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Travelling the Continuum: An ID's Guide to Incorporating Faculty Support with Timely Course Development

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Presenter(s)
Elizabeth Wellman (University of Southern California, USA)
Kimberly J. Brower (University of Southern California, USA)
Theresa Bruece (University of Southern California, USA)
Lanore Larson (University of Southern California, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 3:45pm
Track: 
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Northern Hemisphere E3
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Session: 
Concurrent Session 4
Abstract

Integrating faculty training with course development and production guided by Course Mapping and Production Plans for more efficient, higher quality courses and faculty preparation.

Extended Abstract

Background and Purpose:
The development of online courses and the necessary training for faculty tends to fall on a continuum. On one end, all the content is given to an Instructional Designer and they create the course in its entirety, with the faculty member delivering the course. The faculty training is limited to how to use the LMS for course delivery. On the other end the faculty are given technical training on how to upload into the LMS and they are tasked with creating the course, with some, but limited, Instructional Designer support. We are combining training and development in a more integrated process. In so doing, we are increasing the speed and efficiency of development, the quality of our deliverables and faculty preparedness and satisfaction in implementing online courses. Our combined training and development process is guided by two tools - the Course Map and the Production Plan tools.

Interactive Presentation
We will guide participants through our integrated training and development process and the tools that we use to facilitate this process. By providing copies of the tools at the beginning of the presentation, the audience will have the opportunity to follow along with our process. We will also prompt the audience to use these tools to think through a course that they may be working on or planning on working on.

Engaging the Professors in Course Mapping
This is the core activity which is both training the professors in robust online learning practices and developing the course. Our term for this process is reconceptualization. In the course mapping process, instructional designers work with professors to identify course learning outcomes and utilize backwards design to collaboratively develop course activities and assessments on multiple platforms. This process is inherently iterative and emergent. Neither the instructional designer nor the professor know what the final product will look like when they embark on this process. We engage in several phases: Open House, Course Outcome Development, Content Creation and Implementation. At each stage, the professor engages both in training that furthers their ability to deliver a high quality online course and in course development. The instructional designer structures and guides the process.

The Open House
Faculty are initially introduced to the idea of reconceptualization at an open house at our studio. This is where they experience the vision of what their final course might look lie for the first time. From this vision, we establish realisitic expectations for the course creation process and also introduce the steps needed to break their courses into "chunks" of information and produce a final product - creating scripts or outlines for their taped lectures (in our studio), discussing asynchronous solutions to engage student active learning (discussion boards, self-assessment exercises, case studies, group projects, etc.) and MarshallTalk - our synchronous solution. This is a chance for professors to meet one another and share both their ideas and their many hesitancies. We facilitate these conversations without judgment and without providing explicit solutions at this time.

Course Outcomes Development
Using the Course Mapping tool, the Instructional Designers meet with the professor, usually two to four times. We listen critically to their course vision and brainstorm with them the overall course outcomes that are aligned with that vision. In identifying, organizing and prioritizing their key topics, faculty members are better able to translate their course outcomes into behaviorial form. We also brainstorm potential student activities and assessments, supporting faculty in tracing the learning outcomes, through the activities and the assessments.

Content Creation
We collaboratively develop student activities and student assessments and match them with the platforms that we use. We also provide, when needed and appropriate, exemplars of effective course syllabi, pre-taped lectures, scripts, scenarios, vignettes, discussion boards, tutorials, group projects, self-assessments, rubrics and other asynchronous options. At this stage, we are designing student activities, discussing the best delivery method for the learning outcomes and planning how the threads of student understanding are going to be developed. The course map is filling out at this point, the interrelationships between outcomes, activities and assessments are becoming explicit. We introduce the production plan that traces the contact time needed for each activity and whether content will be deliverable as a video lecture, asynchronous, synchronous activity or homework. This is the stage where WASC and AACSB requirements are made tangible and contact hours are proposed.

Implementation
The building out of the course will be a shared responsibility with the instructional designers and the faculty and this will differ from course to course. Editing, reviewing the content will also be a shared responsibility. We schedule virtual meetings to provide faculty with an opportunity to engage in synchronous conversation, reflection, sharing of perspectives and asking questions of their peers. This additionally serves as a training ground for faculty in the use of synchronous environments.

We will close with a discussion of the results that we have documented from this integrated process, including the professors view, the students feedback on the courses and our own perspective of the success and challenges of this project. We will present our vision for the future of this approach and engage the audience in their reflections of this process.

Lead Presenter

Beth was an adjunct assistant professor in the online Master of Arts in Teaching program with the USC Rossier School of Education where she taught New Media and Multimedia Literacies and an Instructional Designer at California State University Northridge where she developed online programs and courses for Education, Engineering Management, Public Health, Neurosciences and Liberal Studies. She has also contributed her expertise to projects such as educational games, augmented reality for learning and virtual worlds. She earned a doctorate in Educational Psychology from UCLA and has an extensive background in K-12 STEM education.