Applying the Principles of Learning Science to Online and Hybrid Course Design

Brief Abstract

A fundamental axiom of online education is that teachers should not mechanically translate existing courses into an online format.  In that case,  how should new or ongoing courses be reshaped for the online environment? The answers come both from the nature of online education itself and from a body of research from cognitive psychology and cognitive science that provides insight in the way people actually learn.

Freed from the constraints of time and space, as well as the deeply ingrained expectations of both teachers and students, online and hybrid education provides a more flexible palette upon which evidence-based ideas about learning can be integrated into course structure and design.  The opportunity to deliver learning experiences that may result in measurably better outcomes  than in typical face-to-face only classrooms represents one of education’s greatest potential benefits.


I am a professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Loyola University Maryland and the co-author of Best Practices in Online Program Development (Routledge 2014)

Extended Abstract