Systemic Considerations

Course redesign does not happen in a vacuum. Faculty, developers, and instructional designers operate within complex systems which demand additional consideration of various customs, laws, policies, procedures, relationships, etc. The capacity of the institution to support faculty and students making the transition to increased online learning should not be taken for granted. Some additional resources for exploration are given below:
  • Assessing readiness
  • Student support
  • Academic integrity
  • Accessibility

In addition to those, attention to the following are also important:
  • Technical infrastructure
  • Copyright awareness
  • Local intellectual property, course approval, and other official academic policies
  • IT security and student privacy (FERPA)
  • Faculty compensation and recognition (or lack of) in the Retention/Tenure/Promotion process (see Section 2 of this file for download: Faculty and Distance Education: Development, Tenure, and Promotion (PDF) (a policy brief from
  • Benchmarking and feedback mechanisms to provide useful data on the success of online learning initiatives.

Assessing Readiness

The following links provide examples of readiness instruments designed to help different constituencies assess how well suited they may be for teaching and learning in hybrid or fully online courses.

Institutional and Course

Instructor and Faculty Support


Student Support

Developing Successful Online Learning Skills

  • Develop a time-management strategy
  • Make the most of online discussions,
  • Use it or lose it
  • Make questions useful to your learning
  • Stay motivated
  • Communicate the instruction techniques that work
  • Make connections with fellow students

UW Online Course Student Handbook
This Univesity of Washington site contains a valuable list of strategies and tips for students who seek to be successful in online courses. Suggestions are practical and very easy to apply.

Academic Integrity and Online Learning

Designing Online Courses to Discourage Dishonesty
This article in Educause Quarterly addresses important issues of academic dishonesty that might arise in online courses. It contains recommendations for syllabus design, content presentation, assessment, and monitoring of student activities in online courses.


SDSU Instructional Materials Accessibility site
This is an example of a checklist for faculty to consider when designing instructional materials along with self-help resources and pointers to local support.

SJSU Resources for Creating Accessible Instructional Materials
Includes links, templates, and how-tos to help faculty create accessible PowerPoints, PDFs, Word documents, and websites. Includes Word syllabus templates.

Web Sites on Accessibility in Online Courses
This google doc contains an extensive list of additional websites devoted to issues related to making online learning accessible for all.