Instructional Design In Action – Create an Online Course

Public Relations Campaigns

Topics: Public Relations, Marketing, Campaign Planning

Audience: College Students

Goal: To use proven design methodology to help higher education students design a comprehensive public relations campaign to understand better the communications planning process in one semester.

Reflection: This full-scale course helps learners by walking them through the multiple aspects of strategic public relations campaign planning — from research, planning, and implementation to evaluation. This course allows students to fully develop a comprehensive portfolio piece that reflects the multiple facets of the marketing and strategic communication fields. As a designer, it is essential to consider future buy-in from the learners and to encourage active course participation.


ARCS Evaluation

The course is designed as eight weeks (module Course) and incorporates all the elements required for an online course.


Attention: Gaining the student’s attention is crucial to the course delivery and the student’s success. Typically, a person has seven seconds to make a first impression. It will take a little longer to make an impression on the online course. I believe it is all about the presentation. We have all seen cooking shows, and what do the chefs and judges stress? Presentation. You can create the most delicious plate, but if the food does not look good, it will elicit an unpleasant taste.


The same goes for online classes. As soon as I entered the virtual classroom, I saw the introduction and the listing of the modules with the classwork. It was all in a neatly wrapped package. Without even reading the syllabus, I knew what I was getting into, and the amount of work required each week. Presentation! Everything is linked to the main page. I did not have to search through the courses to search for it.


Everything synced. I have attended classes where the introduction conflicted with the syllabus, which disagreed with the assignment page. None of that appeared. Ease of use and open access to the class information is also an attention-getter.
Each module opened with a good description of the week and the most incorporated graphics with contrasting colors and backgrounds.


Relevance: The relevance of each module and assignment connected to the real-world application. The lectures and discussions were designed as conversations rather than instructions, taking us back to the attention section. We are all familiar with public relations and know, as consumers, what would draw us into something. We can use our real-world experiences and expectations to bridge the gap between the natural world and the classroom.


Confidence: Confidence first builds from presenting vetted and researched information and data. This course references the material presented and follows common sense models. There were assessments in different modules to test knowledge and help students gauge their responses and personal experiences such as in the ethics module. The ease of access to the modules helped to facilitate the successful application of the discussions and assignments.


Satisfaction: As we discussed in attention, presentation is what it is about. Each of the stages combines to achieve a certain level of satisfaction. As an online student for seven years, I have experienced the spectrum of classes from excellent to poor. The courses on the poor end leave me dissatisfied and wondering if I really got my money’s worth. Remember, most of the students are paying for a product. It is customer service. How is the service, and how is the product?


In this class, the workload is heavy, but each assignment and assessment helps the student build a better knowledge base and build their confidence level through learning and application. That is the key. I feel that the ISD is fantastic and is geared towards the learning process through effective delivery. Even though I do not have formal public relations training, I think I could pick up the course and deliver it myself.

D. Moore, Fellow Student

Course Overview

Assignment Instructions

The primary purpose of the final project is to provide students with an opportunity to apply the concepts discussed during the course. Through this project, students will create an online course that can be used in their current work environment or a course they hope to teach in the future. When choosing a course to be used for development, the student should pick a content area that they feel they could teach easily in a face-to-face environment. The more comfortable you are with the content, the more confident you will be in your performance on the project.

Objectives – During this project, students will:

  • Develop a rationale for the creation of a new online class. This rationale should include a description of why you feel that this course is appropriate for teaching in an online environment, a course “catalogue style” description, and an audience analysis.
  • Create a syllabus for an online class that ensures that the student has a complete awareness of course expectations. The syllabus template is a good place to start when developing an online syllabus. The syllabus template can be customized to take into account the age of the learner.
  • Create a personal instructor introduction that can be used to introduce yourself to the class
  • Design a student meet & greet that appropriately reflects the “tone” you expect the course to have.
  • Develop a module for the online course syllabus presented above. If the student’s workplace subscribes to a learning management system, the student may develop their module inside the workplace system, provided that the course instructors can be granted access to the system for evaluation purposes.

The student’s module must include:

  • An Overview
  • Behavioral Objectives
  • Module content that takes into account prerequisite knowledge of the learner
  • Opportunities for student-student, student-instructor, and student-content interaction
  • Opportunities for practice that includes a way for students to receive instructional feedback
  • Graphics, presentations, or other visuals that are content appropriate and add instructional value
  • A description of how the module will be assessed

Course Description

The strategic practice of public relations in different contexts and environments, from agency to corporate to non-profit, requires the same building blocks.  This course concentrates on the practical application of their communication skills through developing a comprehensive public relations campaign.

Course Objectives

After completion of the course, individuals should be able to:

  • Describe the communications discipline, functions, and central questions.
  • Evaluate how PR is a part of our lives and how PR influences society while considering ethical communication principles and practices as the guide.
  • Trace the relationship between the media and PR practitioners and how each uses the other.
  • Summarize the relationship between advertising, PR, and the other promotional mix elements and critically analyze messages.
  • Follow the RPIE process to create a PR campaign by recognizing different PR forms and demonstrating the ability to accomplish communication goals.
  • Create various PR materials and develop messages appropriate to the audience, purpose, context, and concepts.

CEPR Standards E-02 and E-03 and Public Relations Society of America. (2021, September 14). Guidelines CEPR – prsa.org. PRSA. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.prsa.org/docs/default-source/prssa-docs/chapter-firm-resources/ceprguidelines-2021.pdf?sfvrsn=2135bb6e_6

Main Course Project

“Because you will learn best by “doing” this semester, we will utilize your skills by implementing a very comprehensive integrated public relations campaign to promote a parody cookbook for the fandom of your choice. Previous students have focused on everything from favorite sports and music to TV shows and book/movie franchises.

While design and creativity are essential, it is vital that your campaign be consistent and effectively integrate the tools to create connections, develop a following and deliver your message. 

It would be best to choose a project topic that you are passionate about.  You must also consider what kind of content will need to be developed or utilized to make the project a success.  Content is “king” and will either make or break your project.

Your fandom must be legal and rated PG — this is a class assignment and will be part of your professional portfolio (and you should be willing to show it to your grandma).  Be sure you’re not choosing a topic that can get you fired/kicked off a team/end a relationship/thrown in jail.SOURCE

Evaluation / Assessment: Rubrics for each assessment

Evaluation of Instruction – Media & Methods: To assess the value of the media and lesson methods upon student learning, the teacher needs to reflect on the following questions:

Course Design Highlights


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