Teaching Online Title Beginner's Guide Heading with Picture of Ignition  

Getting Started

Steps in Developing an Online Course

Become Certified


Instructors assigned to teach fully online classes, including to a lesser degree those teaching in blended classes, will be required to become certified. Of course, you can begin designing your course before (or while) you complete certification.

See the Senate-approved (5/14/09) Online Instructor Certification Policy.

The easiest way to meet not only Cuyamaca College certification requirements, but certification that will be recognized at most community colleges in California is to get an Online Teaching Certificate from @ONE.

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Set up your Course Container


Blackboard is the official course management system in the district. Bb makes it easy to develop a course as it includes a general template and all tools you will ever need to make an online course work well. Since many students will already be familiar with Bb, this makes your job even easier. Empty Bb container shells are automatically created for each course section you are teaching for each semester (in a process called "Snapshot") and will appear in the Bb "My Courses" area. You can build your course from these empty containers, add a basic Cuyamaca template, and/or copy material from a previous course into these containers (for more information, see the Blackboard Container Preparation, Bb Template, Server , Bb Tips/Hints, and Bb Tutorials areas on this site). If you want to get a head start on development, you can request a "development container" at any time and then copy your work to new containers in the future (see Server). Also, note that some textbook publishers also have entire Bb classroom setups or their own proprietary CMS (see "Other CMSs" on sidebar).

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Select, Group, and Organize Assignments, Activities, and Assessments


Decide on what you would like to include in your online course. At first, draw upon your F2F class as a model for the types of items to include. You should include presentations of content (lecture notes, handouts), readings, discussions of material, tests and papers, etc. Then develop new, extra material for online presentations (see the Content, and New Ideas areas on this site).

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Convert Your F2F material to an Online Format


If you are going to make your F2F material available online, it will have to be converted to an online format (see Choosing Materials and Content for more on this).

  • Word files: from doc to html, or pdf
  • PowerPoint: from ppt to html or pdf

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Design a Schedule


Just as you do in a F2F class, divide your course into about 10 or so blocks or chunks. Use weeks, modules, leaning units,or some other divider and set up general deadlines based on the college schedule. Place assignments within these groupings (see Assignments and Creating an Assignment for more on this).

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Plan On How to Engage the Student

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You need to decide how you are going to communicate with students and how you are going to make students interact. This includes your rules on email, discussion boards, and submitting assignments. (see Communication, Handling Dbs, and Submitting Assignments for more on this).

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Activate Your Course

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Students for each section are automatically added into your Bb container each semester (included late adds). Use WebAdvisor/Colleague to further manage (drop) students. Use the Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Set Availability setting to make your course "available". Also, be sure to include any pre-signup instructions for your class in the notes section of the Cuyamaca schedule notes (see The Server). You should be given direction on this the semester before your course begins usually by your Chair or Dean.

* for an overall timeline for course development, see The Server

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Sidebar - In Focus

Ensuring Quality Online Instruction

Requirements for phases listed and detailed.

Man at Computer with CameraBASIC SKILLS>
District tutorials on basic skills needed for online teaching.

Man at Computer with CameraNETLINGO>
Definitions and explanations of everything on the internet.

Laughing LadyOTHER CMSs>
There are other course management systems than Bb. Here are some with links.

Stack of booksINTERVIEW>
Greg Differding talks about Moodle - an open source alternative to Bb.

Stack of booksINTERVIEW>
Dave Raney talks about developing his own CMS.

Stack of booksINTERVIEW>
Tony Zambelli talks about Course Compass.