Wholly Online (Distance) Delivery

Wholly online or distance courses are those that have no face-to-face contact, or very minimal contact such as initial or mid-semester 'intensives'. More learning activities and content should be incorporated into the wholly online course to support effective learning than would be the case in a typical face-to-face arrangement. However, the main additional feature of a wholly online course must be an element of communication and collaboration between student and teacher and between students. 

Online communication and collaboration can be effective in facilitating learning in any context, but are especially important for distance students who, without effective teacher and peer communication and support, may encounter feelings of isolation and disengagement. 

Administrative Features:

  • Basic course information, such as the course outline.
  • Basic communication forums:- News forum (used effectively for teacher-to-student communication and announcements). - Common Room (or General Course Questions/ Discussion) forum (available for student-to-teacher and student-to-student communication).
  • Additional Content: lecture notes, readings and the like.
  • Online Assignment Submission.

Communication and Collaboration:

  • Topic discussion forums (asynchronous communication).
  • Tools to facilitate shared projects such as wikis, ePortfolio groups.
  • Synchronous communication (virtual classroom sessions, video conferencing, instant messaging, and the like).

Additional teaching/learning activities:


For an engaging and effective online learning experience the teacher should aim to embed opportunities for communication and interaction with and between students. This requires a different set of skills to face-to-face teaching. However basic teaching  and learning principles still apply. For more information on how to effectively deliver an online course, see below.