UO Real Solutions
UO Academic Extension

Course Design Philosophy

UO Real Solutions courses are designed in accordance with the latest research in online learning and neuroscience. We follow best practices in the field of instructional design as determined by metrics developed by the Online Learning Consortium. Learners have ample opportunity to develop critical thinking skills, reinforce metacognition, and participate in a robust learning community.

UO Real Solutions courses are built to enhance knowledge retention, based on a meta-analysis of the literature (Bitter, G. et al., 2015). Some of the critical elements include:

  1. How can I learn online? Tutorials and learning activities teach and reinforce skills and concepts vital to online learning. Activities build on what was learned before and prepare for next steps. Plus, participants can benefit from experience, ideas and perspectives of thousands of other members through the learning community.
  2. Is this just an uploaded PowerPoint course? No. In UO Real Solutions, learners will find video course tours, subject matter interactive videos, games, and webinars led by experts in the field. Frequent engagement with Web 2.0 tools boosts digital and media literacy.
  3. Do you address learning styles? Yes. We want everyone to learn the subject matter, but we also honor and respond to different learning styles, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and attitudes toward online learning. UO Real Solutions modules have many accessible features including an accessible syllabus, formatting suitable for a text reader, and captioning and transcriptions for video viewing.
  4. How will I be tested? Self-check quizzes allow learners to assess their progress and prepare for a final exam. The final exam tests for conceptual knowledge and application of central ideas. All feedback is immediate and automated. Students are asked to agree to our Honor Code before entering the course to establish their understanding of academic integrity.
  5. Will this course be relevant to my needs? The course activities allow learners to choose methods and solutions so learning is creative and relevant to their own situation. Our activities often include current news reports relevant to the topic.
  6. Do you provide a list of resources? We supply strategies to create an ePortfolio (reflection journal) so that learners can record their insights and ideas and store resources from the course. The ePortfolio can be valuable as learners implement what they learned from UO Real Solutions.


Bitter, G., Legacy, J., Meylani, R. (2015). Desirable Characteristics of an Ideal Online Learning Environment. Journal of Educational and Social Research. Vol.5 No.1, January 2015. MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy.