Instructional Design for
Continuing Education

Instructional Design for
Continuing Education

We specialize in developing pre-certification, pre-licensure, and continuing education courses that enhance the career advancement opportunities available to our learners.

Instructional Design Services

Basic Services

  • Evaluate courses for compliance with the UF Standards for online courses, including the guidelines for accessibility
  • Recommend effective multimedia tools to enhance online learning
  • Recommend program management techniques
  • Provide instructor resources to assist in development of online course content

Full Instructional Design Services

All basic instructional design services plus:

  • Design and create activities that engage learners
  • Review online course analytics to enhance the learning experience
  • Implement strategies to conduct a program value survey
  • Design and produce multimedia course content
  • Ensure respective program goals are met
  • Oversee Continuing Education Unit (CEU) approval
  • Provide assistance applying for accreditation, if required
Instructor Resources

Instructor Resources

Here are some resources that are useful for developing continuing education courses. Reading through all of these resources before you start developing your course will ultimately save you time on your project.

Continuing Education

Best Practices for Continuing Education

Use our Continuing Education Best Practices checklist to learn how to best use Canvas to meet your continuing education needs. This resource is also useful for instructors transitioning from teaching academic credit to academic non-credit courses.

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Course Blueprint Guide: A Snapshot of the Final Product for Your Instructional Designer

Your instructional designer cannot begin building your course until he or she gets a step-by-step list of the activities your students will be completing in your course. Use the Course Blueprint Guide to help you make this list and learn about the options in Canvas.

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UF Standards for Online Courses

The UF Standards are a set of standards that should be met by all online courses. All continuing education courses created by UF Professional Development are designed to meet these requirements. We can also evaluate your existing continuing education courses to check for compliance with the UF Standards.

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Online Accessibility for Courses

All Continuing Education courses created by UF Professional Development meet the accessibility requirements for online courses. For more information, view the Quick Guide to Online Course Accessibility. UF Professional Development can evaluate your existing continuing education courses and make recommendations for increasing the accessibility of your course.

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Syllabus Template

This syllabus template is ideal for continuing education courses. It has styles incorporated for accessibility.

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Writing Objectives

A common issue content experts experience during course development is developing well-written objectives.

The most common mistake is using the word understand in an objective: "At the end of this course, you will be able to understand..." The word understand is problematic because you cannot measure whether or not a student understands a concept. A measureable verb needs to be used instead, such as identify, recognize, explain, etc.

When you are choosing the verb for your objective, make sure it is a verb you will be measuring with your assessments/activities. For example, you can't say that students will be able to explain a concept at the end of the course if you are giving them a multiple choice test, since a multiple choice test does not provide a place for the student to explain the concept.

Here are some additional resources for writing objectives (developed by UF CITT).

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Video Preparation

Find out more about our Video Studio Services.

PowerPoint Template

It is recommended that you use this PowerPoint template to ensure that your presentation is accessible. Choose the image you'd like to use for your title slide, delete the rest of the image slides, and put your content on the slides with a white background. Also, the size is already set to 16:9. Please do not change this. If you require a more customized PowerPoint template, please let us know.

Do you already have your PowerPoint presentation made? You can apply this theme to your current slides to ensure an accessible presentation. Make sure your slide size is 16:9. Contact Summer Howland to get the PowerPoint theme file.

Important Note for Studio Recording: Your instructional designer will need your presentation files at least two weeks before your scheduled recording time.

Important Note for Lectures: If you plan on recording a green screen video and having your PowerPoint slides be the background, leave the left or right half of the slide blank so that you can stand there without covering any text. See the example below of what it looks like to have your slides as your background.


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Video Length

We encourage you to keep your videos/lectures to 4-10 minutes in length. Research shows that viewership drops off drastically after 12 minutes. You should have multiple short videos rather than one long video.

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Video Script

To prepare for the video, a script will need to be written of what will be said for each slide. We can then use this script to inexpensively create closed captions for your video.

Important Note for Studio Recording: Your instructional designer will need your script at least two weeks before your scheduled recording time.

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Closed Captions

Closed captions are required for accessibility in videos. Creating a script before recording your video provides an inexpensive method for UF Professional Development to caption your video. You also have the option to pay a third party captioning service to caption your videos. Contact Summer Howland for more information.

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Interactive Activities

Your instructional designer can make lectures/videos interactive with self-check questions, scenarios, and branching scenarios. As the content expert, you will provide the content and vision for the lesson. Then your instructional designer will build the activity using the software Articulate Storyline. See the examples below for inspiration: 

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Promoting Mastery of Course Material

For professional development courses, we value mastery of the material over grades. Therefore, we recommend giving students multiple attempts on a quiz and only letting them move to the next lesson when they earn a certain score on that quiz (usually 70% or higher). They can see which questions they got wrong after each attempt, but it does not give away the correct answers. If appropriate for your course, you still have the flexibility to limit assessments to one attempt as needed.

See the Course Blueprint Guide from above to learn more about the options available for quiz settings.

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Quiz Question Formatting

Proper formatting helps us quickly put your quiz questions into your course shell. Follow the Quiz Formatting document created by UF CITT for "creating a question bank."

Rather than merely providing the correct answers, best practice is for students to see where they can find correct answers. It is recommended that you include feedback for incorrect answers that include and page numbers or other references to where correct answers can be located.

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Grading Rubric

Use this sample rubric as a guide for creating rubrics for written and/or performance-based assignments. These can easily be built in Canvas to make your grading easier and faster.

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Connect with your instructional designer for additional information.

Email Summer Howland