I teach introductory biology online for a community college. My class has a large age range, including students just out of high school, all the way up to grandparents returning to school to get a degree. Many students are stay-at-home parents. I also have students in the military. The huge amount of diversity in the class is an important consideration when designing this course because I need to address many different learning styles. I also need to consider time constraints that will impact my students' ability to perform. The diversity is a great asset to the course because people with different experiences will be able to contribute their perspectives to enhance our discussions.
The class I inherited was mostly comprised of multiple choice questions for homework, quizzes, and exams. We had weekly discussions, but they did not relate to the content we were covering in the class. There were five writing assignments (in a 16 week class) that let me see what the students were learning, but no rubrics to help guide them through the assignments. Below is a document containing my initial thoughts that helped me set the foundation going into redesigning this course.