The Designing Virtual School Courses program prepares teams of participants to design and facilitate their own online courses for students. Through this training, participants are able to experience the online classroom as learners, gaining valuable experience necessary for effective online course design and delivery.
This program includes Designing Virtual School Courses, a semester-long online course trains individuals and/or teams to design online course content for teachers or students. Participants are trained to be Online Course Design Specialists as they are guided through the process of defining goals and objectives aligned with standards; selecting readings; designing activities, discussion questions, and assessments; and creating a dynamic online learning experience tailored to the needs of their specific audience, all while understanding the ethical and legal issues related to the use of online resources. Course participants are introduced to basic theories of online learning and to specific pedagogical approaches for exemplary online curriculum development, while gaining the necessary technical expertise to design effectively for the online environment. While this course content focuses on developing online course content in a learning community model, where meaningful dialogue among participants and the instructor is critical, ETLO recognizes that not all online courses must be developed in this model; therefore, this training is flexible in terms of providing support for participants to develop the type of content necessary to address specific local needs. Upon completion of this course, participants will have created between 20-40 seat hours of content and a formal Course Completion Plan for wrapping up their development work. Participants will then take part in a year-long ongoing support forum with ETLO staff and Online Course Design Specialists from other organizations.
At the conclusion of the training course, your trained staff is eligible to run the courses they designed. ETLO provides the web hosting and workshop delivery software, through a partnership with Blackboard, Inc. Courses can also be exported into your compatible local course management system.
ETLO staff provide ongoing consultation and support to help you plan to make effective use of the program and successfully incorporate online courses into your curriculum.
During the year following the training course, your Online Course Design Specialists are supported in a national online Forum where they can share ideas, skills, questions, strategies, resources and techniques for effective design in the online environment with other trained online course designers and ETLO staff.
The online forum addresses specific issues related to implementing virtual school programs, including planning, policymaking, instruction and design. It also serves as a source of rapid answers to any questions.
Additional direct support and consultation are also provided by ETLO staff throughout the course delivery process.
Participants are eligible for graduate credit through a partnership with Antioch University Seattle.