Finding unique ways to implement and deliver student activities within an online course can be quite challenging to many instructors.  Most of the difficulty revolves around the concepts of translating on-ground course activities to the online environment and how to revitalize an old activity with new technologies.

This article provides four essential tips that will help to shed light on these common instructor dilemmas and provide effective ways on how to incorporate new and innovative technologies into your online course.

Tip #1 – Identify an Activity

The best way to approach the idea of using a new technology or tool within your online course is to first start by identifying an activity that you currently have within your course and would like to improve upon.  Once decided, that should be your focus and starting point of identifying what types of technologies and tools are out there, and subsequently which of these will enhance your chosen activity.

Tip #2 – Research Your Options

There is such an overwhelming array of educational technologies and tools available today that the task of deciphering through each can be quite overwhelming.  At EdPlus: ASU Online, each academic program is assigned an Instructional Designer who is there to assist instructors with just that: the overall design and incorporation of new technologies into their online course(s).  In order to effectively brainstorm and narrow down the list of technologies and tools that will be best suited for your course activity needs, reach out and schedule an appointment with your Instructional Designer.  They can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each tool, allowing you to make a confident decision on which tool is best for you and your course.

Tip #3 – Plan Ahead

Plan, plan, and plan as far in advance as possible, and be sure to identify the scope of implementation of the new technology or tool!  Your plan should include the new technology or tool’s expected date of delivery, method(s) of delivery, grading logistics, presentation of student feedback, and identified student outcomes.

Tip #4 – Try it Yourself

It is highly recommended that before you use a new technology or tool within a live course, test it out and try it yourself.  Having a full understanding of both student and instructor perspectives is key.  In order to verify that the new tool is going to work as you intended, you will want to be sure to run through the full use of the tool as a student.  This will help to identify potential issues and decrease the instances of user error by knowing how to adequately advise students on how to use the new tool.