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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Collaborating with Faculty to Produce High Quality Instructional Design in Online and Hybrid Courses

#Twitter: 
#blended82305
Presenter(s)
Margaret Christmas Thomas (Concordia University Irvine, USA)
Doug Grove (Concordia University, Irvine, USA)
Mike Surance (Concordia University Irvine, USA)
Jason Neben (Concordia University Irvine, USA)
John Randall (Concordia University Irvine, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2015 - 9:10am
Track: 
Blended Models & Course Design
Areas of Special Interest: 
Blended Program/Degree
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Intermediate
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Governor's Square 16
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Session: 
Concurrent Session 4
Abstract

To share Concordia University, Irvine's rigorous process/project management system for designing high quality, digitally rich course learning environments through collaborative partnerships with faculty.

Extended Abstract

Context:
Concordia University Irvine is a mission driven private university in Southern California and ranked as a Top Tier Regional University by US News and World Reports best private institutions.
Problem:
Deeply rooted in traditional delivery methods and teaching approaches with strong faculty governance, our universitys strategic plan and mission was driving us beyond the capacity of our physical facilities, this created a need to create high quality and rigorous online and hybrid programing to reach more students while preserving the academic quality and integrity of our degree programs.
Results:
Our course design process has received overall satisfactions surveys of student of 4.7 on a Likert scale of 5 (5 being the highest) and a 4.6 from subject matter experts going through the course development process. Professors teaching the designers courses have given the courses 4.8 on rigor, usability and overall quality.
Goals:
Attendees will be introduced to the process we use to create our hybrid and online courses, our process project management system, approaches for faculty collaboration, lessons learned, best practices as well as the establishment of course minimum standards to ensure rigor in our programs and follows established quality standards.
Description (Approach):
Concordia University Irvine has created a rigorous process and project management system for designing high quality digitally rich course learning environments through collaborative partnerships with university faculty. We would like to share our hybrid and online course development process project management system, lessons learned, best practices as well as the establishment of course minimum standards to ensure rigor in our programs. This system has been created so that the flow of course design, from first consideration, through program handoff, and instructor/student use is properly vetted, designed as well as following established quality standards.
Our program and course development is a series of phases, and the integration of these components follows a four stage course design process; Step 1: Orientation, Step 2: Course Framing, Step 3: Asynchronous Component Design, and Step 4: Master Shell Design. During the initial phase each of our programs is carefully reviewed for appropriateness of entering into our course design process by University and Program Leadership. This is a key component that can easily be neglected by schools. A program or course is selected for the course design process for one of the following reasons: to strengthen current online or hybrid course delivery, to create a new online or hybrid option for existing courses or to create an entirely new program. For each course in the program, a lead person experienced in the content area, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) is assigned by program leadership and then delivery dates are determined by the program. An Instructional Designer is then assigned by the Provost, this person acts as the faculty member or the (SME)s personal docent through our process. The Instructional Designer drives timelines and the program the minimum standards for course design and a customized syllabus template for the program and communicates with program leadership and SME throughout the process.
The remaining phases are the actual course development phase, which includes thorough orientation and training of the Subject Matter Expert cohort that begins at each development cycle. All SMEs (usually 20 or more) will attend an overview of the course design process where they are provided with templates, a timeline with due dates and are informed of approval procedures. In addition, the Instructional Designer will work one on one meeting after the orientation until the end of the process and the subsequent quality review. Together they go on to develop the specialized and customized syllabi, all asynchronous components including self-paced learning modules, other digital media, a turnkey course master shell that will be used by the subject matter expert and subsequent instructors who will teach the course to ensure all courses meet our basic quality standards.
Data is also gathered to inform our process, and as courses roll out will be implementing our plan for continued quality assurance for our courses. We will be using customized quality scorecards to evaluate our courses against our minimum standards for curricula, learning environment and instructional pedagogy, collect surveys from the programs, the subject matter experts, the students who take the courses and the instructors who teach the courses. Those results are evaluated to help us promote constant improvement to our processes and our courses. These feedback points also will inform our course revision process. All courses will be reviewed for suitability and monitored based on multiple data points through the quality assurance process.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Christmas Thomas is the Director of eLearning and Instructional Design and worked previously as the Director of Curriculum and Assessment for the Master in Arts in Education Masters programs, which include masters degrees for Administration, Curriculum and Instruction and School Counseling. Prior to moving to California she led national Counseling/Academic services for a large national human services provider and consulted internationally in Europe and the United Arab Emirates in the areas of counseling, education and special education services. She has hosted several national conferences for counselors and educators and presented on these topics across the United States and the United Kingdom. Developed counseling foundations and eLearning modules based on the modules used across the nation and in the UK.