Online in Half the Time: Tips for Successfully Accelerating Your Course
Concurrent Session 4
Accelerated online courses (8-week courses, for example) are being offered at an increasing rate due to non-traditional students’ desire to complete courses more quickly and utilize the flexibility and convenience that online learning affords. With this condensed format, it is natural for faculty to focus on how to get all of their content across in a limited amount of time. Rather than focus on the limitations of this structure, let’s consider the strategies necessary for student success and satisfaction in this ever-growing format.
Condensed or accelerated courses are becoming more popular due to the convenience for non-traditional students, and the benefit of focusing on a single course (or two) at a time. Literature has already shown that student performance is similar across regular-length and condensed formats. However, barriers persist for both faculty and students in accelerated formats, and many times the challenges of online learning are exacerbated by the condensed time frame. Thus, it is important to consider the strategies necessary for student and faculty success and satisfaction in this ever-growing format.
When condensing a semester-length course into an accelerated time frame, faculty often worry about the amount of content they need to squeeze into a limited number of weeks. While this is certainly a valid concern, additional considerations for student success and appropriate course design must also be taken into account. For example, presence and self-regulation strategies are not only crucial for online student success, but are additionally important in an accelerated format. Issues such as workload and cognitive overload are also important to address, for both student and faculty experience and satisfaction. Clear expectations and understanding the context of course content, and context and previous experience and knowledge of students are additional components to consider. In using evidence-based strategies to address these concerns through careful course design, accelerated courses can not only be just as effective as traditional-length courses, but can increase satisfaction and success for students and faculty alike.
During this session, participants will engage with the topic and content through a reflection activity on why accelerated courses are increasingly popular for students, and what challenges are present for both students and faculty in a condensed format. Additionally, five evidence-based tips with practical examples will be shared with session participants in an interactive format.