Designing and Facilitating High Quality Online Earth Science Courses

Thursday, Friday 8-11am PT / 9am-12pm MT / 10am-1pm CT / 11am-2pm ET Online


Jennifer Lewis, University of Calgary

Whether you are new to online or are looking to take your course to the next level, this 2-day workshop focuses on designing high quality, highly engaging online earth science courses. Participants will learn about the essential online classroom design components and will use activities in the workshop to design, update and create their own online earth science courses, syllabi, learning activities and assessments. Topics covered include student engagement, instructor presence, accessibility, online laboratories and much more. In each workshop activity, participants will gain resources and information, work with other participants and the workshop facilitator and will create products (i.e. learning activities) ready for their online courses.

Workshop Program


How we design our online courses determines whether our students will succeed or struggle through our courses. This workshop is designed to provide training in online course development so that you can create or update your online course to improve student engagement and success. Our workshop will provide you an opportunity to explore all aspects of course design, provide learning activities to apply what you've learned and ultimately leave the workshop with a plan and materials ready for your new or redesigned online earth science course.

Topics covered include:

  • Online Course Design
  • Student Engagement in the Online Classroom
  • Online Learning Activities and Assessments
  • Online Laboratories
  • Universal Design and Accessibility
  • Facilitating an Online Classroom
  • Instructor Presence
  • Managing the Online Instructor Workload
  • Online Course Quality Standards

Target Audience

The target audience for this workshop is anyone with an interest in developing and teaching high-quality, engaging online earth science courses. This workshop is open to everyone, including graduate students, K-12 educators and post-secondary faculty.


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Create an online course map which scaffolds the learning process based on course competencies to guide their online course development and updates.
  • Plan the instructor's presence in their online classroom.
  • Identify ways students will interact with the course content, the instructor and each other in the online classroom.
  • Incorporate new instructional resources or tools into the online classroom.
  • Design an engaging online learning activity or assessment.


This online workshop will model an effective and engaging online course. Each day will include introduction to the day's topics, collaborative activities to allow participants to explore and practice the topics and resources presented, time for participants to work on materials for their own online courses and opportunities to reflect and share their learning.

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