Learning goals: the same or different?
In many cases, it will be appropriate (indeed, essential) to keep the same teaching goals for an online course as in a similar face-to-face course. Many dual-mode institutions, i.e. campus-based institutions who also offer credit courses online, such as the University of British Columbia, Penn State, University of Nebraska, offer the same courses both face-to-face and online, particularly in the fourth year of an undergraduate program. Usually the transcript of the exam grade makes no distinction as to whether the course was done online or face-to-face, since the students take the same end of course exam, and the actual content covered is usually identical in each version.
At UBC, there’s an express bus that runs every four minutes along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor to the university, each bus packed with up to 200 students. I too took the bus to work at UBC when I was Director of Distance Education – when I could get on it. Students were often sleeping on the bus, so we put the following advertisement on the buses: ‘Same instructor, same course, same exam, no bus ride: take a distance education course.’ Our numbers went up and it made it easier for me to get on the bus in the mornings!