Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the surge in online education, the need to deliver good online courses has intensified and teaching online is a different experience from that of teaching in a face-to-face setting. In an online course, careful prior planning and course design is crucial to student success and a well-designed online course is essential to support students’ learning experiences. One way to design an effective, fully online course is to think about the student learning cycle (Lawson, 2001; Kolb, 1984; Carver et al., 2007; Murphrey, 2010; Bassanjav, 2013) well before the course begins, which gives instructors time during the course to interact with their students. To better understand how course design and an instructor’s activity affects the students’ learning cycle, we explored students’ learning cycle across three instances of a graduate-level online course offered at a leading education institution in Canada. In this paper, one instructor’s use of a learning cycle across the three courses is studied, by mapping the instructor’s activity to student activity. Using data from the LMS PeppeR, we focused on mapping the planned learning cycle across the three offerings. The results revealed that students found their rhythm online that was relatively consistent throughout the course, until week 7 when they became more focused around the final project. Also, we found that having a well-designed learning cycle in place gives the instructor a clear framework in which to further individuate the instruction during the course. This case study will be used as the foundation for conducting a larger analysis of online courses that employ learning cycles as a model for facilitating cognitive, social and teaching presences.
 PeppeR is a discussion-based multi-media environment developed in-house at OISE that is a research and teaching tool available for use by the whole University of Toronto