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Design and Delivery of an Online Course - The Syllabus

Sabri g. Bebawi
San Jose City College
408-298-2181 ext. 3858

Design and Delivery of an Online Course is for professionals who want to create a course for the World Wide Web. This class offers a basic introduction to web-based learning. Students will examine theories and practices of distance education through an online environment. During the semester, students will develop familiarity with different types of instructional tools available through online courseware.

The development of this course was sponsored by California Virtual Campus, Bay Area Region, as a collaborative project with area instructional technologists, led by Valerie Landau of Round World Media. She has taught this course through Ohlone College and it has evolved into a tool many educators can contribute to, and benefit from. As instructor/facilitator, I will constantly be looking for opportunities to improve and enrich the content of this course. As other students in the past have helped shape the content, I will also look to you to share your knowledge and expertise.

As you develop your online materials in this course, you may need some help finding materials on the Web in your area of interest and help with developing online assignments.

The primary goal of this course is for students, working individually, or in teams, to develop their own course materials for delivery via the web.

The student will need the following  prerequisite skills:

  • Expert in the topic they will be teaching or prior instructional design experience.
  • Basic knowledge of email, Web browsing, and uploading Web pages.
  • Recommended preparation: Introduction to the Internet and the World Wide Web or equivalent experience

Learning Outcomes

Based on selected criteria for evaluation, students will submit a written critique of other online courses

Students will have written and published to the web, one complete module of instruction that includes an assessment of the target audience and prerequisite skills, module content, a formative evaluation of student assignments, assessment criteria, and instructor's notes

Students will complete a management plan for design and development of an entire course, including a summary of the formative evaluation process


Course assignments:
1) Students will participate in teacher-facilitated discussions
2) Students will demonstrate skills in posted assignments to the web
3) Students will meet in online groups to plan and produce projects.
4) Students will critique and discuss each other’s work

Out-of-Class Assignments:
1) Text readings
2) Readings from assigned articles and online sources
3) Completion of at least two publishing projects of increasing sophistication


Substantial writing requirements are not appropriate for this course. Alternately, students are assessed through demonstrations of problem solving ability.

Grading: Letter Grade of CR/NC

50% of grade = final project
20% of grade = participation in and contributions to online class discussions
30% of grade = written critique of selected online courses

Students will be given a limited chance to utilize extra credit to bring up their grade at any given time. The amount of extra credit is limited to 10% of the total possible class points.

Evaluation methods for this class includes but is not limited to online exercises to demonstrate an understanding of the material presented. This will include (but is not limited to) production assignments, research, homework assignments, discussion participation and written assignments.

Percentages and Letter Grades:
Score >= 90% = A
90% score>= 80% = B
80% score>= 70% = C
70% score>= 60% = D
60% score & below = F

Regarding plagiarism, see the "Academic Dishonesty" policy in the student handbook.


All students must have their own book and materials.

Required Reading (available through an online book store such as Amazon.com
Paloff/Pratt, Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom, Jossey-Bass, 2001, 0-7879-5519-1

Recommended Reading
Williams, Robin, Non Designers Web Book
This is a primer on how to create web pages. It provides simple but important tips on how to create web pages and how to make them look good.

Paloff/Pratt, Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace, Jossey-Bass, 1999, 0-7879-4460-2
This book explores issues in teaching and learning when "learning leaves the classroom." It delves into the strategies for creating an environment where students interact in learning communities.

"Making Instruction Work", Mager, R.F., Center for Effective Performance. Atlanta: 1998.
Easy to read book on instructional design.

Krug, Don't Make Me Think.
This is a brilliant, fun book to read on interface design.

The Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide at
This online style guide is the original "stone tablet" for web page design. Translatted in technology years, it is a classic resource.

Preparation for taking an online course

Learning strategies (include, but not are not limited to) readings from textbook, online journals, online magazines, and other Internet sources, writing assignments such as written responses to discussion questions and Chat/E-mail sessions. Additional strategies include demonstrating a level of expertise on material(s) presented via the online classroom. This course includes a Curriculum Wizard designed to generate a web page by the user inputting the information they want into text fields (no HTML required). Students may choose to use a favorite HTML editor to generate a web page as well.

All student contact MUST be done in the following manner:

Each student will be notified via e-mail or mail with the login and password for their class account. Instructions on how to login will be included in the correspondence. This course will be taught primarily in a program called Web CT. This is an online course management software program that can be accessed by any computer that has Internet access and a browser such as Netscape 4.7+ or Internet Explorer 5.

Once in the Web CT course, all students, and myself, will have a course email account to be used exclusively for this course. You will be unable to use the Web CT email address outside the course, therefore, a separate email account is required, such as Hotmail, Yahoo, etc, if I need to contact you outside of class. It's like a second phone number. I will also provide you a separate email for tech support questions:
e-teacher@cabrillo.cc.ca.us . Please do not use my campus email address for class related correspondence.

Although e-mail will not be graded it is expected that all students will use correct grammar and spelling. Please be brief and to the point. In addition please do not send Spam or "for sale" type of e-mails.

The URL of the Web CT server can be found by clicking the Web CT button on this page. Or browse to http://cvc2.org .

Highly Recommended

Internet Explorer 5+
Netscape 4.7+ (recommended over Netscape 6 - it's just too wierd)
Mac OS 8 or above
Windows 98 or above
Min. 28.8K connection
An email account

I will provide you an opportunity to ask tech questions in the beginning of the course* to help you get started.

(Please, AOL accounts are discouraged.)

We will be using the Web CT discussion room extensively. Instructions will be provided at the orientation. A point of reference here, so let's discuss a few guidelines.

1. First, if you have questions you will first post your question to the class discussion list. You are all highly encouraged to participate in helping out your fellow designers as much as you can. Twenty percent of your grade will based on your participation in the discussion room and the critiquing of other online work. The first week of the course is dedicated to an orientation where you will meet each other online and get familiar with the course tools.

Each student is asked to participate twice each week in the discussion forum. Students will be sharing their work with other classmates. A certain degree of netiquette is required, such as:

  • Check the discussion frequently and respond to the topic appropriately
  • Focus on one subject per message, typing the subject title in the heading of your message
  • Only capitalize words to highlight a point
  • Cite references and sources when quoting
  • Please do not forward someone's message without warning them first
  • It is OK to use humor, but in the absence of visual cues, it can be misinterpreted
  • Feel free to use emoticons such as ;-) to let others know you're being humorous

If you have posted your question to the discussion board and no one has answered within 3 days I will post the answer on the discussion board for all to see. This eliminates the redundancy of like questions, hence allowing all to benefit from your question. This process also increases class unity and allows you to help your fellow team members.

2. Attendance is taken every week. A class week consists of logging on to the Web CT site, participating in student discussion, and completing posted assignments. Students are highly encouraged to attend each and every week due to the nature of the subject matter. A student is not allowed to miss more that three (3 weeks) classes in a row; this is considered excessive. Excessive absences (defined as missing three (3 weeks) or more classes in a row) will result in the student being dropped.

It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the class if he/she no longer wishes to attend. If a student does not complete the class or withdraw, the student will receive a grade of "NC". In addition, the instructor will not give any "I" incomplete grades.

Students must show continuous progress through the course or you will be dropped. Continuous progress is defined as maintaining weekly contact with the course instructor and turning in assignments.

3. Viruses are a nuisance to say the least. You are encouraged to have and utilize a virus protection program. Please do not send Word documents attached to your WebCT email.

There will be no formal exam(s). Although, students will have a final project due which will be explained prior to the end of the semester. There will be NO make up for late work.

4.As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accommodations are provided to ensure equal opportunity for students with verified disabilities. If you have a disability that requires accommodations for this class, please contact the Learning Skills Program at 831-479-6220 (for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder) or Disabled Student Services at 831-479-6379, to make arrangements as soon as possible.

5. You are highly encouraged to make a backup copy of all of your work done on your computer.