Effective Instruction Models

Developed and shared by IOWA instructors, these online course models offer practical approaches to effective instructional practices. Course models and resources demonstrate the importance of online course organization, clarity, transparency, and feedback in assessments, designing to accommodate all learners, communication, and student engagement and motivation.

Effective Instructional Practices

Review our practical guide to help you plan, build, and teach a more engaging, effective online course.

Effective Instruction Guide

How I arrange the "Getting Started" activities has a big impact on what students expect in my course. If I emphasize our learning tools, then students know that they will be creating interesting, real-world projects. We can make assumptions that students today are comfortable with digital tools socially — but not professionally.

Kara Kehe

How I Organized my Course to Support Active Learning

Kara Kehe, Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Sport and Recreation Management in Health and Human Physiology, knows how to make a great first impression on her online students. She shares strategies for designing a course orientation that sets student expectations and prepares them for an active applied learning experience.

Hear Kara's Story
Angie Cordle

Learning Objectives Tell the Story

Dr. Angela Cordle, Lecturer and Instructional Services Specialist in Biology, describes how she aligned her course assessments and content with module learning objectives that provide milestones for students as they master important course concepts and skills. Objectives are sequenced and build upon each other to create a story of learning throughout the semester.

Hear Angela's Story

Now when I get questions from students, they are not asking if something is going to be on the test. Instead, they’re asking content-based questions like, "I’m not completely clear on applying the rules of probability, can you help?" Why, yes! Yes, I can.

Having an up-to-date communication plan in place helps me to create instructor presence, manage my time, and helps me to ensure students will be successful in the course.

Willow Fuchs

Do Students Know You're on the Other End?

Willow Fuchs, Librarian in the Pomerantz Business Library, describes how she planned her online course communications, and how reflecting on this plan helped fine-tune her approach. Strategic and meaningful course communications help her students keep track of assignments and understand course requirements.

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DOE Online Course Sample Site

Designed to help instructors implement effective online courses. This site is both a sample online course, and a guide. New and experienced instructors can view this sample online course in an easy to navigate template. Layered into the content in this course is additional research, tools and information to help instructors make informed decisions toward continuous improvement of the online learning environment.

Explore Sample Site


Quick Tip

Look for the quick guides throughout the DOE Sample Course. They provide practical explanations of the strategies shared and link to relevant research.