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Essentials of Online Course Design: A Standards-Based Guide (Essentials of Online Learning)

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415873000
ISBN-10: 0415873002
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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 an assistant professor of information systems and the Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at NYU Stern
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Product Details

  • Series: Essentials of Online Learning
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (January 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415873002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415873000
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides thorough yet succinct coverage of online class design and implementation. Authors Vai and Sosulski have distilled the material under study and presented only what is essential thereby accomplishing what instructors who meet with students face-to-face as well as instructors who deliver their instruction online should strive to do. The third and fourth chapters promote clear concise writing and visually appealing, uncluttered page layout. One of the exemplary lessons shows how the instructor breaks up or chunks a lesson into a series of sections: students read; examine pictures; reflect upon the content provided and complete a small project. Students will retain this lesson because they have an opportunity to apply the new information right away and yet they are not given too much content to wade through. People enrolled in online classes are often highly motivated but struggling with time constraints so a well-organized lesson that can be completed in one sitting is probably most beneficial for them.

"Essentials of Online Course Design: A Standards-Based Guide" also addresses online course standards, assessment, creating course objectives, student engagement and course technology. This book is a fraction of the size of comparable "how to design/implement an online course" books so reading the entire book when you need to design/implement an online course is practical and will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you have received the full import of this highly recommended guidebook.
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Format: Paperback
I've been creating and delivering online education materials since the mid 1990s. In talking with others in the field I've noticed a lot of enthusiasm for moving coursework online, but little in the way of structured, practical guidelines about how to do so effectively. Too many educators move a syllabus online without carefully considering how best to adapt it to an online student population.

"Essentials of Online Course Design: A Standards-Based Guide" will be an incredibly valuable resource to new and seasoned educators with an interest in online education. Using its clear, well documented approach will enable them to develop online courses that satisfies the pedagogical needs of their students in a creative, engaging manner.
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I'm currently an EdD student in an educational technology leadership program. Among other things, I study the theories behind the advice that Vai gives in this text. I have a high level of interest in those theories, and I'm aware of the difficulties that can arrive from clumsy and misguided attempts to apply theory to practice.

However, most educators teaching online classes are just not that interested in instructional design or multimedia theory. Most of them want to design a functional class so that they and their students can focus on achieving their course objectives.

This book is good for both educators and those who handle technology policy. Vai's text is successful because it focuses on the practical but supports her clear advice with theory where necessary. All educational technologists that work directly with faculty should aim for the same sweet spot.
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Most of the "standards" promoted in the book are the standards I require of my students for their course work. Any high school or above teacher who is not already following 90% of the recommendations should be fired for incompetence. This book provided almost no useful insights. The examples are all from two online specialty courses in education, and have almost no general relevance. The purported templates are merely more examples from the same courses. The book enough jargon to satisfy the worst bureaucrat. If you are new to teaching, you might find something useful in the book. Otherwise, it's a waste of your time to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a year into writing eLearning materials and, before I started, I looked for good guidance resources - there are not many about that I could find then. This one is just right. The chapters are relevant and easy to read, the check-lists (which I share with my editors and co-designers) make for straight forward communications between us. I am still working through the materials that are on the supporting web-site and I am inspired by what I see.

My favorite chapter is about the visual design of written materials. I had already been striving to produce visually easy written materials and hade developed my own practices that were confirmed and advanced by the advice in this book.

Next-up for me is to train a group of eLearning authors from partner organizations. I will use this Guide as the common text between us.

I could still use a bit more guidance around how to make good formative assessment devices ... but that probably is LMS specific ...

Many thanks to the authors for creating this excellent book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great resource for those who are new to online courses. I've been teaching on campus courses for over a decade and this Spring I am teaching my first experience an online Art & Design Education course for Parsons The New School for Design. In the class we have discussed the challenges to teaching and communicating efficiently online. This book offers some great hands on steps to help set up your course and things to keep in mind during the semester. - Dina Weiss
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