**If you login to the online classroom, you will be able to access the example course to see how a course could be set up.
As a general rule, a one-course-credit course should encompass approximately 20 learning hours. This means a student should be able to finish the course from beginning to end in this amount of time including watching the teachings, reading the materials, taking the tests, completing assignments and interacting in the forums. If you need more than 20 hours, consider adding a advanced course that requires the first course as a prerequisite.
Creating Your Lessons & Teachings
Toward that end, the standard course design consists of 6 lessons. Each lesson will need an associated teaching that is not less than one hour in length and not more than 2.5 hours in length unless otherwise approved. These teachings are created on audio or video, though video is preferred. These teachings can be broken up into smaller recordings, for example you can have 4 videos that are 15 minutes or more in length inside of a lesson. You may also link to external teachings within this content (for instance links to other teachers on youtube who offer relevant content) as long as this isn’t the primary content of the course.
Textbooks & Reading Materials:
Many teachers like to include a reading assignment with each lesson. If you are the author of the book, we ask that you include a digital version of the reading inside of the class for the student to download as part of the class. Or include a free version as an option for the students to download if you can find it or get permission to offer it. You can also provide a link where they can buy the book if they want the whole book or they want a hard copy. This helps the students to feel the class is valuable and also speeds up the start up time, especially for our international students, some of whom (particualy those in the Middle East) cannot purchase the books at all.
Each lesson should also have an associated quiz. These quizzes should be true/false or multiple choice in nature, allowing for the computer to easily grade them. In general quizzes should be not less than 10 questions and not more than 20 questions. Keep them reasonable in terms of difficulty so that if a student has done the assigned work they will pass the quiz with some ease. For quick and efficient import, quizzes need to be created using the Aiken format – you can read more about how to do this here.
When applicable, you can include an assignment within the lesson. The assignment should be directed at the application of the information presented within the coursework. Remember that these assignments must be overseen manually as part of the course management expectations, so you will need to keep up with the oversight and grading if you choose to add this element. You can also assign a teaching assistant to do this work, but be aware that you will then share your income with them.
Creating Discussion Forums
We also encourage interaction through the use of forums. In the forums you can present a question or topic and ask students to respond. This is an excellent alternative for asynchronous interaction which is critical in an international environment where students all over the world are juggling different schedules. These topics can be broad such as “tell me your opinion of the reading” or it can be part of the application of information. For instance, “do a session on this person and post your results” or they can be philosophical in nature. For instance, “this course supposes that UFOs exist in this dimension. Do you agree?”. Forums can be graded for content or for participation. For instructors, this is a big consideration. If the forums are graded automatically, instructors will have to do less work but the students are generally less content with a course where there is little to no teacher interaction. The forums offer this as the primary point of oversight, interaction, and content. It is our recomendation that this be discussed with your IMU contact as you make decisions abou the course design.
In closing, each standard course will be approximately 20 learning hours in length. They will include 6 lessons that include a teaching, a reading assignment (when applicable), a quiz and a forum assignment. Other assignments can be added as appropriate.
All of this is adaptable based on the primary purpose of creating courses that are filled with integrity and value to our students. If you think that your course needs to function according to different parameters, please contact us and let’s discuss what needs to be done.