Keith Feiring


March 13, 2003

Valerie Taylor

Cal State University, Hayward

Hayward, CA



Project Evaluated


New Employee Orientation/Following the Diamond Road to Success

 Presented by Mary Barksdale




My evaluation of Ms. Barksdale’s Long Content Project is formatted in three sections:


Section One

These are my first observations and impressions of the course. My point of view is a combination of both a hypothetical student taking the course, and an observer recording the impressions of the student. I have delineated my observations into two (simplistic) categories: Like & Needs Improvement.


Section Two

I adapt a Rubric for Online Instruction (California State University, Chico) to evaluate various elements of this course.


Section Three

I reference the requirements of the Academic Model and state if this course fulfills them.


Section One

These are my first observations and impressions of the course.

Most significant impressions are highlighted. It is in the form of a narrative.



First This is a wonderful course. Next. My observations are made with the intent to help the course designer have an outsider’s point of view. Any criticism is meant to be constructive. The designer may consider incorporating some of my observations into her course. In any event,  this course contains many the elements required of the Academic Model and shows a great amount of effort to be thorough in its design and content. My main criticisms are that a few lessons appear overly content-heavy and some lessons use terminology and concepts that may be inappropriate for the Corporate Student. If the course designer agrees with these observations, her lessons can easily be modified to reflect them.



Needs Improvement

Announcement Page

·        I like the Welcome Message. It has a friendly and personable feel to it.

·        Bullet points are clear and appropriate for an introductory message

·        Excellent information presented

Announcement page:

·         Type size is small and there is a lot to read. It is a little intimidating, especially for the Corporate Student.  It is not broken up with subhead or varied type styles: bold or colors.

·        I think there is too much detail in the opening message regarding, discussion threads, email etiquette, etc. I don’t think a student can assimilate the information. Therefore, the Welcome Message could be shortened and some of this information could be placed in another location.

·        Bullet Points

o       Does the Corporate Student have any idea of what “asynchronous” means? Why use terms that can frustrate the learner?

Announcement Page


·        The Annual Report Quiz is an excellent task to make students focus and become active in the learning process.

Announcement Page


·        You might give them a preview of what you want them to know before giving the test.


·        Where do I go after I read the Announcements?

o       There is no direction telling student where to go next. I am left guessing. This is very important. I now feel lost in the course.


·        I am guessing that I proceed to Syllabus.




·        Nice Graphic of the logo.


·        Excellent writing explaining the purpose of the orientation. You have a very nice tone in your writing. It is friendly, intelligent and clear.

·        Excellent use of colors to break and show sections in the Syllabus

·        I appreciate that the Syllabus has been kept to a relatively small size: approximately one page.

·        Excellent collection of reasons showing what the participants will learn and how they will benefit from the course.

·        Excellent collection of highly focused and useful URL’s.




·        Even though the page looks good, the lists of what the participants will learn, and how they will benefit from the course, seem monotonous.  Are they going to read this or skip over it?  Perhaps you could use illustrations along with text to help get your points read.


·        The URL’s annotations could use some formatting to emphasize some of the text (bold, font color)

·        URL’s could benefit from an introductory statement as to their importance and how the student should utilize them.

·        I think this list could benefit by incorporating  some graphics that could give additional meaning to the text.

·        The links are not working. I tested them within Blackboard and I also pasted the URL’s into IE Address Bar. None worked

·        The Syllabus lacks a calendar to show how the course will progress. This is important. (I could not find a calendar or description of the course sequence anywhere.)

Interjection – General questions regarding the course as of my reading to this location.

·        What is the education level of the students you will be teaching?

Quote from Mary B regarding students: “The likely learners will be all recently hired International employees, no matter their job or location; they will not require any prior skills to take this course, except how to operate a computer.”

Is this course going to be taken by people with a high school degree or college degree? In any case, I feel that the writing is appropriate for an academically oriented student as opposed to students that represent a cross section of educational backgrounds. I think the writing needs to be simplified. Many of these students are taking a course for the first time in years. This should be a factor in creating the course materials.

·        Why should the student read in depth rather than skim much of the content?

What is the motivation for students to read in depth? They do not pay for the course. They are not being tested for content knowledge. Are there any penalties for not participating in depth? What prevents students from skimming over lists of information or content? I believe that the Corporate Student does not share the same motivation for participating in an online course as does a college or master’s student. This factor should be reflected in the design of the course.




Needs Improvement

Staff Information

It has good contact information including hours and accessibility via cell phone

Staff Information

You might consider putting some personal information about yourself, including: education, experience, position with company.


Course Documents

There is a link to an empty Course Document folder.  Should the folder be available?



·        I like the presentation of eight lessons being divided into four different modules.

·        I very much appreciate the summary of what each lesson is about. This is very useful and tells the student what to expect. This is done, one sentence for each lesson. It is to the point, and concise. It is excellent



There is no overview of the course: an explanation of how the course will progress along with a timeline. The information is somewhat available in the assignment area. An overview of the lessons and time sequence would be beneficial.

Lesson 1

·        Good information regarding Objectives and Assignments

·        The course designer has an excellent writing style and expresses herself very well.

·        I feel a connection with her as I read her writing.

·        I like her interest in establishing a community among the course participants

·        Good request to post biography to discussion board.

·        Excellent “fun test” for students to take and respond to.

·        Nice explanation of networking

Lesson 1

·        Again, the information seems text heavy and I wonder if all the participants will read everything.

·        Mention of Online Learning acronyms: f2f is not really appropriate.

·        I did not know what to do once I got to the quiz.

·        Wording is a little awkward regarding posting to the Discussion Board. “Post comments in the 4 boxes on the discussion board for Lesson 1  Boxes?

Discussion Board Lesson 1

·        Students will appreciate being asked to post their biographies and respond to others.

·        The discussion on the personality test is very engaging.

·        I appreciate the intent of the discussion regarding community. I also think the questions are well poised.

Discussion Board Lesson 1

The concept of Community may not be applicable to Corporate Learners. I can see the course designer wants students to get a sense of working together but I doubt they will see it as a community. Designer may want to call it something besides a community. I don’t think two discussion areas are necessary here. It seems to be too much.


Lesson 2

·        Clear objectives – very good.

·        Now this lesson is more like it. It is great. It has limited words, gets right to the point. I feel very comfortable in being able to understand and fulfill this lesson.

·        I like the link to the outside resource.

Lesson 2

You may want to use another word than lecture for what the student needs to read. I don’t think the Corporate Student will appreciate reading “lectures.”

Lesson 2 – Discussion 1

This is a wonderful discussion/project. It is very practical and useful.

Lesson 2 – Discussion 2

This is also great. I am really becoming impressed at how the course is now evolving.

What a great benefit you are affording your students by inviting them to post their questions and receive answers regarding benefits. Any employee would really value this. So far this is the high point of what I have read.

Lesson 2 – Discussion 1

·        Clarification of the word “thread.”

·        Clarification of how to work with the discussion board in order to collect threads would be helpful.


Lesson 3

·        Good clear objectives

·        Now this is excellent lesson # 2. It is very directed and focused on the importance and meaning of the company logo. You used a wonderful technique to help understand logos by directing the students to look at how other company logos are used. Excellent reference via links

·        The lecture is very well written. You are a really good writer. It is very pleasant to ready your phrases.

·        Very complete discussion of the company’s product line.

Lesson 3

·        You could use some different type formatting for emphasis.

·        This is a very large lesson.

·        Your lecture may be just a little long. You might consider breaking it up and also having some type of quiz related to the information you are providing.

·        I am sure you considered it, but the lecture for this lesson is worthy of discussion

Lesson 3 – Discussion 1

You have created excellent questions. Anyone (at any education level can understand them) can respond to them. These are good questions to make employees think about the company they are working for. This is really a good discussion topic. I also appreciate that there is only one topic to discuss.


Lesson 3– Discussion 1



Lesson 4

·        Excellent lecture about a concept.

·        The lecture then is applied related to the company.

·        Very detailed lecture supported with excellent links to resources.

·        I like your approach to diversity: asking questions, discussing the makeup of the word and applying this to the workplace.

·        Lesson 4 – Lecture Questions

·        A variety of interesting, probing questions.

Lesson 4

A good idea on how to compel the student to read the lecture is first have them look at your excellent lecture topics and see what they need to respond to.



Lesson 4 – Lecture Questions

·        A variety of interesting, probing questions.

·        Your line of questioning is very effective.

Lesson 4 – Lecture Questions

·        There may be too many question regarding this subject

The balance of the lessons does not yet have discussions or lessons associated with, but I can see they are in progress.


Do you need to have the following modules:

Communication: and,




Section Two

Adapted Rubric for Online Instruction (California State University, Chico)

Highlight indicates selection

Online Organization & Design







Much of my Homepage

is under construction, with

some key components

identified such as the syllabus.

Not all of my course

content has been modified

for use on the web.

Students are uncertain about

what is expected of them in

the online environment.

The aesthetic design (look)

is rudimentary in conceptualization

and construction.

Web page structure and

format are inconsistent —

links are in different places

and format varies.

Opportunities for student

input and feedback are

limited and inconsistent

No Homepage – Announcement Page used instead

My Homepage is organized and

navigable. Students can

understand the key components

and structure of the course; the

course is organized and easy to


My Syllabus identifies and

delineates the role the online

environment will play in the

total course.

The aesthetic design presents

and communicates course


There is consistency in some

aspects of the web course.

Opportunities exist for student

input and feedback regarding

course design and navigability

My Homepage is well

organized, easy to navigate and

logical. Students can clearly

understand all components and

structure of the course; the

course is well organized and

easy to follow.

My Syllabus is easily identified

and clearly delineates the role

the online environment will play

in the total course.

The aesthetic design effectively

presents and communicates

course information.

There is consistency in all

aspects of the entire web course.


Multiple opportunities for

student input and feedback are

integrated throughout the course.


Instructional Design & Delivery

Opportunities for interaction

and communication are


Learning objectives are vague

and may be incomplete. Performance

expectations are

unclear or absent.

Multiple learning styles are

not recognized, accommodated,

or integrated in the

design of the course.

Opportunities for student

input and feedback about

instructional design are

limited and inconsistent.


My course offers some

opportunities for interaction

and communication among

students, between students and

instructor, and between

students and content.

Learning objectives are

identified and performance

expectations are implied.

Strategies for meeting multiple

learning styles are recognized

and attempts are made to

ensure student understanding of


Student feedback about

instructional design is regularly



My course offers multiple

opportunities for interaction and

communication among students,

between students and instructor,

and between students and content.

Learning objectives and

performance expectations are

clearly defined.

Strategies for meeting multiple

learning styles and promoting

critical thinking skills are clearly


Student feedback is regularly

integrated into the instructional

design and is used to inform

decisions about instructional




Assessment & Evaluation of Student Learning

Some of my course

objectives, instructional

strategies and assessment

techniques may be aligned.

Assessment strategies

are not fully identified,

developed or implemented.

Assessment strategies

are not comprehensive,

measuring only the most

basic level of student


Opportunities for students

to receive feedback about

their own performance are

infrequent and sporadic.


My course provides students

the opportunity to self-assess

their readiness for the online


Course objectives,

instructional strategies and

assessment techniques are

somewhat aligned.

Assessment strategies are

used to measure content

knowledge, skills, or

performance standards.

Opportunities for students to

receive feedback about their

own student performance are


My course requires students to self assess

their readiness for the online

components/ course prior to or at the

beginning of my class.

Course objectives, instructional

strategies and assessment techniques

are closely aligned.

Ongoing multiple assessment

strategies are used to measure content

knowledge, skills, and performance


Students’ self-assessment and/or peer

feedback opportunities exist. Regular

feedback about student performance is

provided in a timely manner.


Appropriate & Effective Use of Technology


My course uses a few technology

tools for communication

and learning.

Some technology may be

used for its own sake. My

course has a few bells but

no whistles.

Multimedia and learning

objects are largely absent.

Opportunities for student

feedback are limited.


My course uses some

technology tools to facilitate

communication and learning.

Technology is mostly used to

support student learning

rather than for its own sake.

Multimedia elements and/or

learning objects may be used

to engage students in the

learning process.

Student feedback is used to

assess delivery of course



My course uses a variety of

technology tools that are

appropriate and effective for

facilitating communication and


Technology is used to enhance

student learning rather than for its

own sake.

Multimedia elements and/or

learning objects are relevant,

optimized for student Internet

users and effectively engage

students in the learning process.

Student feedback is used to

continually improve technological

delivery of course content.



Learner Support & Resources

My Welcome Page has

limited information (for

example, course title and

number, instructor name,

phone number and email).

My course provides some

resources to support online

student learning.

My course offers access to

few or limited media


Opportunities for students

to give feedback to faculty

are limited.


My Welcome Page follows

the suggested University

template for online course

learner support and resources.

My course provides course specific

resources to support

online student learning.

My course offers access to

some media resources

appropriate to my course.

I solicit student feedback

regarding learner support and



My Welcome Page includes important

information about being an online student

at CSU, Chico (including, for example,

links to Student Computing, Disabled

Student Services, Meriam Library,

Student Learning Center, and the

University’s policy on academic

dishonesty, etc.); how to access department/

program and/or university for

advising; prerequisites; a course overview

and any time-certain meetings; and

instructor contact information.

My course replicates or links to the

Welcome Page information and provides

a variety of course-specific resources to

enhance online student learning.

My course offers access to a range of

media resources appropriate to my course,

such as CD-ROM based tutorials and

necessary applications.

I solicit student feedback regarding

learner support and resources to make

modifications when appropriate.




Section Three


Does course meet the needs of the Academic Model

Ms. Barksdale’s course meets many of the requirements of the Academic Model

Instructor’s Description of the Academic Model


·        The utilization of higher order skills is evident. They are required to analyze and make written responses to each other’s discussions as well as to articles they have been assigned to read

·        This is a corporate environment so some or the elements that are part of the Academic Model may not be appropriate for this course.

o       Students are required to work in groups and with partners. ( Not present.)

o       Facilitator/peer interaction is present. (This is limited.)


·        Lecture is included.

·        Clear assignments are present and some include the element of collaboration.

·        Threaded discussions are present.

·        Grades are not present in this course. This is intentional on the part of the course designer. However, I suggest that grades of some sort, may be an additional stimulus for participation.

·        Excellent links are available for outside readings.


Focuses on higher order skills (analysis, critical thinking) and/or additional objectives (problem based learning, information or other competency

·         Lecture is included (may be short.)

·         Assignments are given in each unit/module (and be sure one of them involves some kind of collaboration to demonstrate your ability to do this.)

·         Threaded discussion(s) on specific topics are required.

·         Links to web readings or sites are integrated into some of the units/content areas.