Building ECE241 for Online Learning

Related people and/or projects: Prof. Belinda Wang

One of ETO's services is to help instructors with course building and media production. You make the content, we do the building! Let's explore how the ETO provided technical support to create the Quercus course for a 2nd year course, ECE241 - Digital Systems.

In this Case Study:

  1. Project Overview
  2. Course Delivery Plan
  3. What the EdTech Office Did
  4. Feedback
  5. Going Forward (how you can participate in the remote editing project, too)

Project Overview

ECE241 - Digital Systems is a second year core course for ECE students in the Fall term. Previously taught in-person, the COVID-19 pandemic saw the class go remote. With over 300 students from different parts of the world, the geographic spread made it a daunting task to effectively deliver course content online. Professor Paul Chow and Professor Belinda Wang turned to the EdTech Office for help with transitioning their course online.

Course Delivery Plan

What did the Professors come up with? In terms of lecture delivery mode, Professor Chow and Professor Wang opted for a fully asynchronous style using short pre-recorded screencapture videos, one for each topic. They translated the entire course contents into 137 total videos across 27 modules. The videos have an average length of ~8 minutes with post-video homework questions to check student understanding. Students progress through the modules according to a path clearly laid out in the video syllabus. 

How did the EdTech Office support the course plan?

Professor Chow and Professor Wang initially reached out to the EdTech Office (ETO) in the summer to discuss course design options. After settling on the asynchronous delivery style, the ETO gave advice on different styles and reviewed sample videos. With regular meetings over the summer, we worked closely with the professors to help them build their course on Quercus.

While each project is different, for this remote editing project, we:
  • Kicked off the project with a team meeting so that everyone could understand the overall course goals
  • Created a shared tracking spreadsheet to communicate progress
  • Uploaded the videos to YouTube and MyMedia as well as uploaded content files to Quercus
  • Linked the uploaded contents into Quercus via the preferred course structure 
  • Provided student perspectives as the course was built

Together, we decided on a format for displaying the asynchronous content in Quercus: pages within modules! After the professors uploaded the course content in a shared OneDrive, the ETO created Quercus modules for each of the 27 modules of the course. Each topic video is presented in its own Quercus page, along with a PDF copy of the notes and questions. The picture below shows a student view of the course from the Canvas App. 


Since this was a new process in the summer of 2020, we wanted to make sure that the decisions made were of benefit to the students. Professor Chow and Professor Wang received positive feedback on the course organization from students. 

We spoke to Professor Wang about her experience working with the ETO because we wanted to make sure that she was happy, too. Professor Wang told us, "During the planning phase in the summer, we received very strong support that allowed us to effectively create and edit a large porton of our course content. We received continued IT support during the delivery phase of the course from September through to November as we added more elements to the course shell. Technical support from the EdTech Office played an indispensable role in our online course development from inception to delivery."

Going Forward

The ETO completed 8 remote editing projects over the summer of 2020; we hope to share more about those projects in future case studies. We will continue to offer remote editing services for the summer of 2021. If you are interested in participating in the remote editing process, please begin the process with a 1-1 consultation or submit the Request to Participate in the Remote Editing Process

Need help with your course? We are happy to meet with you in a 1-1 consultation! We can discuss any aspect of your course as it relates to technology. Please also check out our self-directed technical help guides.

Article Category: Case Study