Course Design

In the last fifteen years strides forward in video and web based content delivery have fueled ever increasing student enrollment in online courses. According to some of the most recent federal data 6.3 million, or 31.7 percent, of higher education students participated in at least one online course during the Fall of 2016, a 5.6 percent increase from the year before, and the 14th consecutive year with reported growth in the field1. Course design in the online environment takes time, strategy, and planning and here at Bradley we are equipped to deliver instruction in a wide array of technology based teaching methodologies including: blended, hybrid, flipped, and online.

What is hybrid learning?

In a hybrid learning environment educators use both online and brick-and-mortar locations to deliver instruction, however, student/instructor interactions on a face to face level are not replaced by the online delivery methodologies. Instead, the online components of the class are used in support of a more traditional approach that complements an instructors in-class lesson.

What is a flipped classroom?

A flipped classroom is another take on the hybrid learning model, however, in this situation the student is assigned instructional material to complete on their own, outside of a brick-and-mortar situation. Once back in the physical classroom, the student is then asked to use their knowledge gained outside the classroom to solve a problem or participate in discussion.

What is online/distance learning?

With instructional delivery based almost entirely (80% or higher) in a digital classroom vs. a brick and mortar location, online learning uses both synchronous and asynchronous modalities to achieve course objectives. Instructors in this model use a wide array of technology based tools in order to deliver an active/collaborative environment in which their students can thrive.

Active Learning Environments

An active learning environment is fostered when students are encouraged to sharpen their cooperative and team skills through the use of technology and peer teaching/review. In a more traditional setting these pedagogical methodologies are achieved in conjunction with a change in the physical space, allowing students to arrange themselves in such a way as to promote flexibility in collaboration or independent study. In an online active learning environment students are not asked to read three-hundred pages, watch four lecture videos, and then take a test. This is passive learning. Instead, students are asked to use technology (Panopto, YouSeeU, Google tools, Forums, etc.) in order show real-world applications of a concept, demonstrate a process, or analyze a problem. Active learning encourages students to deliberately engage with the course materials and take a keen interest in their own studies while instructors can provide an individualized and authentic solution to achieving course objectives.

Program and Course Development

Developing an online or hybrid course can be daunting. It is often filled with new strategies and technologies which all take time to learn and understand as you move forward. On average faculty members spend approximately 70 hours2 developing a new online course, however, we here at Learning Design and Technology are here to help you every step of the way. We have an instructional designer, instructional technologists, and a wide variety of strategies, skills, tools and resources all put together with the intent of making the process as simple and straightforward as possible. We recommend actively working with our instructional designer on a weekly basis over the course of the semester prior to the term in which you will teach the class. This will help both you, and us, to deliver a finished product to the student with a maximum degree of preparedness.

Once completed, your own pedagogical and androgogical inclinations will be at the center of an effective and efficient course that facilitates the achievement of your developed learning objectives. Designed and delivered in Sakai, we will continue to support both hybrid and online methodologies through the delivery and evaluation of all courses and our instructional designer will help to implement any possible revisions. Course design in the online environment takes time, strategy, and planning and we look forward to working with you!



1 (n.d.). Number and percentage of students enrolled in degree-granting .... Retrieved June 25, 2018, from

2 (n.d.). Does it really take longer to create an online course? - eCampus News. Retrieved June 25, 2018, from