Session 5: Response to Prompts

1. Attend the synchronous meeting with the instructor via Skype. At least 1 person (primary contact) from the group must attend the session. The purpose of this session is for you to conduct the major portions of the analysis for the course you are developing.

2. Work With Team To Understand Results of Analysis Meeting and Other Analysis Activities

3. Develop a course plan using the 11 instructional design steps presented in chapter 1 of the text (Design Quickly and Reliably).* This plan is due at the end of the next session and will be emailed to the instructor by the primary contact for your group. The process that you use to develop the course plan is up to you. Recommendations include:

a) Define the Problem/Task

b) Brainstorm Possible Solutions

c) Decide On A Course of Action With Specific Tasks and Artifacts

d) Divide Tasks/Responsibility and Assign to Group Members (accountability)

e) Set Due Dates

4. The development plan must be emailed to the instructor by the primary contact for the group.

5. Each individual member of the team will make a blog post this week discussing their role in the group project and their thoughts on the instructional design process in light of this project.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I decided to work on this project individually. Working individually definitely had its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages of working on my own was being able to take this project in any direction that I wanted, but a major disadvantage was not having others constructive criticism in order to improve my original ideas. Since I was on my own, I utilized our previous assignment, the analysis plan activity, to steer my design in the right direction. In addition, I made use of the ideas posted in my previous blog post and reviewed the 11 instructional design steps thoroughly through out this weeks assignment.

The 11 instructional design process definitely helped in the completion of the course plan assignment. It allowed me to look into every important detail that helps shape the final product. Designing an online course, without a doubt is a difficult task that requires the instructors patience and dedication. The process mentioned in Horton’s text makes the process a little less painful, however in the end it can be disappointing to see that all the time invested into the online course is not immediately seen in the ending results. Dr. Newberry mentions this in his session 5 introduction by stating the following, “One of the things that surprises new Instructional Designers is the amount of work done that doesn’t directly show in the final product”. In the end, designers of an online course can feel the satisfaction of knowing they successfully created an effective online learning environment once they see the progress their students demonstrate in every assignment.

Session 4: Response to Prompts

1. Decide if you will work individually or in a team.

2. If in a team it is up to you to put your team together and then work together to choose a course content area to work in and choose a primary contact person. This is the person who is responsible for the final aggregation of all documents and making sure they are presented to the instructor.

3. Attend the synchronous planning session with the instructor via Skype. At least 1 person (primary contact) from each group must attend the session. The purpose of this session is to further explain the process, expectations and to answer questions. Please note that if there are too many people for one Skype call we will do more than one.

4. With your group develop a list of topics and questions to be addressed in a Skype meeting. This list of topics and questions is due at the end of this week (sent via email from the primary contact to the instructor).

5. Each individual member of the team will make a blog post this week discussing their role in the group project and their thoughts on the instructional design process. If you are working alone you are responsible for making a blog post to discuss your process thus far.


For this project I have decided to work individually, due to the fact that my daily schedule is a bit hectic and meeting with group members would be difficult. It would of been an amazing experience to work in a group, as I would learn from others who are already settled in their teaching career, but I would rather save group members the stress and frustration. Anyhow, for the remaining parts of the project, I will be focusing my attention on designing an online course for students taking Geometry, as I mentioned before I would like to begin my teaching profession as a Mathematics teacher. Designing an online course is a tedious task that requires patience and attention in order to develop a course that provides an ideal learning environment for the learner and an ideal teaching environment for the instructor as well. It is for this reason that the 11 step instructional process is useful when designing an online course, it takes you by the hand and leads you through the steps that will help “keep the pain to a minimum and the learning maximized and you will be a successful online educator”, as stated by Dr. Newberry’s podcast.

My Process Thus Far:

1. Identify your underlying goal: Teach high school students who are taking the geometry course for the first time or repeating the course, to utilize important concepts, definitions and formulas successfully. Also, to demonstrate to students that geometry can be stimulating, improve many areas of thinking and can open their minds to thinking out side the box.

2. Analyze learners’ needs and abilities (Add an analysis of content and instructor needs/abilities/preferences): The content for this online course can be both convergent and divergent. I will need to carefully determine what falls into each category, so far I believe proofs fall into the divergent category, since proofs have more than one correct way of arriving to the final answer, and the formulas fall into convergent since specific shapes have specific formulas that will lead to the correct solution. The student and instructor descriptions are the same as I posted in previous sessions. I am the instructor of the course and the designer, so I will be designing the course with tools that I feel most comfortable utilizing. As for students, very little is known before designing a course and to get an idea of who I will be teaching I will require a survey to be completed. The survey will answer the questions necessary for me to design the appropriate course for the learners.

3. Identify what to teach: In order for me to identify what to teach I will need to go through several geometry textbooks and list the information that commonly comes up, meaning it probably is essential for the course. I will avoid forming my own opinions based on what I was taught in the past and will also avoid subject-matter experts, since I need to focus on the learners capabilities and not my own or anyone else.

4. Set learning objectives: A final objective is difficult to produce since you need to be clear, precise and worthy. I will be making the necessary adjustments to the objective I stated in my session 3 responses.

5. Identify prerequisites: Students must have prior basic algebra knowledge and be able to confidently perform algebraic procedures. Students must be open to learning important geometric facts, processes, definitions and concepts, that they will later apply in the problems presented to them throughout the course.

6. Pick the approach to meet each objective: As I looked through the different approaches available in our Horton textbook, I came to the conclusion that the most suitable approach for a geometry course is the Virtual-classroom e-learning approach. Horton mentions on page 37 that, “it is a good solution if you must educate novice, dependent learners who need the external motivation provided by the teacher”. Students for my course will be mostly freshman in high school, so this allows me to be more hands on with my students. However, I believe as I move on in this designing process I will incorporate other approaches.

7. Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives: The teaching sequence that I decided to utilize in this course is the bottom-up sequence. In a course like geometry it is important to set up a strong foundation for any material that will build upon other previous material.

8. Create objects to accomplish objectives: I will be coming back to this process as soon as I can develop a clear objective, also , I am not very clear with what is meant by a learning object. Does anyone have a clear understanding of what a learning object is? If so, any suggestions for my course?

9. Create tests (Add other methods to determine whether or not objectives are met as appropriate): Tests will definitely be a key aspect of my online course, there will be weekly quizzes regarding the lessons that were taught that week  and chapter tests. They will serve as a great tool to measure whether or not the design of the course is effective and it will allow me to make adjustments as we move along. I found the methods mentioned in the video linked below, to be very interesting and useful, I noticed that the teachers emphasize the importance of communicating and interacting with students, instead of just having them take tests and moving on to the next lesson. Two of the assessments that involve Learner-Instructor interaction are formative and summative assessment.

10. Select Learning Activities: In this course I will incorporate Absorb, Do and Connect activities simultaneously. There is no perfect formula or proportions as to how much of each should be utilized, therefore will begin with a mix of 40-50-10 and make adjustments based on students performance. Some of the activities I will include in the course will be text, video presentations, practice, games, and group work.

eLearning tips

11. Choose Media (Add a discussion of activity structures and interactions): My decision regarding the type of media I will be incorporating will rely heavily on the material I will be teaching that week. For some material text and graphics will work best and for other material animation and video. The key to this will be choosing the medium that is essential in accomplishing my objective. For example, provide students with text material when it comes to definitions, theorems and formulas, so they can always go back and study them. Another example is, video presentations which will include me talking students through the steps of solving the geometry problems.

Session 3: Response to Promts

A. Download the interactionsmatrix.dox file. Note that this is a table listing the three types of interactions at the top, with some sample activities on the left. Place an X in the cells to indicate which cells appropriate to the types of interactions each represents.

Learner-Content Learner-Instructor Learner-Learner
Video Presentation X
Lecture X
Chat X X
Discussion X X X
Podcast X
Literature Base X
Email X X
Blog X X
Synchronous Session X X X
Chats X X
Blackboard X X X

Topical Discussion of Interactions:

By listening to Dr. Newberry’s podcast we can understand the importance of Moore’s three types of interaction in any type of setting, especially in an online learning environment. When creating an online course the three interactions are much more complex to formulate, since creating the correct balance of the three can be quite difficult. As online instructors we must keep in mind our students’ personalities and capabilities, we must do such without having face-to-face interactions, which makes it an obstacle. It is evident that attention to detail must be taken into account when designing online courses.

B. Discuss of the types of interactions that are most often used in the content area for which you expect to design instruction. Be sure to explain the content area, they types of students and types of objectives with which you will be working.

Content: (same as previous blog) As a mathematics major with great interest in teaching the subject at a secondary school level, I will focus this course content on high school geometry.

Instructor(s): This course will be taught by one instructor, myself, who is very familiar with the content. The instructor acquires good tech skills, however has no prior online teaching experience nor taught this content before.

Students: (same as previous blog) All students are motivated freshman with good tech skills, but no prior experience with online classes.

Objective: Teach geometric concepts to high school students who will

-apply concepts and use inductive and deductive reasoning to solve conjectures

-apply and analyze transformations of figures

-justify and apply formulas for two- and three-dimensional shapes

-apply concepts and definitions to validate geometric theorems

who have prior knowledge of angles, shapes, graphing and basic algebra.

Types of Interactions:

My intention for this course that I am designing, is to utilize the three types of interactions in balance the best possible, without teaching with one particular interaction more than the others. As stated in Dr. Newberry’s podcast it is important not to overwhelm or intimidate learners with many different types of interactions.

Learner-Content: For this interaction, I will be developing video presentations with important definitions and key concepts, very similar to what is done in I will also utilize the needed tools to create the two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures that are difficult for some students to visualize. One helpful tool is, below I provided the link to the website when I searched the word pyramid. As a result, I was given different views of the pyramid and detail information regarding the pyramid. The video presentations will also include examples from problem sets that will be assigned. Weekly quizzes and end of the chapter tests will be similar to problems sets to encourage completion of problem sets.

Learner-Instructor: To ensure that I can communicate with my students I will have online office hours, where students can ask any questions or concerns they have regarding the content of the course. Along with office hours I will have my email available.

Learner-Learner: In a mathematics course, communicating with others in the course can be very important. One student may have difficulties at arriving to a solution, before asking the instructor, the learner can ask other students in the course, who may explain how they were able to compute the correct result. This can be done by requiring students to create a blog. I will be assigning group homework where they can share their ideas to solving problems. Another assignment that I will be assigning will be a final group project, where students will choose a chapter in the course to create a lesson plan as if they were teaching the course, by utilizing any tools they feel comfortable working with.

C. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of the Horton text discuss three categories of activities: Absorb, Do, and Connect. After reading these chapters you are to locate one or more online classes and identify one Absorb, one Do and one Connect activity. 

Online Class #1


Course Content: High school geometry course to learn about the properties and measurements of shapes, lines and planes and get an introduction to trigonometry concepts.

Intended Students/ Probable Students Characteristics: High school students who are taking geometry for the first time or students who are retaking the course.

Instructor Characteristics: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer: Amy has a master’s degree in secondary education and has taught Math at a public charter high school.

Identify the Type of Activity: Absorb – Do – Connect:

Absorb- An absorb activity includes presentations in, “which learners watch or listen to a slide show, demonstration, podcast, or some other organized explanation” (Horton, pg. 67). This online course teach learners geometry through the use of video presentations and narration. Along with the video, the instructor provides a lesson transcript that makes it easier for students to follow the material as they watch the video.

Do- One of the common types of Do activities mentioned by Horton in page 129, is practice activities. It involves learners applying the knowledge that they acquired and demonstrating their competence in the subject. This course provides a quiz after every lesson and a chapter test at the end of every chapter, allowing students that are taking this course to apply the skills they learned and to receive immediate feedback.

Identify and Discuss the Interactions in the Activity:

The Absorb and Do activity would fall into the Learner-Content category since learners for this course are interacting with the material on their own. Learners are expected to watch every video and complete every quiz and test, without there being any Learner-Instructor or Learner-Learner interaction. Even though the instructor developed the video presentation, there is no Learner-Instructor interaction.

Online Class #2


Course Content: Start learning the skills you need to better manage your money with this tutorial, which covers topics like money management, banking, and retirement planning.

Intended Students/ Probable Students Characteristics: High school, college students and adults with jobs who are interested in properly managing money for a better secure future.

Instructor Characteristics: Instructor characteristics may include financial advisers, accountants and economists.

Identify the Type of Activity: Absorb – Do – Connect:

Absorb- In this course students are only given information in text for learners to read on their own at their own pace, which is a type of absorb activity.

Do- This course allows learners to participate in Do activities by providing providing practice activities. For example, in one lesson the course teaches learners how to fill out a check, and later allows the learners to fill out their own through an interactive check.

Connect- Connect activities stated by Horton on page 166, “make learners aware of how ideas and values apply in their lives”. For this course connect activities are present throughout the course, in one section it provided students with a goals worksheet and asked the following questions, “what is my goal?”,”what do I need to achieve this goal?” and “How long will it take me to achieve this goal?”.

Identify and Discuss the Interactions in the Activity:

All three activities are done individually by the learners, there is no Learner-Instructor or Leaner-Learner interactions. The only interaction present is, Learner-Content, when students read the lesson and participate in the activities provided in each lesson.

Session 2: Response to Prompts

1. Scenarios

You have been  asked to lead the team that is developing a series of courses for an online University. Explain some design decisions or issues that you would have to deal with for each class given the characteristics of the content, instructors and students are presented.

Course A

Content: This course will cover beginning college algebra.

Instructor(s): This course is taught by various adjunct and full time professors who are very familiar with the content who have differing degrees of tech skills and online teaching experience. The same class has to serve for all instructors.

Students: All students in this course are college freshman and sophomores with good technology skills and each has successfully taken an online orientation to online learning course.

Response: The content for this course can be best described as convergent, since it deals with mathematics. Based on Dr. Newberry’s podcast, it is “content that has a right answer”. For this course, instructors will have greater ease in producing an online course that is straightforward and organized for students. Which creates a comfortable and secure learning environment. A negative aspect of this course is the fact that it is taught by various professors. The phrase “the more the merrier”, does not apply when it comes to developing an online course. Instead it leads to confusion, since each professor has their own internal construction of what is important and what teaching style is effective. Students in this course have good technology skills, which will help them engage in the material presented to them in different formats, because they are less intimated by the tools utilized to present the material.

Course B

Content: The course is a philosophy of leadership class

Instructor(s): The Instructor is an experienced face-to-face instructor with good tech skills and prior online teaching experience. This instructor prefers lecture and discussion classes.

Students: Graduate students who are well motivated and with a broad range of technology skills, from average to very advanced.

Response: Contrary to course A, this course involving philosophy is divergent. Dr. Newberry’s definition of divergent content is, “material that doesn’t have a single correct answer”. The issue with divergent content is, that subjects as complex and confusing as philosophy, can be overwhelming for a student who is learning this online independently. There is also no structured manner in which the subject can be presented with clarity. Luckily, the course involves an instructor that prefers lecture and discussion classes. Meaning, the instructor will most likely enjoy having discussions and interacting with students, which is an important part of divergent content courses. Another positive aspect of this course are the graduate students who are well motivated with technology skills. Not only will they be comfortable in the online environment, but will also be self-motivated to do well and approach the material positively. Without motivation learning cannot take place.

Course C

Content: This course is an introduction to college success. It teaches study skills, communication skills, and tries to help students learn how to fit into the college community.

Instructor(s): This course will be taught by various instructors all with good tech skills and prior online teaching experience but who have never taught this content before.

Students: Students are incoming freshman who have been identified by advisors as high risk for drop out.

Response: For this course, I believe there is an issue with all three aspects. The content aspect of this course would also be considered divergent. Which will come across similar issues as course B. In addition, the content for this course strives to teach study and communication skills that lead to college success. However, it fails to take into consideration that every individual has their own strategies and unique personalities. Aside from having various instructors, this course includes instructors that never taught this content before. Instructors are at risk of presenting incoherent material to students. They are exploring this subject for the first time, so they do not have an idea of what is the most efficient way of teaching this information. The last issue for this course is the students. Students who are incoming freshman and are at high risk for drop out, tend to be individuals who lack the motivation. They lack the motivation to learn and succeed. Instructors can make an attempt to prepare material in an interesting way, but learning begins with self-motivation.

2. Now, think about an online learning experience that you might someday create. Describe in detail the content, instructor and student characteristics. What are the design issues or features that these suggest? Explain your answers.

Content: As a mathematics major with great interest in teaching the subject at a secondary school level, I will focus this course content on high school geometry.

Instructor(s): This course will be taught by one instructor, myself, who is very familiar with the content. The instructor acquires good tech skills, however has no prior online teaching experience nor taught this content before.

Students: All students are motivated freshman with good tech skills, but no prior experience with online classes.

Response: As I designed this online course, my goal was to keep it as realistic as possible. The content, instructor(s) and students pertain to my current situation regarding my experience and skills. Since the subject is geometry, the content is defined as convergent. There exist only one correct answer to math problems, so it will be easier for me as the instructor, to provide the steps to arrive to the correct answer. I would do so by externalizing my internal dialogue with the use of audio tools,to effectively lead students through the process of problem solving. The main issue with this course design would be that I lack the experience needed to teach the content in an online setting. Prior online experience is a characteristic that can affect the design of the course greatly. An instructor with less online teaching is experience, is less likely to utilize the new technology in ways that will benefit students the most. I would consider this very important in geometry because it is a course that involves visualization. For many students visualizing certain models and figures can be difficult. Technology is certainly a tool that can assist students struggling in this area. Students in this course are incoming freshman are highly motivated to do well. As a result, students have greater self-motivation and will be more flexible with the material presented to them. What might affect their motivation is the fact that they have no prior online class experience. This can leave students feeling intimidated to explore this new world of learning. It would be my goal to create a comfortable environment and smooth transition for students who are new to online learning. Doing so will help students succeed in geometry.

3. List the 11 instructional design steps presented in chapter 1 of the text (Design Quickly and Reliably)

1. Identify Your Underlying Goal

2. Analyze Learners’ Needs and Abilities

3. Identify What to Teach

4. Set Learning Objective

5. Identify Prerequisites

6. Pick the Approach to Meet Each Objective

7. Decide the Teaching Sequence of Your Objectives

8. Create Objects to Accomplish Objectives

9. Create Tests

10. Select Learning Activities

11. Choose Media


Session 1: Response to Prompts

1. Explain the relationship between distance learning and online learning.

The relationship between distance learning and online learning is that the latter is a derivative of the former. Distance learning, is the process of receiving an education in a non-traditional manner, where the student does not have to be face to face with the instructor and other students. For instance, the use of U.S. mail, television, radio, e-mail, blogs, discussion forums, and phone calls. Online learning was the product of the internet being incorporated into distance learning. Making distance learning a much more pleasant and convenient experience.

2. Discuss the main difference between distance learning and online learning.

Distance learning can come in various forms, it provides different learning experiences to accommodate individuals needs. Some may prefer to receive and send material through the mail others through email. Online learning is a specific type of distance learning, synchronous or asynchronous, that focuses on the use of online tools to learn new material. However, as stated in the podcast, “the difference between distance learning and online learning [is] blurring”. Every year, more individuals are opting to online learning and distance learning is being transformed into online learning. The internet and technology have become such an important aspect in society, that other forms of distance learning are no longer seen as convenient. Soon enough the only form of distance learning will be online learning and no difference will exist between the two.

3. List the three types of interaction proposed by Moore (1989) and explain each type of interaction in your own words.

I. Learner-content interaction:

This is Moore’s first interaction model and it involves the interaction between the learner and content. It is said to be one of the most essential of all three interactions, considering that it is how the learner engages in the material that is being presented. The manner in which the content is presented can vary, especially through online learning. For example, online learning can present material through video, audio or a word document. These different tools affect how well the learner interacts and is able to take in the presented material.

II. Learner-instructor interaction:

Moore’s second important interaction model is defined to be the interaction between the learner and the instructor. For a student who is on campus this task is much easier, since there is face to face interaction. On the contrary, for students who do not have the time for on-site learning, the learner and instructor have very little interaction. This is why for online learning learner-instructor interactions is extremely important. Both the student and teacher must find the means to communicate in order to make the online learning experience positive and satisfying. Some means can be through email, scheduling meetings and phone calls. Without any learner-instructor interaction an online course can be overwhelming.

III. Learner-learner interaction:

The third and final interaction, involves the interaction between a student and other students. It is similar to leaner-instructor interaction, because without having any communication the learner will feel isolated and on their own. In online learning, creating an environment where students can interact with one another is key to maximize learning. Preparing weekly blogs and providing comments on peers blogs allows students to interact without having to be face to face. It also allows each student to take in different points of view on a subject and students may learn from one another.


4. Discuss some of the differences between the early days of online learning and today. Then make some predictions about the future of e-learning.

Early days of online learning were limited by the technology available to individuals. Before the internet and personal computers existed, those who wanted an education but could not attend school, had to depend on mail. As technological advancements occurred, email became a common form of education as well as the use of bulletin board systems. However, since advancements were fairly new, it was also expensive and not widely available to everyone. Once the internet and personal computers became accessible, new forms of providing online learning developed. For instance, blackboard, WebCT, podcasts, videos, audio and blogs. Online learning has become a common form for receiving an education due to its virtually effective and diverse ways of presenting material to learners.

Although we have come far in the area of e-learning, there is much more to be done. E-learning is absolutely something that will be further developed and incorporated into our every day lives. The reality of today is that technology now more than ever, taken over the area of education. It will no longer be something that mostly only adults do, it will also be a tool for young children in elementary schools. We see it done today in the k-12 environment, with chrome books being utilized in classrooms. E-learning has revolutionized the way in which we learn, and in the future will be available in third world countries. Allowing those who never believed they could receive an education succeed. Overall, e-learning will keep creating a positive impact worldwide. There will always be new and improved ways to educate, providing different modes of learning that best suits each learner.

Session 1: Introduction

Hello professor and peers,

To begin with my name is Jacqueline Felix, I recently received my bachelor’s degree from the University of California Irvine, majoring in mathematics. I decided to continue my studies here at Cal State San Bernardino with the hopes of receiving a Master’s degree, as well as my teaching credentials. I  have never taken an online course in my learning career, so I’m excited for this new opportunity to expand my knowledge through an online class. I believe that communication is key in online courses due to the lack of designated class time, meaning that one has to really focus and communicate with the professor and peers to succeed. What I expect to learn after this course is pretty simple, by the end of this course I want to design and develop effective learning programs to help others learn the material they are working on. Well this is going to be a first for me, but I feel confident that I will succeed in this class and wish my professor and peers a wonderful quarter and good luck.

Jacqueline Felix