Essentials of Online Course Design

A Standards-Based Guide

By Marjorie Vai, Kristen Sosulski

© 2011 – Routledge

204 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415873000
pub: 2011-01-05
US Dollars$37.95
Hardback: 9780415872997
pub: 2011-01-05
US Dollars$150.00

e–Inspection Copy Companion Website

About the Book

In spite of the proliferation of online learning in higher education, creating online courses can still evoke a good deal of frustration, negativity, and wariness in those who need to create them.

Essentials of Online Course Design takes a fresh, thoughtfully designed, step-by-step approach to online course development. At its core is a set of standards that are based on best practices in the field of online learning and teaching. Pedagogical, organizational and visual design principles are presented and modeled throughout the book and users will quickly learn from the guide’s hands-on approach. The course design process begins with the elements of a classroom syllabus which, after a series of guided steps, easily evolve into an online course outline.

The guide’s key features include:

  • a practical approach informed by theory
  • clean interior design that offers straightforward guidance from page one
  • clear and jargon-free language
  • examples, screen shots, and illustrations to clarify and support the text
  • a Companion Website with examples, adaptable templates, interactive learning features, and online resources
  • a checklist of online course design standards that readers can use to self-evaluate.

Essentials of Online Course Design serves as a best-practice model for designing online courses. After reading this book, readers will find that preparing for online teaching is, contrary to popular belief, a satisfying and engaging experience. The core issue is simply good design: pedagogical, organizational, and visual.

Table of Contents


Introduction to this guide

1. Orientation to online teaching and learning

2. Tour – Online Course Setup

3. Writing for an online course

4. Visual design basics

5. Engaging the online learner

6. Activities that engage

7. Using engaging resources

8. Assessment and feedback

9. Building the course foundation – Outcomes, syllabus, and course online

10. Creating the Structure – The Online Lessons

Appendix A – Devising and Writing Learning Outcomes

Appendix B – Using the Standards Checklist

About the Authors

Marjorie Vai has been directly involved with online education and training for almost 25 years. Most recently, she designed and developed the online Masters Degree Program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATESOL) at The New School, New York.

Kristen Sosulski is the Academic Director of Distance Learning at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

About the Series

Essentials of Online Learning

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Computers & Technology