To remain relevant and engaging, all eAcademy courses are required to be continually updated. Think of these courses as living and breathing things that continue to grow just as you do. Creating high-quality eAcademy courses allows us to provide an outstanding educational experience to eAcademy students.

The eAcademy Course Design Review Form, paired with the eAcademy Teacher Self-Review Form and Teacher Feedback Form, has been designed as a dialogue tool, allowing the WIU to support eAcademy teachers as they develop digital content that is academically rigorous, highly engaging, and supports student success.

Below are the eAcademy™ Course Requirements, which will be used to identify where required items need to be added, deleted, or altered in your course. For each category, teachers will be provided with their strengths, required actions, and suggestions.

Moodle Blocks

Moodle blocks are modules located on your course home page and provide quick links to areas within your course.

Requirements

The following blocks are visible on the right side of your course home page:

~ Contact or Instructor Information: displays your name, school district, and WIU email address

~ Course Resources: includes links to getting help, submitting assignments, and editing a PDF

~ Activities: displays quick links to your assignments, quizzes, and forums

~ Upcoming events: displays your assignments, quizzes, and forums in a summarized list

Course Sections/Topics

The Moodle course content area is divided into sections (also known as Topics) to organize resources and activities for students.

Requirements

Each of your course sections/topics equals an academic week, unless clearly stated otherwise. For the Topics format in Moodle, the default section names are Topic 1, Topic 2, Topic 3 and so on. To help students successfully navigate your course, rename each section using the following format:

Week # or Topic #: Content to be covered

Examples:

Week 4: Multiplying and Dividing Integers

Week 5: Rational Numbers

Week 6: Adding Rational Numbers

Week 7: Subtracting Rational Numbers

Course Introduction

Your eAcademy course introduction is one of the first things your students will view when they begin your course. To help students create a personal connection to your course, explain why your content is relevant to their lives.

Requirements

Add a course introduction at the beginning of your course that includes the following items:

~ Your introduction: introduce yourself to your students (use text, audio, and/or video)

~ Course syllabus: course title, your name and WIU email address, course description, objectives, required student actions, strongly suggested actions, and course topic list

~ Student and grading expectations: expected behavior, attendance/participation requirements, digital citizenship policies, when work will be graded, and if you accept late work

Section/Topic Introduction

Section/topic introductions are a vital component of your course. Since one section covers one week of instruction, the section introduction sets the stage for the week. Provide students with a summary of what will be covered each week, what graded work is due, and how much time it will take to complete everything.

Requirements

Each week, include an introduction with text and audio/video that describes the Big Idea, Essential Questions, and Objectives. Provide context for students and do not just list these items on the page.

Copyright-Free Materials

As a content creator for the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, it is important to understand the appropriate ways in which to use materials in your courses.

Requirements

Use only copyright-free materials and images in your course, or you need to obtain express, written permission from the material owner and provide proper attribution, where applicable.

Grade Categories

Grade categories in Moodle group graded items together and allow students to more easily view their quarter grades. Graded items are gradable course activities like quizzes, assignments, and forums.

Requirements

Your course gradebook includes four main grade categories for a year-long course or two main categories for a semester course. Grade category names include the following: 1st 9 Weeks, 2nd 9 Weeks, 3rd 9 Weeks, and 4th 9 Weeks.

All graded items are placed in the correct grade category and there are no grade subcategories.

Graded Items

Feedback on performance is a critical part of a learning environment, and assessment is one of the most important activities in education. As teachers, we need a way for students to demonstrate what they understand and what they don't.

Requirements

Include a minimum of one interactive practice opportunity and one graded item per week; ensure all due dates are up to date throughout your course. Align graded items to your course objectives.

Instructions for Graded Items

The frequency and duration of study, as well as effective time management skills, are critical for students and professionals alike. Students need help in learning to manage and prioritize their study time.

Requirements

Provide detailed instructions on how to complete assignments, quizzes, and forums and include the amount of time to complete these items in your description. Also in your instructions, remind students of the due date.

Uploaded Files

Examples of files that you may want to include in your courses are PDF files, Word documents, PowerPoint slides, Google Docs, and Google Slides. Remember, if you didn't create the materials, make sure you have permission to use them or find Open Education Resources through OER Commons.

Requirements

Since our students use a variety of devices to access their course materials, provide two versions of uploaded files for accessibility (e.g., Google Doc, PDF file).

TIP: When using Google files, change the hyperlink from /edit to /copy so students make their own copy of the file. Students will need to share the copied file with you.

File and Web Page Links

Requirements

Ensure links to files and web pages are working and open in a new window. Otherwise, students may accidentally exit the course when closing a file or web page.

Spelling, Grammar, and Capitalization

Requirements

Ensure spelling, grammar, and capitalization are correct throughout your course.

Section/Topic and Graded Item Visibility

Students may be enrolled in your course throughout the year and may need to access earlier content and graded items.

Requirements

Keep your current and previously viewed sections/topics and graded items visible to students. To control course pacing, you may only hide future sections/topics and graded items.

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