Continuing Education Unit Courses: A Checklist

Simplifying CEU Course Deployment

Continuing education unit (CEU) courses have become a popular option for working professionals to gain additional licenses and/or certifications. For many universities, it is an additional way to diversify revenue, especially as the pandemic continues to take a toll on educational opportunities for young and older adults.

Designing CEU courses may present many challenges for Instructional Designers. One of the most significant challenges as an Instructional Designer is having to move through stages of development with moving targets outside of one’s control. This may or may not include an inability to receive contract information on time, or course objectives that do not align with the capacity of the Learning Management System (LMS) that the course will be facilitated in.

These challenges can be met by developing a project management sheet that tracks each stage of development in order to hold all stakeholders accountable for the progression of each stage. While it will not help with receiving correct information or the information required to begin development, it does offer awareness to all stakeholders. Raising awareness reinforces the important elements that must be considered when beginning to design a CEU course and the items of completion necessary to make the course successful. The steps below are only one slice of what this project management sheet can include, once the content has been developed with authors and there is clarity in course objectives and deliverables.

Steps To Deploy A Continuing Education Unit Course

The following steps simplify the recommended guidelines to consider before deploying a continuing education unit (CEU) course in a Learning Management System.

1. Relevant Material

Confirm with authors that the following items are correct:

  • All session content is relevant and up-to-date.
  • The session sequence is correct.
  • Reference links are relevant and up-to-date.

With regard to copyright and reference materials:

  • Authors have uploaded copyright permission from images and/or content when applicable.
  • All reference materials are appropriately cited and include at a minimum the title, author’s name(s), publisher, and date of publication.

2. Initial and Final Inspects

If available, it would be ideal to have someone else on the development team conduct an initial and final inspection of the course to provide objectivity to the elements below.

  • Initial inspection
    An initial inspection offers the opportunity to fix broken items and/or follow up with authors to include additional activities if the current course doesn’t achieve its course objectives.
  • Final inspection
    A final inspection is helpful to confirm that all items in the course are operable and achieve course objectives.
    • Confirm that all web links are operable and open in a new window.
    • Open the course in different browser windows to confirm technical compatibility (Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, etc.)
    • Identify any issues (ie, a lag time between windows, navigating the course, fuzzy images, etc.)
    • Time yourself on how long each session takes to complete (ie session 1 takes 5 hours, session 2 takes 5.5 hours, etc.)
    • Identify any broken links (page not found, the page has been removed, etc.)
    • Play all videos to make sure they work and include closed captioning.
    • Confirm that all web links are operable and open in a new window.
    • Confirm that formative and summative assessments generate a score.
    • Confirm course styling and formatting is consistent throughout all sessions.
    • Confirm that the course is free of cultural bias.
    • Confirm that multimedia (video, images, text, font size) is clear and accessible.
    • Confirm that learning activities are varied and meet course/module objectives.

3. Synchronous Meeting Links

If the course requires synchronous meeting links, confirm the following:

  • Check that all meeting links for each course are the same.
  • Confirm that the dates and sessions of meeting times are current and up-to-date with the instructor.
  • Confirm that both instructors and students know where and how to use the “help” links to seek assistance if they need technical help during the session.

4. Course Certificate

  • Take the course from beginning to end as a learner.
  • Confirm that the course provides a certificate of completion after completing the course.

5. Final Approval

  • The Instructional Designer or eLearning developer should send final proofs of the course upon completion to all applicable stakeholders for a final review.
  • Repeat the four steps outlined above as needed, based on the stakeholders’ final review.
  • The Instructional Designer or eLearning developer could use the Quality Matters “course design rubric standards” checklist to confirm that all applicable course components have been met [1].

References:

[1] Course Design Rubric Standards

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