OSCQR – Standard #8

OSCQR – Standard #8

Appropriate methods and devices for accessing and participating in the course are communicated (mobile, publisher websites, secure content, pop-ups, browser issue, microphone, webcam).

Review These Explanations

Technology supports the online space, and instructors and learners both need to be aware of technology requirements for accessing and participating in all online course components. Having appropriate technology and knowledge of related issues (and their solutions), can limit obstacles to a successful online teaching and learning experience.

Learners are likely to become frustrated if technology issues arise when they are working in an online course, or accessing additional required material. If a course materials include a textbook companion website, learners need clear instructions on how to access and navigate that site.

Some learners may be accessing online courses using desktop or laptop computers, others may be using mobile devices including tablets and phones. Course accessibility can be an issue on some mobile devices, and it is critical to communicate out what will (and will not) work within specific platforms and browsers.

Take advantage of Open SUNY HelpDesk resources, including guidance on technology requirements for learners in online classes, and link to these resources in the course information documents. Also include links to textbook publisher reference and help sites if using textbook companion websites in your course.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

  • Explore your course on your own mobile device to see which features work well, and which features can be troublesome.
  • Collaborate with your colleagues to create quick reference sheet on the technology you expect learners to be using in your courses, and share it out. Set a schedule to update it together on a regular basis.
  • Check with the IT department to see what reference guides are available for learners and include those in your course information documents.
  • Test every element of your course before you go live. If you ask learners to access an external textbook site, be sure that you can access it as a learner first.
  • Ask learners at the end of the term for feedback on their frustrations with technology. This can guide the information you share out the next time you teach the course.
  • Include this information in your course welcome video, or create a separate screencast overview video detailing what devices and access methods will work best in the course.

Explore Related Resources

Shackel, B. (2004). A user’s experience. British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(5), 645-656.

Share What You Know

OSCQR has been developed by a community of online practitioners interested in quality course design. There are numerous opportunities for community members to offer suggestions, donate resources, and help with future development.

Discuss this standard in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Contribute your own ideas or refresh resources by filling out the OSCQR Examples Contribution Form.

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