What are the essential elements of online course construction?

Eight years of online teaching of undergraduate and graduate students led faculty member Richard Kesner to address this question in the article, “Building an Asynchronous Learning Experience: A Practiced Approach to Online Course Development.”

The article was among the 10 highest-ranked papers emerging from The Journal of the World Universities Forum which is “…peer-reviewed, supported by rigorous, criterion-referenced article ranking and qualitative commentary processes, ensuring that only intellectual work of significance is published.” It was thereby recognized with the 2013 International Award for Excellence.

Kesner notes in his article: “With the involvement of Stanford, Harvard, MIT and other distinguished institutions in so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), an increasing number of academics and professional journals have turned their attention to how colleges and universities might leverage web-based platforms, social networking tools, et al., to produce effective and less costly learning experiences. Clearly, online courses can provide a means of broad knowledge dissemination while achieving economies of scale. But how does one ensure the quality of the educational outcome? To that end, this article will focus on essential elements of online course construction, including: course design, content development and packaging, synchronous and asynchronous student/teacher and student/student interaction, and student assessment.”

Kesner’s award was announced at the Seventh World Universities Forum in Lisbon, Portugal this month and he has been invited to attend the Eighth World Universities Forum, which will be held February 5-6, 2015, at Georgia Southern University in Savannah, Georgia. He is a faculty member in the Bachelor of Science in Management program, and teaches courses including: Mastering Business Intelligence, Data Management in the Enterprise, Managing Information Resources, and Management Information Systems. His paper is available for free download.