With distance and online learning becoming ubiquitous in higher education, the need for faculty to be able to create quality online courses is greater than ever. This article offers practical advice for those faced with the challenge of creating their first online course. Characteristics of the online medium are explored. Then, drawing upon Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) principles of good practice, five principles for online course planning and design are discussed: collaborative learning, connecting course concepts, instructor social presence and interaction, balancing the amount of course information with student commitment and persistence, and matching course outcomes with technological options. The article ends with a short case study showing how the suggestions have been implemented in an online course.
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Paul A. Creasman, Ph.D., Arizona Christian University