Engaging in Sustainable Online Course Development

The instructional design team at the Office of Online Learning takes pride in working with faculty to create online learning experiences that live up to the academic standards of the University of Georgia. We also consider how the environment we work in can support the continued offering of the courses we help develop. To this end, we encourage faculty to engage in sustainable course development practices for all online courses.

By “sustainable,” we mean the course is able to be offered in a consistent and replicable manner over time. This means that course materials are stored in a way that they are easily replicated and transferred as course offerings grow over time. In practice, this has led us to construct workspaces with sustainability in mind using two UGA-provided technologies: eLC and Kaltura.

Establish master course spaces

In eLC, we work with faculty to establish master course spaces. These are course spaces where no teaching and learning ever takes place, but the canonical version of a course is stored. This achieves several goals.

  1. Provides a common foundation for all future offerings of a course.
  2. Keeps all of the “residue of teaching and learning” (e.g. due dates, news items) away from the master version of the course and in the course offerings.
  3. For fully online programs, it offers a streamlined mechanism for templating desired course elements.

These master course spaces are maintained by the faculty responsible to the course, and any changes for future offerings should be reflected in the master course.

Store persistent course media in Kaltura

Using Kaltura, we have established course channels where all persistent media for a course can be stored. By persistent, we mean any media used across multiple semesters in a course, not media that is ephemeral or only relevant to a single course offering. There are several benefits of using course channels in the way we have established. Media is clearly categorized and can be shared across faculty in situations where such sharing is necessary. In addition, media for specific courses can be captioned easily using Kaltura (note: at the cost of $2.50 per minute).

Using these strategies, we aim to work with faculty to improve the sustainability of online course offerings at UGA over time and make implementing those offerings as streamlined and consistent as possible. If you are interested in using a master course or course channel in developing your online course, please contact online@uga.edu or call (706) 357-0049.