Archive for March, 2011

Preparing your summer and fall courses.

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Many of you are now building your summer and fall courses.  First, you must determine how will build or copy course content.  
Learn about your options for adding content to your course shell.

The following documents will help you determine if your courses are ready for the first day of class. Items include content, design, and support items. The first document, the Course Readiness Checklist, provides you with an interactive form to help you document the status of your course(s). The other documents support the Course Readiness Checklist.

  • Use the Course Readiness Checklist (pdf) to help ensure that your course is ready to launch.
  • Check the Grade Center to ensure that all activities were copied and are correct; that the correct grading schema is being used; and that items are correctly categorized. Refer to Grade Center Check document (pdf).
  • If you are revising your course, consult the CFCC course essentials checklist (doc).This document identifies 25 standards that should be addressed in online courses. You can use the rubric (doc) with these standards if you want to take notes as you review your course.

If you would like to sign up for distance learning training, please refer to our training schedule.

If you would like instructional design assistance for your hybrid or Internet course, please contact the DL Instructional Technologist, Liz Stover at

Connecting with Students: Office Hours and Beyond

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Even when teaching online (hybrid or Internet), it is sometimes beneficial to provide ways for students to connect with each other and/or with the instructor synchronously (in real-time). Some possible uses for synchronous communciation include:

  • Office hours
  • Guest speakers
  • Tutoring
  • Oral examinations
  • Student collaboration
  • Virtual field trips

There are many tools available to provide real-time interaction. Some are built into the Blackboard course management system. Others are available for low or no cost (Skype, WizIQ, etc.).  

While the following article was written about ways to use Skype in online courses, these activities can be used with other tools (Skype cannot currently be used on the CFCC campus). Read 10 Ways to Use Skype in Online Classes.

There are several tools currently built into Blackboard at CFCC that can be used for synchronous activities. Learn about these and more options from Conducting Office Hours Online (pdf).

As always, if you need assistance with integrating these or other tools in your online courses, feel free to contact me (Liz Stover) at or x7722.