Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development

To teach a hybrid or online course at Grand Valley, faculty must complete a two-part certification process. In part one, faculty demonstrate that they can successfully use the Blackboard learning management system. In part two (the Foundations workshop), faculty learn elearning pedagogy and learn strategies for delivering courses online.

Certification flowchart

Prerequisites & Blackboard Competencies

This workshop will not include hands-on technology training. To ensure that faculty have a successful experience, participants are required to have certain basic technical skills. Please examine the following list. If you do not meet these competencies, please contact your facilitator as soon as possible.

Basic Computer Skills

  • Sending and receiving attachments via email
  • Downloading software and/or documents
  • Experience/familiarity with different file formats, especially Rich Text Format (.rtf), Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx), and Text document (.txt)
  • Familiarity with using plug-ins (e.g. PDF reader, flash)

Blackboard

In addition to these computer skills, faculty must be able to use the basic features of the Blackboard learning management system.

  • Making your course available
  • Posting an announcement
  • Posting faculty/contact information
  • Creating, adding, and organizing content in folders
  • Adding, removing, or editing content item
  • Adding external links
  • Creating a discussion board forum
  • Emailing from Blackboard
  • Identifying or working with your library liaison

For more information on this competency requirement, please see this detailed handout, which explains the requirement in greater detail and explains how to demonstrate your competency. Please note: faculty who do not demonstrate their Blackboard competency by the deadline required for their specific Foundations workshop will be unable to participate or receive their certification to teach hybrid and online courses. Please take this into account when registering for a Foundations workshop.

The Foundations Workshop

Why do I have to take a workshop before I can teach an online course?

Through the Grand Valley faculty governance process, the University Academic Senate created a new standing committee, the Online Education Council (OEC). The OEC was tasked with overseeing all online and hybrid courses. This includes approving curricular changes when a class is transitioned to a hybrid or online format, as well as ensuring that faculty are adequately prepared for teaching in what may be an unfamiliar environment.

The Foundations workshop meets the OEC requirements as stated in the GVSU faculty handbook. Designed to serve as a starting point, the workshop will orient you with resources and tools to begin your planning process with a foundation of quality standards. Offered throughout the year in both hybrid and online formats, participants must meet all the workshop's requirements to receive their certification. By participating in the Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development and Delivery Workshop, faculty members will experience online learning from the student perspective, learn best practices for developing and facilitating online courses, and will start the development process for your own online course as part of the workshop activities

Because of the work involved in preparing a hybrid or online course, we recommend taking the Foundations workshop at least six months before you are scheduled to teach your course.

Grand Valley State University is committed to providing our students with quality online and hybrid courses. Designed to provide a starting point and to meet the requirements stated in the GVSU faculty handbook, we will orient you with resources and tools to begin your planning process with a foundation of quality standards. Offered throughout the year in a hybrid format, participation in all components of the series is required. By participating in the Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development and Delivery Workshop, faculty members will experience online learning from the student perspective, learn best practices for developing and facilitating online courses, and will start the development process for your own online course as part of the workshop activities.

About Foundations

Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development workshop is a two week course designed to prepare you for teaching in an online or hybrid format. In this course, we will discuss the basics for developing a course with the online or hybrid designation. By the end of week two, you will have created at least one entire learning module of well-formed content on a topic of your choosing; this can be organized by one week's worth of material or by subject matter, depending on how your course is organized. You will also have the tools and experience you need to begin building an entire course or revamp an existing one.

By participating in the Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development workshop, faculty members will experience online learning from the student perspective, learn best practices for developing and facilitating online courses, and will start the development process for your own online course as part of the workshop activities. Offered throughout the year in a hybrid format, participation in all three components of the workshop series is required.

What is Foundations like?

To learn more about the Foundations experience, please take a look at the following introduction videos.

2016–2017 Sessions (currently scheduled)

One moment, please, while we load the Foundations schedule.

Time Commitment

The amount of time it takes to finish the Foundations workshop will vary by individual. Both versions of the workshop feature a variety of optional materials for you to explore at your leisure or save for future reference. These materials are, in all instances, marked in a way that will let you know that they are optional. Choosing to explore these materials during the workshop may significantly increase the amount of time you spend on the material.

Hybrid Version

The hybrid version of Foundations takes place over two calendar weeks and includes two required and one optional face-to-face session. Each in-seat session is 3 hours long. According to previous participants, the amount of time spent on the online portion of the workshop will vary based on your level of experience with Blackboard, the number of times you have taught the course that you are developing, and how extensively you explore the optional material.

Online Version

The hybrid version of Foundations takes place over four calendar weeks. While there are no face-to-face sessions, workshop facilitators are available for private meetings as needed. The overall time requirement for the online version will also vary by individual.

Please note that this is not a self-paced workshop, and is suitable only for individuals with strong organizational skills and self-discipline. Participants will have specific deadlines for work and will be assigned peer evaluation partners.

  • Initial in seat meeting: 3 hours
  • Two weeks online: 3-8 hours. We've talked to our previous participants, and the amount of time this takes will vary based on your level of experience with Blackboard and the number of times you have taught the course that you are developing.
  • Final in seat meeting: 3 hours

The online portion of the Foundations workshop will feature a variety of optional materials for you to explore at your leisure or save for future reference. These materials are, in all instances, marked in a way that will let you know that they are optional. Choosing to explore these materials during the workshop may significantly increase the amount of time you spend on the material.

Course Objectives

Throughout this course you will acquire and demonstrate the following:

  • Recognize the differences and similarities between online and classroom instruction.
  • Create and identify engaging content and assessment strategies to support learning outcomes.
  • Distinguish tasks to do before, during, and after teaching an online or hybrid class.
  • Become familiar with the Quality Matters standards and how they should be applied in the course development process through the use of a peer review assessment.
  • Become acquainted with best practices associated with the "community of inquiry" framework and be able to apply them to your own course development.
  • Become acquainted with the concept of Universal Design and how it can be utilized to create courses that are accessible to all learners.
  • Become acquainted with the basics of copyright and how it impacts hybrid and online course delivery.

Want to Register?

Ready to sign-up? Registration for Foundations is handled through the University's Sprout website.

Foundations Schedule

Before Session 1

  1. Demonstrate Blackboard competency

Session 1: in-seat meeting

Faculty are encouraged to bring their own laptops.

  1. Overview
  2. Set the foundation for online/hybrid course design and delivery.
  3. Begin outlining a sample learning module and identifying learning outcomes.
  4. Review Quality Matter Standards.
  5. Hands-on work reviewing Blackboard's learning module functions.

Session 2: online (two weeks)

Please expect to engage with online materials, the discussion board and the creation of content in a Blackboard learning module. This is an opportunity to "be a student" and gain some insight from that perspective.

  1. Review assessment strategies and address how engagement (student-to-student, student-to-content and student-to-instructor) will be included in the sample learning module.
  2. Identify and create engaging content to support learning outcomes through the design of a Blackboard learning module.
  3. Provide peer review feedback of a sample learning module using a shortened version of the QM rubric.

Session 3: in-seat meeting

Faculty are encouraged to bring their own laptops.

  1. Reflect on the experience of being an online learner.
  2. Showcase faculty learning modules and provide feedback in small groups.
  3. Explore resources and offer follow-up advice.

Page last modified August 8, 2016