Congratulations!! Your course is almost ready to go live. One last thing will help ensure success. Evaluate your course using a rubric to ensure that you have covered the areas for successful online learning.
The Online Rubric was developed by faculty that teach online courses at Duke University School of Nursing with support from the Center For Instructional Technology at Duke University (CIT Fellows 2004). Development of this rubric has been described in the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, and is provided here for your use (Blood-Siegfried et al, 2008).
Another important evaluation of your course can be done about halfway through the semester. Checking in with students to make sure that things are progressing as you had planned will help forestall misconceptions before the class is over and while you still have time to remedy situations.
Some general guidelines for this mid-semester evaluation are outlined in The Online Teaching Survival Guide (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).
You may also want to ask students how things are going from their perspective.
- Are there elements of the course that need clarification?
- What is working well?
- What would they like to change as you move forward into the remainder of the course?
Remember that once a course goes live it is more difficult to alter the course so consider making only small changes and make the substantive ones after the course is over. Any changes made while the course is underway will require detailed explanation to the learners. Make sure that if you DO ask learners for their mid-course feedback that you communicate with them what will be changed and when.
Keep notes on corrections you need to do for a later date. Collect data about your course and use it to revise for the next semester.
Have fun with it and be flexible.
Blood-Siegfried, J.E., Short, N.M., Rapp, C.G, Hill, E., Talbert, S., Skinner, J., Campbell, A., & Goodwin, L. (2008). A rubric for improving the quality of online courses. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 5(1), Article 34. http://www.bepress.com/ijnes/vol5/iss1/1
Boettcher, J.V. & Conrad, R.M. (2010) The Online Teaching Survival Guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.