Where to find inspiration for course design

Course Showcase  

We can learn a lot from each other.   You may be curious to see what other faculty are doing in their online class, like how they are organizing content and managing activities. Touring other courses can be a great way to get inspired about creating or revising your own course. With so much happening online and increasing competition for students in the world, it is so important to keep your ideas fresh and current. We invite you to explore a few courses for inspiration. These are real courses that have run at UAF and that faculty have generously agreed to share with others. Available courses vary widely but you can get inspiration for topics like using game mechanics and metaphors to create meaningful assessments and pace the student learning experience. Have a look at the Course Showcase page on CTL for links to courses you can view.

image describing link to JUST 110 class highlighting text How can I use multiple modes of lecture in my class effectively?
Must be logged into Blackboard to view JUST 110. Self-enroll by clicking on “+Enroll” button on menu lower left.

Course Spotlight Q&A Sessions  

This summer, we will be hosting an online Course Showcase Spotlight series with live Q&A sessions with faculty. Every other Friday, we will be taking a peek into a select number of courses and pointing out some of the awesome things that these faculty are doing in their courses. These one-hour Zoom sessions will be a live exploration and Q&A session with the instructor. Please join us for these informative sessions, connect with other faculty, and ask your questions about their teaching approach.   You can reserve a seat at the Q&A sessions here or just join in. The schedule and Zoom links are available on the Course Showcase page and on the CTL faculty development calendar.  

Community Seminars

Join us for panel style faculty-led seminars sharing multiple perspectives on specific issues and solutions in education. Community Seminars include Discovery-based Group Learning, Incorporating Career Development, Supporting Student Mental Health, Teaching in Low-bandwidth Online Contexts, and Bridging Social Divides with 21st Century Learners. These seminars are happening regularly through the summer. The schedule for these and other faculty connection events can be found here. Reserve a seat at the Community Seminars here.  

Take an edX (or other MOOC) Course

There is nothing quite as inspiring to figure out what you do or don’t want to do in your course than enrolling as a student yourself. If it’s been a while since you were a student, placing yourself in the student role will help you gain perspective on the current online experience. There are so many online courses you can check out for free. Many of these do not benefit from assessment in front of the paywall but can still be very inspirational learning experiences. Most courses are 4-6 weeks in duration so the time commitment is not overwhelming. Some are offered in a series. For example, the Smithsonian Institution offers a number of fun courses on edX like ‘Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology‘, part of a series on how Star Trek has influenced our lives. There are plenty of other more serious courses offered as well, like MIT’s ‘Introduction to Solid State Chemistry’. Try   searching   edX for something you are interested in, and you might be surprised.    

Contact Us

Need more ideas? Consider contacting UAF CTL instructional designers with your questions and to get assistance as you think through your course design. Our designers can suggest methods to help with student engagement, assessment, and instruction based on your course outcomes and materials. We can suggest which tools might work best for you and your course, and we love to help you dream and design your big ideas.   We also have research-based best practice templates for you to use as a starting place. Please join us for Virtual Open Labs and other faculty development events: https://ctl.uaf.edu/events/  

Download the PDF for this Teaching Tip


Jennifer Moss

Instructional Designer
edX Certified Course Creator
Creative Commons Certified Educator


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