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Why think about design when you are planning how to set up and manage your DSO site? A well designed online or blended teaching and learning approach should:
Here is a straightforward design sequence based on constructive alignment principles (Biggs & Tang 2007). These principles are in line with Deakin's Principles of teaching and learning and the student experience. They also underpin the Desire2Learn 'Instructional Design Wizard' processes - so if you wish to use the wizard to build your unit the tips in these pages will complement the process.
This is a practical guide, and it will help you design - or redesign - your unit whether you will be teaching wholly online or in a blended online-face-to-face mode. At each step in the cycle you will be asked key questions. Use the Unit design matrix to record your design decisions as you go. Key questions at each step will point you to important things to think about along the way.
If you work through the whole sequence you should have a unit design that meets your students' learning needs, with a variety of activities and resources that are carefully selected to develop their abilities, and assessments that effectively and fairly test their achievement of the intended learning outcomes. You should also have a process in place for ongoing evaluation and improvement of your design.
A word of warning: some of the key questions require considerable thought and the whole sequence may take some days, depending on the quality of any pre-existing design, intended learning outcomes, assessments and activities you might have. Don't hurry through, but come back when you have more time.
Another word of warning: before you start, find out from your course coordinator how your unit relates to others in the course: whether there are any requirements governing the learning outcomes that your unit needs to address, and so on.