Backstage Booklet

From E-Learning Faculty Modules


Module Summary

Backstage Booklet: Getting ready for class

Distance is different. Online courses require significantly different preparation and instructional strategies; pedagogical principles underscore the importance of careful design, active engagement, and individualized learning.

One way to compensate for labor-intensive maintenance required by distance courses is to meticulously plan and execute details well in advance. Backstage Booklet highlights four areas of behind-the-scene readiness that will help facilitate a smooth-running online course -- course organization, scheduling considerations, communication challenges, and planning for exceptions.

Four short videos feature conversations among experienced instructors, while a basket of examples provides a course overview video, an instructor’s audio sample, and screenshots of various organizational schemas. Visitors to Backstage Booklet may download checklists and complete a post-test to assess learning objectives for this module


Learners will...



1. Borrowing from the real estate playbook, “location location location” reigns supreme in course organization. Drawing out a “roadmap” sets the stage for a well-run distance course.Listen to Dr L.Sue Williams walk you through the process of where do I start in the development of an online course Working Backstage.

2. Schedule everything is the message of the day here. Readying content and coordinating open/close dates and times makes for happier students and instructors. Watch Dr Michelle Bemiller explain Tables, Timing, and Calendars: How to Know Everything

3. Communication in distance education is constantly constituted. While you need not obsess about 24-hour availability, pre-arranging a variety of information-sharing venues and time availabilities is essential to good online learning. Video presented on Communication Challenges faced by instructors presented by Dr Don Kurtz Contacts and Communication: How much is enough?

4. So, with supernatural preparation, everything should be set to go, right? Wrong! While we maintain that preparation always pays off, the distance educator must always plan for exceptions. Watch this Panel discussion between Dr Michelle Bemiller, Dr Don Kurtz and Dr Sue Williams Plan for Exceptions in your distance education class.

Preparing Your Course:

1. Communication

2. Example of Instructor To Do List

3. Example of Daily Organization Chart

4. Plans for Exceptions

5. Schedule Everything

How To

This section provides downloadable files, to help you build your own course.

Possible Pitfalls


Extra Resources