Full course description

Course Date:

Oct 31 - Dec 19, 2016


7 weeks


2 hrs/week



Course Type:





Designing and facilitating online courses with a diverse student population is a challenge for new, as well as experienced online instructors. This course invites your critical reflection on the methods of online instruction; beliefs and potential bias of the online learner; policies and rules and how they align with course objectives; tone and the purpose of communication.

We’ve collected readings and experiences of practice from online instructors and students to provide a foundation for discussion. The decisions they have made will help us make similar or, upon reflection, different choices for ourselves and our students.

Those new to online instruction will benefit from the practical knowledge shared in this course. Experienced online instructors and designers will both expand their exposure to new insights and focus on the details of their own practice. The unique community college perspective, with all its diversity, provides a rich backdrop and adds genuine complexity to the discussion. Read More.

Topics covered include:

  • Week One: Online Learners
  • Week Two: Developing Effective Course Policies
  • Week Three: Technology and Tool Integration
  • Week Four: Course Design for Online Learning
  • Week Five: Presence, Engagement and Communication Online


  • Communicate in the online environment with effective tone and direction to guide students toward practice and concept application
  • Demonstrate a plan for effective instructor presence to facilitate student learning and community
  • Provide quality feedback needed to continue the learning process.
  • Use online tools to aid with meeting course outcomes, presenting materials to appeal to various learning preferences, course design, and assessment of concept
  • Apply and discuss essential core components of course design standards for online learning.
  • Develop course policies (tests, late work) that are manageable and fair
  • Design assessments that align with course outcomes
  • Identify myths and assumptions of online learning

Course Instructors

Emily McWorthy

Emily McWorthy

Instructional Designer and Instructor for Distance Learning

Emily McWorthy is an instructional designer and instructor for distance learning at Kirkwood Community College. She teaches communication courses online and via interactive television. She has presented at several conferences on best practices for communication in online courses and assisted faculty with building courses that promote student engagement.

Alan Peterka

Alan Peterka

Department Coordinator and Instructional Designer for Distance Learning

Alan Peterka is department coordinator/instructional designer for distance learning at Kirkwood Community College. He teaches blended Chinese language courses and publishes regularly to iTunes U and the YouTube community. Alan also co-hosts a podcast on learning and teaching.