When to Make Adjustments
After you’ve conducted a survey or other evaluation, you’re ready to react to your findings.
Look at both the answers to your questions and what students are really being asked. Avoid drawing false inferences.
For example, maybe your students disliked a certain assessment tool you used in one module. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean your instruction of the concept was poor.
Explore the number of responses you receive, general trends in feedback, and any significant outliers in the data. The more thoroughly you review evaluation results, the more accurate your interpretations and the more strategic you can be when making course adjustments.
Make Adjustments As Needed
Make course adjustments on an as-needed basis. Changing portions of the course while it’s live, especially if it’s not for a critical update, can be confusing for you and for your students.
If you’re in an emergency situation, make adjustments immediately, if possible. An example of when it’s appropriate to interrupt a course and make changes right away is if a YouTube video with content that is necessary for the course is taken down. Your best strategy is to find an alternative source.
By successfully completing the Plan and Develop stages, you identified a specific, intentional purpose for each course element. So, if you do need to change an element, it’s best to replace it with an alternate piece of content rather than remove it all together.
For non-emergency adjustments, keep an ongoing log of your possible changes. For example, finding a more interactive tool for an assessment or re-filming a lecture video might be better accomplished when you can focus on it later. The changes can wait. Making edits mid-course for these types of issues is not the most efficient strategy.
Creating a list of course changes will help you think about the problems and find good solutions to implement—after the semester.
Review Your Course
Give yourself sufficient time to refamiliarize yourself with your course after you’ve made updates. Reviewing the course the day before the next semester starts may squeeze your time for making needed updates. Depending on the scope of your changes, you may want to have another individual complete a final walkthrough.
Your course and your online teaching style will continue to improve as you make changes based on the students’ feedback, your log of areas of improvement, and your self-reflection.
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