Course Development

Hybrid and online courses provide students the opportunity to take classes over summer or interim sessions when they are home or working. These courses are also offered during primary terms when student schedules may be less open. They also provide faculty members with additional flexibility.  It is sometimes thought that teaching online takes less time, but this is rarely the case.

At Bradley, technology allows for courses to be delivered in a variety of modes:

  • strictly face-to-face - with no technology presence.
  • web-supported - students and faculty meet regularly in the classroom, with materials, grades, and/or activities being made available on a website to be accessed outside of class time.
  • hybrid (or blended) - students and faculty meet in the classroom, but some regular class meetings have been replaced with online course work or virtual (live online) meetings.  Typically, this would be defined as 30-80% of class meetings occurring online.
  • online - the class is primarily conducted online (over 80%).

Developing an online or hybrid course takes time, strategies, and technology.  Learning Design and Technology is here to help you plan and develop your course.  We have strategies and skills to help you create an effective and engaging online or hybrid course.  We have an instructional designer, instructional technologists, tools, and resources to support you.  

When considering developing an online or hybrid course keep in mind that the course development process will take time - on average faculty members spend about 100 hours designing and developing a new online course.  We recommend working with a designer on a weekly basis over the course of the semester prior to the term in which you will teach the course.  Grant opportunities exist to provide training, support, and stipends for developing and teaching new online courses.

When developing online classes, you should consider active learning. Suggestions for promoting active learning include the use of Forums, the Lessons tool, creating assignments for students, and other tactics. The overall design should facilitate teaching your course efficiently and effectively, according to your pedagogical preferences.

Sakai, Bradley’s learning management system, supports traditional, hybrid, and online-only courses. Entirely online courses are delivered via Sakai. Think of Sakai as a virtual classroom, with several tools available to you. Listings of the basic tools can be found within the “Course Design” tab on the left, followed by clicking “Tools.”

For further ideas, we suggest you delve into the “Course Design” section on the left. Within this section, you can learn about the standard practices/policies of Quality Matters, the premier organization focused on online course quality.

Our team is available to help. Please contact us at sakai@fsmail.bradley.edu.