Online Course Final Preparation Checklist

My online course, Principles and Practices of Online Course Creation and Instructional Design, begins on Tuesday, and while I have blogged about the course several times in the past few weeks, I am now in the final stretch of preparing to teach it.

I created a simple checklist I have been using to track items that need to get done in the next few days before the course begins, and thought that perhaps it may help others preparing to teach online (or others who read this may have some suggestions I missed!).

  • Revise the course website (in the Epsilen platform) to make sure all items are filled out.
  • Take the syllabus which is in Word format and put it in the online course format. This is not necessary, but may help us navigate through it more speedily.
  • Update my bio on the website. I know this was there . . . where did it go?!?!
  • Try to figure out why I can only see from the student’s view, and not the instructor’s view.
  • Email the students again to welcome them. I welcomed them already, as well as sent them some Announcements. No response from them and no log ons to the new system. Will have to email our tech support again to try to learn more about what sorts of log on and navigation instructions they should get before class begins.
  • Finish my PowerPoint lesson slides and discussion questions.
  • Tweak the online communication / platform slide to help navigate students in the first class who get lost with the new technology. Include the help desk contact information here as well!
  • Set up the online grade book.
  • Review the readings for the first and second class.
  • Prepare some specific slides to explain the final project.
  • Post a response to the class forum “Tell us about yourself” question to model it for the students.
  • Prepare to have my computer on and all materials out and accessible prior to the class on Tuesday at 6:30.
  • Get additional treats for my dogs so I have something to give them if they start barking (in the background) while I am teaching.
  • Practice using the online synchronous system a little more (how to share slides, use the white board, etc.). I already did this, but one last practice may help. Anybody out there in the blogosphere want to try this with me on Sunday night EST?
  • Review online class recording features.
  • Review setting student rights for the online classroom space for discussions, cameras, etc.

This is my list thus far. What am I missing?

MediaShift Article – NYU Professor Stifles Blogging

Anybody see the interesting PBS article about this student vs. faculty issue at NYU (where I teach as an adjunct)? From the PBS website, the lengthy and detailed MediaShift piece isĀ NYU Professor Stifles Blogging, Twittering by Journalism Student.


My experience is I try to do anything at all possible to get my students to use and integrate technology into everything they do, often to great resistence from students. I wonder if my students are just older or in fields where technology use is less integral (or am I grasping for straws here?). Nevertheless, while there is certainly a lot of processing and learning here to go around, this does not seem like the most pleasent situation.

How technology in education can go both ways, I suppose.

Twitter in Business Week & in My Graduate Leadership Class

I have been saying for some time now that Twitter is one of those phenomena that come along from time to time that changes the very way we communicate. It does not allow us simply one more way of doing what we have been doing. Instead, it alters communication itself.

Those of us who Tweet often think and share and communicate and interact differently from before we started with the application.

I used the example in my graduate Leadership class on Tuesday night, “How many of you have cell phones?” Yes, all their hands raised. What surprised me was my follow-up, “How many of you do not have land-lines at home?” Half raised their hands. HALF! In only a few short years the importance and modality and paradigm of using a phone has changed, and in the process our connectivity and expectations and ways of communicating have changed as well.

Business Week seems to be leaning in this direction as well with their article in this week’s issue. Those of us who have been using Twitter find our ways of interacting different as well.

twitter jeffrey

Case in point. I Tweeted on Tuesday night, in my graduate Leadership class, while I was demonstrating Twitter. I sent a Tweet and asked anybody out there to say hello to my class. I received 5 replies from friends and colleagues around the world who were reading Twitter and sent their greetings and encouragement in return. FIVE people. Unscheduled. Unplanned. Real-time. Try communicating to a group in any other medium and getting a response back so quickly. The speed of information exchange, idea development, collaboration, and our very approach to communication itself is now put on its head.

Where is leadership in all this? I think the question is more along the lines of new possibilities for leadership in ways we never considered. With communication increasingly flat, the sky is the limit.

Do you agree with my assessment?

Leadership Class (Y52.3300.001)

nyuscps I am teaching a Leadership class at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies that begins tomorrow. The course is an elective course in the Strategy and Leadership Concentration toward an M.S. in Management and Systems through the Management and Information Technology Program within the Division of Programs in Business.

While the course description is already online for anybody to see here, I thought instead I will lead by setting an example of sharing text references. Academics (and even scholar-practitioners, which is a title I use for my own work) do not easily and publicly share what materials they are using for a certain course, so I thought I will share my required and recommended texts, specifically to assist others who may be building such a leadership course for the first time and are looking for appropriate texts.


  • Bass, B. M. & Riggio, R. E. (2006). Transformational Leadership (2nd ed.). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. ISBN 0805847626
  • Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great. New York: Collins. ISBN 0066620996
  • Northouse, P. G. (2007). Leadership: Theory and Practice (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. ISBN 141294161X


  • Kouzes, J. M. & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The Leadership Challenge (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 0787984914
  • Marquardt, M. J. (2005). Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions By Knowing What To Ask. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0787977462

I am expecting great things from my students in this course, and expect to share a bit about the experience between here and Twitter.

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