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Abstract

While much has been written about the pedagogy and challenges of online learning, there is comparatively little research that advises how online course design competencies can be achieved. Certainly a growing range of course design resources is being created and made openly available, but there is a need to evaluate their actual impact on practice. This predominantly qualitative study describes the impact of two learning interventions – open online tutorials and a design and development workshop – aimed at introducing the fundamentals of online course design. Four online course developers at an Irish university were interviewed about their experiences creating multimedia-based online courses. Two of the developers were given access to targeted learning interventions and were subsequently interviewed about their experiences using those interventions. The main findings were that novice online course developers can potentially learn and apply design principles through a dedicated introductory phase, techniques that promote discussion of effective pedagogy, and ongoing collaboration in course design. These strategies could be adapted to specific contexts elsewhere.

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