths and substance. Some topics are treated a bit superficially (course activities, tech tools pros and cons), while others are almost too overly detailed (podcast production and script/graphics preparation) and/or written for absolute beginners (e.g. blog structure), yet Chapter 2 called “Basic philosophies” can be at times difficult to digest for new users. The book references many approaches to course design, development, and implementation, if some rather briefly but with ample further clickable URL resources embedded in the text. The Conclusion chapter is very short and the common ADDIE course design model should have been at least referenced sooner in the text than in the conclusion. The text also does not contain a glossary or index in its current edition.
One of the book’s strengths, being originally conceived as a guide for MOOCs, is its repeated reminders about designing an online course for the widest possible audience with many differing cultural backgrounds and viewpoints and keep important universal design principles in mind, e.g. accessibility (although the term universal design is completely missing from the book!).
On page 140, the authors suggest to use social media avatars that match the institutional logos but a word of caution might be useful there as some institutions may have a more restrictive policy on using their official branding on all course-related products.
As far as the timeline for course design is concerned, p. 61 states “having a course completely designed and reviewed by the first day of class” being crucial but it should rather be finished weeks sooner than that to allow for enough planning and revisions for its actual implementation or training of instructional staff.
The Google+ social networking site has shut down as of 2019 and will presumably be removed if the book gets updated next.
The book does a great job here, not overly complicated explanations. Although there seem to be some theories that are provided maybe in too much detail for a brief guide. Overall it seemed to me that MOOCs and regular online courses do not always get efficiently delineated (especially in Chapter 3) and are often more MOOC-relevant. It would have been helpful to read more about QM and OLC rubric deployment for evaluation of MOOCs, as they rather seemed to have been meant more for smaller online courses. The beginning of Chapter 7 confused me slightly because content and activities can also be integrated (e.g. interactive videos or lessons) and not sure if MOOCs are by default light on content versus activities. Overall less content gets covered than in a typical university online course but in a content to activity ratio, there may be more time needed for content absorption and typical activities (posting discussions, reflecting) would take less time.
Also on p. 52 it says that “once a course has been approved, the creation process should begin immediately – within one week of the approval or less” but it is not explained why such a rushed timeline is necessary.
The text often includes external references as clickable URLs and internal references to different chapters within the book. However, those frequent internal references to other sections in the book (often breaking the flow of text) are not clickable even in the online version. The only inconsistent reference I found was about the suggested length of videos in online courses, sometimes under 5 mins, other times 5-8 or 3-6 mins are quoted from the original source.
The last few chapters (mindfulness, gamification, marketing) are more groundbreaking and better suited for advanced online instructors or instructional designers, e.g. self-mapped learning pathways or rhizomatic learning in Chapter 13 or marketing in Chapter 14. The beginning chapters cover lot more basics that advanced users would probably skip. The transition from Chapter 2 (Basic philosophies) to 3 (Institutional courses) is not very logical as no other type of courses than institutional get covered in the book.
Organization is mostly clear but some chapters could be reorganized, merged (e.g. Chapter 1 and 2) or expanded (e.g. Chapter 6). The mindfulness chapter (Chapter 12) offers lots of specific steps and details to implement several awareness raising activities right away but some basic course design principles and tools in earlier chapters are just briefly outlined (e.g. synchronous sessions like unhangouts, perhaps less relevant to MOOCs). Locating OER materials is previewed in Chapter 7 but also has its own chapter immediately following.
Links in online version open in same tab but returning takes the user to the exact same location back.
Just a few typos were found: “worked” on p. 105, “with in” on p. 104, “in too” p. 90, “that” on p. 67.
Throughout the book there are references to the importance of Code of conduct for online courses and social media activities in general.
Favorite quote that should be somehow highlighted for new course designers is that “design is messy and not linear. It also doesn’t stop because the course is being taught.” (p. 193) The book would do well to place a bit more emphasis and provide helpful tips for iterative design, what changes are recommended when subsequently offering courses other than just updating references.
Interesting that a full chapter (Chapter 8) is devoted to Open Educational Resources (OER) when OER seem to be in conflict with a lot of MOOC content that are proprietary and not available online to further adapt, reuse, or remix. This contradiction could have been addressed.
One interesting area not covered in the book much is background knowledge about how MOOCs work that would be relevant for those thinking about creating or taking them: What are the academic/financial rewards of MOOCs for instructors and institutions, but also how premium options for students (length of access, certificates) and completion rates affect course design and how universities and MOOC contracts work in general. Given many universities initial fear and skepticism towards MOOCs, it would be interesting to know how widely MOOC content or even complete courses are used in traditional university settings if at all. If universities offer MOOCs, what decisions go into which courses get offered, for how long, etc.
This is a comprehensive guide for developing online courses. It offers direction applicable to any educational instruction and context taking the reader through the various stages of design while discussing: educational philosophies, teaching... read more
This is a comprehensive guide for developing online courses. It offers direction applicable to any educational instruction and context taking the reader through the various stages of design while discussing: educational philosophies, teaching methods, learning styles, timelines, effective practices, activities, content, tools and technology. It also hones in on the need for humanizing the online learning experience. The text does not include an index nor a glossary.
The information in the text appears to be correct and precise. The various aspects of online course design is introduced in an objective manner. The manual discusses synchronous vs. asynchronous courses, well-structured vs. flexible teaching methods, and suggests many tools and technologies for the reader to consider when creating an online course.
The subject matter in this guide is practical and applicable to online course development. The author presents many technologies and new systems of current popularity. The handbook draws on Mindfulness, popular in pedagogy today, with an explanation of its importance, how it relates to contemplative education along with examples of its application. The chapters are written and arranged in such a way that various sections can be updated or revised to include any new developments in technology and tools.
The guide is easy to read, explains terms and spells out abbreviations and acronyms.
The information presented is consistent with other texts on the subject of learning and teaching theory.
The chapters of the manual may be read in numbered order or the reader may use it as a reference book and select the appropriate sections that meet their needs while designing an online course.
The chapters flow in a logical path taking the reader through the progression of online course creation starting with an introduction to online learning and ending with the marketing of the final product. Extensive references, many with links to more in depth sources, are documented at the end of each chapter.
The layout from chapter to chapter is consistent throughout the text with appropriate formatting of headings and lists within each section. One easily navigates through the sections of this e-book from the table of contents located on the left side of the page or clicks to proceed from screen to screen in the lower right corner. Links to outside sources function properly.
Spell check missed a couple of errors.
The author devotes a section of this handbook to “Diversity in Online Courses” stressing the importance of personalizing the online learning experience for students. The handbook emphasizes the need for instructors to consider specific cultural, socioeconomic factors, and abilities of learners. The text offers specific guidelines and “codes of conduct” for respecting diversity and privacy issues.
The selection of topics / chapters are appropriate, common and emerging topics in the online learning creation process. Emerging topics include a chapter dedicated to open educational resources. Concepts within the chapters are appropriate and... read more
The selection of topics / chapters are appropriate, common and emerging topics in the online learning creation process. Emerging topics include a chapter dedicated to open educational resources. Concepts within the chapters are appropriate and address the many issues that compromise the process. Multiple formats of the book are available to the reader.
Content is accurate, clear and straight forward. Biased information was not recognized and overall was error free. The text practiced their own recommendations. Specific to accessibility, links included meaningful text (minus end of chapter citation). Due to the substantial citations that were located at the conclusion of each chapter, which included direct links, a bibliography at the end of the textbook would be a better location for screen readers / accessibility.
Content is up to date and include many of current best practices for online teaching and learning. The content is written in an easy and straightforward means for implementation. Topics included are excellent and will be relevant in years to come.
The reading level is appropriate for the intended audience. The use of educational jargon, confusing terms, unnecessarily complex language is avoided. Content is stated clearly and written from the learner's perspective.
Layout of the text and each chapter are consistent including references. This is impressive considering the number of authors.
The text uses appropriate design elements, including colors, fonts, spacing, graphics, formatting to facilitate modularity and minimize distractions for the learner.
The text is presented in a logical, clear fashion, including the order topics were presented.
Links within the text open in the same window. This caused navigation issues. As I clicked to return to the text book, it brought me back to the title page every time. This made navigation cumbersome and inefficient. There is no distortion of tables or charts. The textbook facilitates readability and minimizes distractions. The text contains minimal charts and no images.
The text contains no noticed grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive.
This is a concise, yet comprehensive book. A job well done!
One of this book's major strengths is its comprehensive treatment of online learning experiences for practitioners. Although it includes a very extensive bibliography, this book is above all a practical guide for designing, evaluating, and using... read more
One of this book's major strengths is its comprehensive treatment of online learning experiences for practitioners. Although it includes a very extensive bibliography, this book is above all a practical guide for designing, evaluating, and using online resources to promote great learning. For someone interested in the latest research in instructional theory or methods, there are probably other books better suited to that purpose.
I'm no expert in this field however I agreed with every anecdote or comment the contributing authors provided about online teaching. What I'm saying is I didn't find anything inaccurate anywhere in this book.
Extremely relevant -- I wish I had read this eight years ago before building my first online courses. But any book that remains as relevant now as it was eight years ago -- and will remain relevant for several more years -- is remarkable.
Another highpoint of this book. Very crisply written and without exotic jargon or references. The authors are not trying to impress readers with their expansive knowledge of competing instructional theory. It is very clear that this is a manual created for online practitioners who know their subjects, but may not have much knowledge or experience with developing a method to convey their wisdom through an online course.
Even though this book is the creation of many authors, Crosslin, et al., have done a remarkable job at building a consistently approachable style
As a manual, this book retains the high modularity expected from any "how-to" guide. I only found one portion of chapter two that I thought would have been better off moved to a later chapters with other detailed topics.
Very well organized. The first portion of the text provides all of the necessary high-level background while later chapters include detailed topics that readers can peruse as necessary.
Limited opportunity to evaluate. The book is predominantly linear and includes the typical hyperlinks to other resources. I didn't find any issues or problems but of course did not have time to check every link. However, I have no reason to believe that any of them are no longer working.
Very professionally inclusive. Evidence: you can't tell it is trying to be inclusive -- it just is.
In fewer than 250 pages this book does a fantastic and comprehensive job of presenting the exact steps and topics for instructors determined to build the best online learning experience possible.
Beginning with valuable definitions and differences between the different types of online learning experiences and some of the drawbacks or potential advantages, Creating Online Learning Experiences provides many high-level steps that I wish I had examined before building several online courses. Even after reading only the first few chapters I realized the need to re-design an online course I’ll be teaching this fall, and then go on to do the same for all of the others I’ve built. If you have any interest in online learning you’ll certainly appreciate the authors’ emphasis on defining the Goals, Objectives, and Competencies that your online experience will provide. I wish I had read at least the first half of this book before setting out to build my own online courses.
For an adjunct faculty with a long professional career, this book is just what I need to provide guidance on not only how to build a course but how to focus on a learning experience. It is not sufficient to prepare a large deck of fantastic PowerPoint slides and throw them onto a web page and expect anyone to learn from them. No more “sage on the stage”. This book is precise, succinct and provides very actionable advice from several contributors with obvious, positive, teaching experience and knowledge.
Not a book that meanders about trying to impress readers with the contributing authors’ knowledge of the history and contemporary practice of teaching, Creating Online Learning Experiences is very efficient at providing the best information that every online instructor needs to be successful. After every page I found myself pausing and extending the contents to what I should be doing in my courses. The course map on page 41 is in particular the type of pointed advice that is so helpful to busy professionals trying to create the best learning experience in addition to all of their other responsibilities.
I could have done without the too-lengthy instructions in chapter 2 on designing and laying out slides and web pages for accessibility. The specific detail felt out-of-place, (probably better suited for one of the later chapters) and abruptly narrows the book’s readership to trained reviewers responsible for evaluating the accessibility of an online course.
There is a very interesting discussion in Chapter 3 about the ethical issues of learning analytics and what data is collected from your online course about the instructor, students, and how everyone uses the course. Out of privacy concerns it would be smart to find your institution’s data analytics policy and prominently provide it on your course website.
Overall, this is an extremely useful book full of honest and actionable advice, experience, and practices. Very worthwhile.
Who would benefit from this book –
1. Instructors that are already or will be teaching online
2. Anyone designing or building their own online learning experience
3. Administrators or faculty reviewing or evaluating an online course
4. Course designers asked to build or consult on the design of online courses
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Overview of Online Courses
- Chapter 2: Basic Philosophies
- Chapter 3: Institutional Courses
- Chapter 4: Production Timelines and Processes
- Chapter 5: Effective Practices
- Chapter 6: Creating Effective Course Activities
- Chapter 7: Creating Effective Course Content
- Chapter 8: Open Educational Resources
- Chapter 9: Assessment and Grading Issues
- Chapter 10: Creating Quality Videos
- Chapter 11: Utilizing Social Learning in Online Courses
- Chapter 12: Mindfulness in Online Courses
- Chapter 13: Advanced Course Design
- Chapter 14: Marketing of an Online Course
About the Book
This book provides an updated look at issues that comprise the online learning experience creation process. As online learning evolves, the lines and distinctions between various classifications of courses has blurred and often vanished. Classic elements of instructional design remain relevant at the same time that newer concepts of learning experience are growing in importance. However, problematic issues new and old still have to be addressed. This handbook explores many of these topics for new and experienced designers alike, whether creating traditional online courses, open learning experiences, or anything in between.
About the Contributors
Matt Crosslin, Ph.D., Researcher, Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab, University of Texas at Arlington
Brett Benham, Ph.D., Retired, former Technical Media Coordinator, Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab, University of Texas at Arlington
Justin T. Dellinger, M.A., Associate Director, Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab, University of Texas at Arlington
Amber Patterson, M.A., Marketing Coordinator, City of Mesquite, Texas
Peggy Semingson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Literacy Studies, College of Education, Curriculum & Instruction, The University of Texas at Arlington
Catherine A. Spann, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Colorado
Brittany Usman, M.S., Instructional Designer, University of Texas at Arlington
Harriet Watkins, Ed.D., Chief Academic Officer, Instructional Connections
Justin T. Dellinger, M.A., Associate Director, Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab, University of Texas at Arlington
Rebecca Heiser, M.A., Instructional Designer, Penn State University
Katerina Riviou, Ph.D. Candidate, Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Greece & Open University of Netherlands
Brittany Usman, M.S., Instructional Designer, University of Texas at Arlington