Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 3
Hours: 3 lecture per week (36 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


This course focuses on methods for setting students up for success in an online or blended learning environment. With an understanding of issues of equity and access that affect online participation, students will create dynamic and welcoming introductions to their learning management systems, support systems integrated throughout their virtual classrooms, and ongoing activities to support student engagement in asynchronous settings. Special emphasis is provided on identifying and overcoming barriers to online student success, virtual course and user interface design with an awareness of cognitive load, developing engaging and supportive course home pages, introduction and community-building activities, and establishing equity-based expectations for participation and teamwork.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Establish a system for pre-course contacts to ensure that learners have necessary course resources in a timely manner.
  2. Identify and describe barriers to success in online courses, including instructional assumptions.
  3. Assess course design elements that affect user perceptions.
  4. Design a course home page that supports student success and engages learner agency.
  5. Monitor and maintain student participation through established procedures and fail-safes, ensuring that students have the information needed to navigate the learning platform and perform required tasks.
  6. Establish and support a community of inquiry in a virtual classroom using learner-centered strategies and current practices that leverage technology for learner collaboration.
  7. Provide opportunities for instructors and students to establish a social presence in a virtual environment.
  8. Develop an orientation unit that sets clear expectations for all students.
  9. Design a proactive communication plan for the start of a course that welcomes and engages students.
  10. Use a learner-centered approach to design online courses.
  11. Develop procedures for maintaining regular and effective communication with students throughout a course.

Course Content

  1. Pre-course contacts
    1. Setting a tone
    2. Providing course instructions
    3. Welcome letter
  2. Barriers to student online success
    1. Persistence and retention
    2. Time
    3. Technology
    4. Suggested educational reforms for online courses
    5. Andragogical principles
    6. Student readiness
  3. Course design elements
    1. Student view vs. instructor view
    2. Cognitive load
    3. User interface and user experience
  4. Course home pages
    1. Elements
    2. Content-based
    3. Module-based
  5. Monitor participation
    1. Course access data
    2. Dashboards
    3. Notifications
  6. Community of inquiry
    1. Setting expectations
    2. Scaffolding learning
    3. Presence
      1. Social
      2. Cognitive
      3. Instructional
  7. Social presence
    1. Introductions
    2. Social cues
    3. Icebreakers
    4. Synchronous videoconferencing
  8. Orientation unit
    1. Participation
    2. Navigation
    3. Routines
    4. Tools
    5. Policies
    6. Self-assessment
  9. Communication plan for course start
    1. Cultural responsiveness
    2. Instructor contact
    3. Peer contact
    4. Assessment of engagement
  10. Student-centered course design
    1. Zone of proximal development
    2. Online collaborative learning
    3. Teamwork
    4. Inclusion
    5. Participation expectations
  11. Regular and effective communication
    1. Instructor presence
    2. Maintaining records
    3. Opportunities for interaction
    4. Just-in-time nudges

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When offered on campus: Lecture room equipped with computer projector system, whiteboard, and internet connectivity. Computer laboratories with internet connectivity and computers or internet enabled devices running standard operating systems (e.g., iOS, MacOS, Windows, Android, Linux)
2. When taught online via Canvas students must have current email accounts and/or ongoing access to computers with email and web browsing capability

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Designing and developing an online course plan and product or project
Presenting the product or project to peers, capturing feedback, and using it to revise the product or project
Making constructive contributions to class discussions and peer review feedback

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

The student will be writing notes, listening, and participating in lecture presentation
The student will be observing an instructor-led demonstration and/or actively practicing the demonstrated skills
The student will be presenting and communicating their ideas in discussion and/or participating in peer reviews

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Karchmer-Klein, Rachel. Improving Online Teacher Education: Digital Tools and Evidence-Based Practices, 1st ed.. 2020.

Darby, Flower, and James M. Lang. Small Teaching Online, 1st ed.. 2019.

Linder, Kathryn E., and Chrysanthemum Mattison Hayes. High-Impact Practices in Online Education: Research and Best Practices, 1st ed.. 2018.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Writing assignments include a major course project and multiple developmental projects, online discussion response, and critical analysis of peer's educational projects.
  2. Outside assignments include conducting project development, writing the instructional plan, reading, and developing the project through an iterative process.
  3. When taught online these methods may take the form of video, audio, animation and webpage presentations. Writing assignments are completed online.


Instructional Design/Technology