MindShare | Online Speech with Dr. Harris | March 22nd, 2012

Meet Dr. Richard Harris from SouthEastern University this week in MindShare here in LearnDAT. Dr. Harris had 22 years of teaching experience of introductory speech courses before developing and teaching it online about 7 years ago.

Goals and Objectives

Aligning goals for the course

Some instructors use surveys to determine what students' goals are for the course. It is often helpful to find out what students think they should be getting from the course and help align their goals with what the course will offer. This will help ensure that the course will better meet shared expectations and that any goals they have that will not be met will be identified early on in the course.

Verbs used for writing objectives

Design for Adult Learning, Teaching and Learning Theory, Feedback

Design for adult learning

Ideally, the design of a course should allow students to customize the experience to meet their goals and complement their personal learning styles. Leonard and DeLacey draw two observations from an Adult Learning Workshop [*] held at Harvard Business School that are useful to keep in mind when designing enhanced, blended or fully-online courses:

A student with many questions

Student Assessment

Student assessment is one of the key issues in education. How do we know if students have learned what we are trying to teach them? There are multiple forms of assessment available. We believe that offering varied methods is the best model. You will find in the following documents some examples of different types of assessment, and how some MSU faculty have used them. You will also find resources and guides.

Assessing student performance

Desk in classroom


In brief terms, pedagogy can be defined as the "principles and methods of instruction." However, this is a deceptively simple description.  The methods by which instruction is delivered are incredibly varied.  For any given lesson there are limitless combinations of varied types of explanation, discussion, student practice, feedback, and assessment.

Typical Course Components

Below is a list of components other instructors have included in their courses.

Welcome to the course

  • might include video welcome

Announcements Orientation to LMS Orientation to course (see Syllabus also)

Gears working together

Course Structure

Identify the course structure for your students

Course structure gives the student an idea of how the learning process is organized, including the schedule, communication modes, types of activities, and assessments. Use an overview of the site structure to help your students gain more understanding of your organization and content. It is a good idea to include a statement in the course which introduces the student to the course and to the structure of the student learning.

Close-up view of example course structures strewn about
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