Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Essentials for Online Design: A Standards-based Guide

Vai and Sosulski

Book description:
In spite of the proliferation of online learning in higher education, creating online courses can still evoke a good deal of frustration, negativity, and wariness in those who need to create them.
Essentials of Online Course Design takes a fresh, thoughtfully designed, step-by-step approach to online course development. At its core is a set of standards that are based on best practices in the field of online learning and teaching. Pedagogical, organizational and visual design principles are presented and modeled throughout the book and users will quickly learn from the guide’s hands-on approach. The course design process begins with the elements of a classroom syllabus which, after a series of guided steps, easily evolve into an online course outline.
The guide’s key features include:

  • A practical approach informed by theory
  • Clean interior design that offers straightforward guidance from page one
  • Clear and jargon-free language
  • Examples, screen shots, and illustrations to clarify and support the text
  • A Companion Website with examples, adaptable templates, interactive learning features, and online resources
  • A checklist of online course design standards that readers can use to self-evaluate.
Essentials of Online Course Design serves as a best-practice model for designing online courses. After reading this book, readers will find that preparing for online teaching is, contrary to popular belief, a satisfying and engaging experience. The core issue is simply good design: pedagogical, organizational, and visual.

Purchase from

    The Online Teaching Survival Guide

    Boettcher and Conrad

    Book Description:
    The Online Teaching Survival Guide provides an overview of theory-based techniques for online teaching or for a technology-enhanced course, including course management, social presence, community building, and debriefing. Based on traditional pedagogical theory, this resource integrates the latest research in cognitive processing and learning outcomes. From a practical approach, this guidebook presents instructional strategies in a four-phase timeline, suitable for any online or blended course. Faculty with little knowledge of educational theory and those well-versed in pedagogy will find this book a key to developing their practical online teaching skills.

    Teaching Online: A Practical Guide

    Ko and Rossen

    Book Description:
    Teaching Online: A Practical Guide is a practical, concise guide for educators teaching online. This updated edition has been fully revamped and reflects important changes that have occurred since the second edition’s publication. A leader in the online field, this best- selling resource maintains its reader friendly tone and offers exceptional practical advice, new teaching examples, faculty interviews, and an updated resource section.
    New to this edition:

    • new chapter on how faculty and instructional designers can work collaboratively
    • expanded chapter on Open Educational Resources, copyright, and intellectual property
    • more international relevance, with global examples and interviews with faculty in a wide variety of regions
    • new interactive Companion Website that invites readers to post questions to the author, offers real-life case studies submitted by users, and includes an updated, online version of the resource section.

      Focusing on the "how" and "whys" of implementation rather than theory, this text is a must-have resource for anyone teaching online or for students enrolled in Distance Learning and Educational Technology Masters Programs.

      Monday, June 11, 2012

      Building Online Learning Communities


      Palloff and Pratt 

      Book Description:
      Building Online Learning Communities further explores the development of virtual classroom environments that foster a sense of community and empower students to take charge of their learning to successfully achieve learning outcomes. This is the second edition of the groundbreaking book by Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt and has been completely updated and expanded to include the most current information on effective online course development and delivery. A practical, hands-on guide, this resource is filled with illustrative case studies, vignettes, and examples from a wide variety of successful online courses. The authors offer proven strategies for handling challenges that include:

      • Engaging students in the formation of an online learning community.
      • Establishing a sense of presence online.
      • Maximizing participation.
      • Developing effective courses that include collaboration and reflection.
      • Assessing student performance.

      Written for faculty in any distance learning environment, this revised edition is based on the authors many years of work in faculty development for online teaching as well as their extensive personal experience as faculty in online distance education. Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt share insights designed to guide readers through the steps of online course design and delivery.

      Blended Learning: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy

      Francine Glazer

      Book Description:
      This is a practical introduction to blended learning, presenting examples of implementation across a broad spectrum of disciplines. For faculty unfamiliar with this mode of teaching, it illustrates how to address the core challenge of blended learning—to link the activities in each medium so that they reinforce each other to create a single, unified, course—and offers models they can adapt.

      Francine Glazer and the contributors to this book describe how they integrate a wide range of pedagogical approaches in their blended courses, use groups to build learning communities, and make the online environment attractive to students. They illustrate under what circumstances particular tasks and activities work best online or face-to-face, and when to incorporate synchronous and asynchronous interactions. They introduce the concept of layering the content of courses to appropriately sequence material for beginning and experienced learners, and to ensure that students see both the online and the face-to-face components as being equal in value and devote equal effort to both modalities. The underlying theme of this book is encouraging students to develop the skills to continue learning throughout their lives.
      By allowing students to take more time and reflect on the course content, blended learning can promote more student engagement and, consequently, deeper learning. It appeals to today’s digital natives who are accustomed to using technology to find and share information, communicate, and collaborate, and also enables non-traditional students to juggle their commitments more efficiently and successfully.

      Discussion Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning: Theory, Practice and Assessment

      Tisha Bender 

      Book Description:
      As online courses proliferate, teachers increasingly realize that they have to connect with their students as they would in face-to-face classes. They have to provide true opportunities for inspirational and meaningful learning, rather than a sterile experience of clicking within a labyrinth of links.

      With the specific purpose of switching emphasis from the technical issues of online teaching to the human implications of teaching and learning through the Internet, Tisha Bender draws on her extensive research, her training of online faculty, and her own online teaching experience, to create a fresh vision of online pedagogy. Discussion-Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning consists of three parts:
      TheoryPractice Assessment
      The author shows how she applies learning theories to online discussion-based courses. She presents a wealth of suggestions and techniques, illustrated by real examples, for stimulating and managing online discussion effectively, and for improving teaching practices. The book concludes with methods for assessing the efficacy of online courses. 
      This accessible and comprehensive book offers an engaging and practical approach to online teaching that is rooted in the author's experience and enthusiasm for creating a virtual environment that engages students and fosters their deep learning. This is a book for all educators and administrators in higher education, in any discipline, engaged in, or contemplating offering, online classes that involve discussion or collaborative learning. It is relevant both to faculty teaching a hybrid and face-to-face classes, and courses conducted entirely online.

      The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, second edition

      Terry Anderson 

      Book Description:
      Every chapter in the widely distributed first edition has been updated, and four new chapters on current issues
      such as connectivism and social software innovations have been added.  Essays by practitioners and scholars active in the complex, diverse, and rapidly evolving field of distance education blend scholarship and research:
      practical attention to the details of teaching and learning; and mindful attention to the economics of the business of education.