Online Course Showcasing

Photo by Sebastien B

I’ve always found it a bit odd that although distance educators develop for distributed learning contexts, we rarely get a chance to see the online courses being developed beyond our own institutions.  I’m now at my third post-secondary institution, and I’m struck by both the similarities and differences in how distance courses are developed and for what contexts.  The nature of the institutions obviously has something to do with this–university courses are addressing a different learning context,  different audience and a different set of learning problems than applied education institutions for the most part.  But with variety in institutions comes an opportunity to explore different instructional design, and different tools to address the teaching and learning problems.

With this in mind, we decided that we should try to pull together an event that lets different post-secondaries showcase their “best”.  The details are below and were sent out to various faculty development and distance ed groups, but if you think you want to be part of showcasing, let us know.  If you simply want to attend, we’ll be setting up online registration soon.

We would like to invite you to the JIBC in New West for an online course showcasing session. The idea is to have an opportunity for all of us to see and show our best examples of online courses in an informal, collegial setting.

Date: November 24, 2010

The categories

The thought is to have each institution pick 2 examples of their best in one or more of the following categories (total 2 submissions/institution). We are interested in a focus on “best” from an instructional design perspective:

1.    Best extended LMS: how do you extend your institutional LMS to create a well-designed online course? Or, do you have a best example of a course built outside of the LMS?

2.    Design/Look and Feel: show your best looking online course and why that is important from an instructional design perspective.

3.    Instructional Design: show your course that is your most creative instructional design or addressed a challenging teaching and learning context problem.

The format

Each category will be 2 hours, with four 20-minute presentations followed by a collective 30-minute discussion.  So 6 hours, plus lunch and refreshments provided by JIBC.

9-930:  refreshments in the atrium, chit-chat with colleagues
930-1130:  Best extended LMS
1130-1200:  Design/Look and Feel (1st presentation)
12-1230: lunch in the atrium
1230-2:  Design/Look and Feel (remaining presentations)
200-400:  Instructional design
Who can you bring?

This day is intended to be a free PD event and appeal to online course developers: instructional designers, web specialists, course designers, etc. It is expected that each institution might bring 1-5 people, but at this point there is no limit to numbers.


Send us a description of:

1.    your course and why you think it should be showcased

2.    category

3.    provide some screenshots if you can

Feel free to contact the organizers if you have questions.  Get the word out to those you think might be interested.

If we are overwhelmed with submissions, we might ask you for temporary access to your course so that we can make a selection.

Send submissions to organizers by October 20, 2010 via email to both of the organizers below.

tmorgan  AT jibc DOT ca

kbelfer AT vcc DOT ca


  • Scott Leslie

    Tannis, way to take the initiative on this! It’s something I had wanted to do for a while.

    I appreciate the benefits of getting together face to face for a session like this and know that the interactions people have will be of as great, if not more, value than simply seeing the examples themselves.

    But I’m left wishing such things could happen electronically, given that we’re talking about _online_ courses. Would love to discuss this further, to see if at least there is not some way to share the goodness that people will present f2f in a way that benefits a larger online audience and can maybe serve as another model for how to share these showcased materials.

  • Bonita Bray

    Excellent idea! Congratulations on getting this launched. As Scott noted in his comment, this is something a number of us have thought about, but haven’t got moving on it.

    And, at the risk of sounding like “me too, me too”, I also concur with Scott’s thoughts about having this happen – or happen concurrently – electronically. An online session would definitely allow for more people to benefit from what promises to be a great session.

    A super idea – it would be wonderful if by working together we could spread the benefits to a wider audience.

  • T Morgan

    Thanks for the comments. We definitely wanted to open this up to a wider audience, but at the moment don’t have the means to do so. Both of us have spent more than the last decade in distance education, so limiting access is never a default position for us.

    We’re still exploring the technical limitations and possibilities so we’ll keep you posted, in absence of any of your suggestions for making this possible.

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