Evolution of an Online Biopsychology Course: Benefits of Flexible Design

Keywords: digital tools, active learning


As with face-to-face courses, online courses must be continually revised to maximize student learning and satisfaction. Changes may be made for many reasons. Examples include research progress in the field of study, updates to best practices in teaching and learning, new technology, student feedback, and more. Applying instructional design principles can make building and refinement of online courses more efficient and effective.

In this presentation we will discuss the initial design and re-design of an online course in Biopsychology. We will show how the course website structure allows course content, assessments and schedules to be easily modified without the need for a major overhaul. In addition, the effects of relatively small changes on student learning and satisfaction will also be discussed. Last but not least, we will share a few strategies for course redesign that can be applied to any discipline. A particular emphasis will be placed on alignment of learning outcomes with assessments and incorporation of collaborative learning.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Brielmaier, George Mason University
Term Assistant Professor
Ying-Ying Kuo, George Mason University
Instructional Designer
Larisa Olesova, George Mason University
Senior Instructional Designer