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Scott Memorial Library
1020 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Where Do I Start? 10 Easy Steps To Taking Your Course Online

Taking your course online may seem like a daunting task, but it is really very simple. Just follow these 10 easy steps, and you'll be on your way to creating a successful online component for your course.

  1. Prepare Yourself
    • Educate yourself by reading articles about web-based training, instructional design, technology education, and online learning.

  2. Prepare Your Materials
    • Gather your course materials and content in a central location. Include items such as handouts, slide shows, syllabus, overheads, lecture notes, projects, assessments, and discussion topics. The server will easily accept all MS Office and Adobe Acrobat files. So if you have your lecture notes in Word or PDF format and your classroom presentations in PowerPoint you already have the hard part done!
    • Accommodate different types of learners. Make sure visual learners have graphics and text they can see to foster learning. Provide narration and text for verbal learners.
    • Identify measurable course objectives. These should incorporate materials delivered both in class and online. Determine what core competencies and knowledge students will need to meet these objectives.

  3. Make an Outline
    • Make an outline that matches each course component with associated date, lecture materials, labs, assignments and corresponding items. This comprehensive outline can be very helpful as you decide how to organize your materials online.

  4. Determine How To Deliver Materials
    • Determine which materials should be delivered in-class and which items can be delivered online. Select items that are relevant to course objectives and student learning experiences.
    • Prepare the materials for electronic delivery. This may include scanning graphics (the Scott Memorial Library LRC (Room 306) has both a flat bed scanner and a slide scanner you may use), creating files in HTML or Word, or developing PowerPoint slides. If you would like help, ask the LRC staff or Education Services for assistance and advice.

  5. Build a Course Skeleton
    • Create the organizational (or skeletal) structure of your course. This involves creating a series of clearly labeled folders that will hold course materials.
    • Make a folder for every item in your outline (from Step 3) or mimic the structure of your syllabus.
    • Log-in to the Pulse Campus Portal (, then select the "Courses" tab and then the course you want to work on. If you are teaching a course that isn't in your Course List, contact Chris Braster at for assistance.
    • Along the left side is the navigation panel, and you may need to scroll down to see the "Control Panel" button. This button only shows up for the instructors and allows you to enter information and files for use with your course. You have the authority to identify which buttons you want available for your course.

    • Enter the Course Information area and create folders for the Syllabus, Grading Policies, and other basic items relating to course management.
    • Enter the Course Documents area and create folders that correspond with the main topics or sections of your course. Create sub-folders for sub-topics as necessary. For example:
        Week 1: Introduction to Pathology (folder)
        Week 2: Working with Microscopes (folder)
        Week 3: Cell Injury and Neoplasia (folder)
        1. Case Studies (sub-folder)
        2. Practice Quizzes (sub-folder)
    • Enter the Assignments area, and create folders that correspond with your assignments.

  6. Add Staff Information
    • Enter the Staff Information page editor and create an entry for yourself. If you have a picture of yourself, include that too!
    • Create additional entries for teaching assistants, graduate assistants, guest speakers or other course staff members.

  7. Fill in the Content
    • Enter each folder and add the content.
    • Include a short description for each item. Indicate what the item is and how it is relevant to the lesson. This description helps students understand how to associate (frame/attend to) this item in relation to rest of the course materials.

  8. Incorporate the Technology into Other Course Components (optional)
    • Enter the discussion board and post an introductory assignment. Ask each student to write one to three paragraphs explaining who they are and why they took your course. Require students to read entries from other students. This is the first step in creating an "online community" for your course.
    • Plan on adding one new topic to the discussion board each week. Make sure this topic requires students to formulate an answer and back it up with facts to demonstrate their understanding. Monitor and respond to student threads and encourage students to do the same.
    • Locate at least three external Web sites that relate to information you are teaching. Place these in the External Links area and recommend students explore these sites on "virtual fieldtrips." Optionally, structure an assignment that incorporates researching and reporting information from these fieldtrips.

  9. Create an Introductory Announcement
    • Post an introductory message in the announcements area. Welcome the students to your course, direct them to the Course Information area to obtain the syllabus, and indicate the location of the first class assignment or reading is.
    • Post new announcements on a regular basis. If students see that you are updating this information frequently, they will check back more often.

  10. Complete the Process
    • Preview course materials by checking each link, proofreading descriptions, and viewing the course from a student perspective.
    • Inform your students there is a course website for them to use.
    • Enjoy teaching your first online course!

If you have any trouble or questions,

Please email or call: & 215-503-3120 & 215-503-4990