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Development – Scenario 1

Writing the course

Depending on how comfortable you are writing the initial draft, your writer/editor will help you by editing what you write, or even taking notes as you explain a concept verbally, if this is easier for you. It is important to understand that the drafting process (revising, rewriting, etc.) is a normal part of the writing/editing cycle and is not to be feared. As long as you are revising and rewriting material that is appropriate for your learning outcomes for the course, this is fine.

Writing the first module or unit

At BCIT you will mostly see either modules or units as the names for the major divisions of your course. Depending on the course design and content, they are often roughly equivalent to one week’s instruction in a 12-week, 3 credit course (however, depending on the course material and instructional intent, this may not be the case).

You do not need to start with the first module and proceed consecutively to the last one. In fact, as a start, it is often best to choose a module that has as many elements as possible that you intend to have in your course: for example, besides text you might have media, graphics, quizzes, team exercises, and case studies. Choosing a more complex example will give you and the development team a better idea of what will be involved in developing the remainder of the modules, and help the project manager estimate the time required and any technical hurdles that may need to be overcome.

As soon as you have a reasonable draft, ask that this module be uploaded to the online course environment (D2L is the current learning management system, or LMS, at BCIT). This will give you a better picture of what your course will look like when complete, and will allow you and the team to make any modifications necessary, to help guide subsequent development.

Formatting and layout

Your project lead/designer will work with the graphic artist on the team to establish a visually attractive and efficient layout for the text, graphics, and media that make up the course. The design of the course environment is an important part of the success of your online course. There should be an inherent logic to this design that aids rather than intrudes upon learning.

Copyright permissions

As the instructor, it is your responsibility to obtain copyright permission for any material that comes from another source and that you would like to be part of your course. Remember to gather the details necessary (publisher, author(s), edition, date, pages or graphics used, etc.) from the source material before it is incorporated into your work; if you try to locate these after the fact (when you have returned the materials to the library, for example) it will take much longer to track the information down.

The BCIT library and the BCIT bookstore have individuals who can assist with getting copyright permission. We strongly recommend that you seek their help, as they are experienced at this and can make the process easier. Just remember to go to them well before your term start (the sooner after commencement of development work, the better), as this process can take a lot of time. Also, there is a possibility that BCIT may already have permission to use your source.

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