Designing Online Learning Experiences at Stanford
Designing Online Learning Experiences at Stanford is a guide to creating digital learning content at Stanford. It walks you through the design process from beginning to end and currently consists of the following modules:
- Introduction: How do I navigate these modules? What resources does Stanford provide for me?
- Planning Your Course: How do I get started with creating my course? What platforms are available? What tools can I use?
- Designing Blended Courses: How do I design an effective course with both online and face-to-face components?
- Presenting Content Online: How can I most effectively use videos, slides, HTML, and other media to present course content?
- Fostering Social Presence & Motivation Online: How do I build genuine community to keep students motivated?
We are in the process of developing additional content, which will be released incrementally.
The modules in Designing Online Learning Experiences at Stanford are self-paced, meaning they have no deadlines, and the materials will be available indefinitely for you to work through on your own schedule. The modules can be completed in any order and should serve as a resource for you during the creation of your online content.
These resources are designed for Stanford faculty and staff members who are involved with creating online instructional content. We will assume that you have experience teaching on campus, but not online.
These resources were developed by the Stanford Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there recommendations on specific platforms and tools that I can use in my course production?
Although we recognize the value of providing such information, the ever-changing landscape of educational technologies makes it a significant challenge to keep information current. Therefore, we provide general information, but for details, we recommend that you request a consultation with one of our instructional designers.
Can I obtain a Statement of Accomplishment?
No. The modules are designed to allow participants the flexibility to skip through and view whatever content is relevant to their own needs.
Are there required assignments?
No. However, each module contains optional activities and exercises.
How many hours should I expect to spend on each module?
It varies because some of the modules have much more content than others. Also, you may elect to skip parts of modules that are not relevant to you. On average, each module should take from 1 to 3 hours to complete in its entirety.
Do I need to buy a textbook?
No textbook is required. A resource that might be helpful is How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, and Marie K. Norman (Jossey-Bass, 2010).
Is this resource open to non-Stanford participants?
Yes. However, the content is written with a Stanford audience in mind. Please check with your own institution for information about its specific resources and policies.