The University of Iowa

ICON Course Design  

Designing ICON course sites with logical, consistent layouts helps provide a clear learning path for students. The resources in this section can help you prepare your course by defining a modular course structure that works for you and your students.   

Post Your Syllabus  

  • Use this FileSyllabus Template to provide additional information and support for your students. 
  • Post your syllabus on ICON either as a file, a page, or a module item
  • Add course-specific technology recommendations to the syllabus and be prepared to address student questions.  

Share Course Content    

Plan Learning Activities and Assignments 

Assessing students’ learning in a virtual course means implementing strategies that capture students’ learning and preserve academic integrity. Effective assessment strategies support students in developing their learning experience and include frequent, low-stakes formative assessment. Review the following resources as you plan virtual assessments. 


Use formats that require personal responses, such as argument papers, videos, or brief online presentations. Consider using open book/source options where students work individually or in groups to answer questions.  

Quizzes and Exams 

  • ICON Quizzes for formative assessment and summative exams. 


The best discussion questions promote continued conversation and deepen engagement. Real-world scenarios, case studies, and practical application help facilitate meaningful learning.   

  • Create ICON Discussions. Online forums differ from in-person discussions, so it’s important to be transparent regarding expectations for interaction and grading.    
  • Use Zoom to host live discussions.  


  • Zoom Polling. Use the integrated polling tool to quickly check understanding. 
  • Top Hat responses can be shared via screen-share in a live Zoom session. There may be a display delay to students, depending on internet bandwidth.  

Peer Review  

The UI has three tools for online peer view:  

Student Projects and Presentations 

  • Students can schedule virtual meetings and presentations and deliver performances in Zoom.  
  • Groups can record a Zoom meeting and share/submit to ICON, UICapture, or YouTube.   
  • SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 allow students to share files and collaborate.   
  • Instructors can set up groups in an ICON course site or a Wiki to provide space for students to collaborate.  
  • Students can use UICapture to record individual presentations or portions of a group presentation and post recordings in ICON, if meeting synchronously is not an option.  

Record Lectures 

Before selecting one of the available recording tools, review these tips on PDF iconRecording Content at Home

Record with UICapture 

  • UI Capture allows you to record your voice, face, and screen from a laptop or tablet and post the recordings to ICON.  

Record with Zoom 

Publish Your ICON Course 

Technology Solutions 

Not sure which tool will best fit your needs? Get help using technology for your classes. Contact the ITS Help Desk or the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology.