Building the Successful Online Course

Ken Haley, Paris Junior College
Karen Heise, Paris Junior College

Published 2008

This book will be a practical guide to developing and implementing online courses. It is based on a model now in use at Paris Junior College in Paris, TX which has often resulted in retention rates of over 90%. It will be a comprehensive practitioner’s guide including information on retention and multimedia support.

This book will be a guide to anyone who may wish to teach online in any subject area at any level. The book provides actual examples of problems and solutions concerning online courses and also includes examples of supporting documents. Through a supporting Web site, the book will include actual examples of multimedia support now in use The book might also be used in graduate classes as a curriculum development guide.

Readers would use the book as a guide as they actually create online courses. This would take most of the guess work out of course creation and provide a solid foundation for distance learning programs. The book provides a simple yet effective approach to online learning. It uses a model that has been proven to be effective with retention rates to support the contention. It provides information on a retention study and multimedia support as well, two areas that have not been addressed very often to this point.

Tips on Using This Book. PART I: APPROACHING ONLINE INSTRUCTION. Introduction. Why Teach Online? What does Online Instruction Require of You? Attitude and Approach: A Thinking Shift. PART II: PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF ONLINE INSTRUCTION. Organization and Structure. Student File Management. Increasing Student Success Through Good Communication. E-mail Archival and Re-use. Student Orientation. PART III: EVALUATING YOUR ONLINE INSTRUCTION. Tracking Student Progress. Writing Good Discussion Postings. Chat Strategies. Adding Electronic Comments. Assessments. Streamlining Testing. Dealing With Problem Students and Student Problems. PART IV: BUILDING RETENTION IN ONLINE INSTRUCTION. Building Student Retention. Incremental and Flexible Progress. Communication and Organization. Multimedia Support for Retention. Retention Study Results. PART V: TOOLS FOR ONLINE INSTRUCTION: The LMS. A Closer Look At Multimedia Support. Using Power Point Powerfully. Producing Video Clips. Course Backup. Grade Backup Using Excel. Virus and Spyware Protection. A Primer on Building Web Pages. Institutional Support. Copyright Guides. PART VI: SOME FINAL WORDS ON ONLINE INSTRUCTION. Going the Extra Cyber Mile. Conclusion. Appendix A: Sample Documents. Appendix B: Online Resources for Teachers and Students. About the Authors.

"Building the Successful Online Course is by far the most practical guide that I have seen to date. I appreciate the commitment to academic integrity and the focus on learning that flow throughout the book. Further, there is something for everyone in this book. First-time online teachers can get some sort of idea of what lies ahead and how to prepare for it. Experienced online teachers can identify with each section and can glean new ideas and approaches to the craft." Chris Boyett Arkansas Distance Learning Association