Method or Media: 10 Do’s and Some Don’ts for Using Media in Online Post-Secondary Education

Albert Schram
University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) – Europe


For effective online teaching and learning there is no short-cut for good instructional design, as well as following well-established pedagogical practices. For universities in the post-pandemic era, the main challenges for delivering quality online programs are, first, to provide good access through high quality digital infrastructure, and, secondly, to assure that all lecturers are trained in modern pedagogical approaches, basic instructional design principles for online teaching, and media usage.
In my own experience, following the eight QM “Quality Matters” standards, will go a long way in improving online instruction and student engagement. These standards provide a simple, proven and robust framework, even for the inexperienced to design and deliver an effective and engaging course. Universities that have consistently applied QM standards, for example, dominate the rankings for best online programs in the USA (QM 2020). Uniquely, QM offers a low-cost training program on online teaching that can be rolled out at scale for lecturers at member universities and schools, that includes all elements for developing and delivering effective online courses, including the use of media.
The use of media in any course is always optional. Recent research, however, shows that the use of media, in particular asynchronous video in combination with other learning materials, can lead to substantial improvements in learning. This research found that the combination of solid instructional design and the appropriate use of asynchronous media in online or hybrid courses can be more effective than traditional face-to-face teaching, due to more focused content, and students being able to rewind thus avoiding feeling overwhelmed (Noetel et al., 2021). Finally, I offer 10 helpful pointers for developing and delivering online courses using media, for those of us who are not experienced online instructors, or instructional designers.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.