Authoring an Online Course


All online Summer MECA
courses begin on June 7
and conclude on August 1,
except as noted.

Registration Extended!
Registration closes at
5:00 p.m. CST on June 20, 2021
for ONLINE Courses.

Visit our MECA FAQs page.

Add, drop, change or withdraw
using the
 Add/Drop Form.

For all other MECA-related
questions, contact us at
or 312.788.1139.

Authoring an Online Course

March 25–April 29, 2020

Designing a successful online course is more than just a simple conversion of materials to a web-ready format. It requires a set of structures, techniques and methods that will ensure a smooth process of development and delivery. This course will explain how to use Schoology to create custom online courses. All the content created in Schoology can be transferred to other Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Blackboard, Canvas, etc. Creating content, quizzes and videos will all be covered. At the end of this course, you will have a template for an online course of your choice.

Course Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students should learn and be able to:

  • Create an outline for an online course.

  • Create course materials in Schoology for an online course to include pages, discussions and assignments.

  • Incorporate text, graphics and video in Schoology or your
    Learning Management System (LMS) of choice.

  • Annotate graphic files.

  • Record video screencasts and live video.

Instructor: Patrick Benson

2015VCM7475Patrick Benson (BMEd ‘08) joined the administration of VanderCook in July 2015 as the Director of Continuing and Online Education. Benson earned his bachelor’s degree from VanderCook in 2008 and is also a recipient of VanderCook’s Esprit de Corps Award. Benson attended the School for New Learning at DePaul University, earning his Master of Arts in applied professional studies in 2017. While at DePaul, Benson was awarded the School for New Learning’s Student Excellence Award and Writing Showcase Award. Benson returns to his alma mater having taught for seven years at Hubbard High School in Chicago as the director of bands. While at Hubbard, he led the marching, jazz and pep bands, and was the audio/visual coordinator, as well as the school activity director and a local school council representative. Benson is a member of VanderCook’s Alumni Association and served as its president from 2014-2015. He also teaches Technology in Music Education to VanderCook undergrads. In addition to teaching and working at VanderCook, Benson is an active percussionist and drummer in the Chicagoland area, and currently serves as the assistant director of the Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra.

Course Details

Authoring an Online Course

Course Code 7440

Patrick Benson

2 Graduate Credits

$500, due in full with registration

Online Chat Sessions


Required Text(s)

Recommended Text
The Step-By-Step Guide to Copywriting: Online Learning and Course Design by Sandra Shillington,

Students are responsible for purchasing all required texts and materials. VanderCook will not provide any course materials nor have any available for purchase.

Software/Hardware Requirements
Access to a Mac or PC computer with the latest version of Google Chrome or Firefox.

Students are advised to review the
Schoology System Requirements page.

MECA Online
is powered by Schoology

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

Fall 2021 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, Sept. 20. Soon after you register, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. On the morning of Sept. 20, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

Online grades will be reported by mid-January. If you need a transcript, please visit the online transcript request page. For faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

More information about Schoology can be found at


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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