Cuyahoga Community College created and distributed a Faculty Instructional Design Toolkit as a method for scaling quality instructional design resources. The Faculty Instructional Design Toolkit is a series of tools that are designed to provide faculty with applicable strategies for designing their online or hybrid courses, in the real world, without needing particular expertise in instructional design. These tools all embrace and are aligned to Quality Matters standards, and provide critical, just-in-time resources to enable faculty to design their courses immediately. The make-and-take tools are all accompanied by examples, and include everything for aligning using Backwards Design, focusing on objectives, assessments, resources, activities, and technology, to recommended organizational structures for online classrooms.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) is one of the largest community colleges in the nation. Three years ago, with the rapid expansion of both online and hybrid courses at the college, the Office of Distance Learning was renamed and restructured into the Office of eLearning and Innovation. With the new department, several large grant initiatives expanded the use of eLearning resources, including instructional design. But with limited staff resources - only one instructional designer - there were challenges scaling the important work on faculty designing quality online courses. Simultaneously, the college has been expanding the use of Quality Matters through the dedicated efforts of faculty and staff. Recognition for the critical role that instructional design plays in student success in online and hybrid courses demanded new strategies to reach faculty in a scalable way, providing them with the needed tools and resources to be successful.
The Faculty Instructional Design Toolkit is an effective method for getting those resources directly to those who need them as just-in-time usable tools. The toolkit contains:
Additionally, a hybrid version of the Faculty Instructional Design Toolkit was created, which contains:
Full measurement of this effective practice will be predicated on data collection in the upcoming two year period. The primary effectiveness will focus on the following measures: saturation among faculty – percentage usage among faculty teaching either fully online or in hybrid environments, impact on course design – improvement in the design of online or hybrid courses as determined using the Indicators of Quality or Quality Matters recognition, impact on student success – including retention and persistence data in courses designed using the toolkit. Current faculty exposure is at 244 faculty, nearly all faculty new to online or hybrid teaching in the past year.
Student success in online and hybrid courses is substantially impacted by instructional design. Injecting tools into the process that can positively impact that student experience through clear organizational structures, built in course alignment, and correlating assessments with objectives and activities, all serves to improve learning effectiveness, and also student satisfaction as students spend more time interacting with well-designed content, and less time figuring out the locations of various course components.
Faculty who previously would not have had access to resources and tools to create those quality courses will now have preparation and step-by-step just-in-time tools to put quality into action. Without this toolkit, the reach of those resources and tools would have been greatly diminished due to staffing and infrastructure limitations. This toolkit dramatically increases the reach of both the message of how critically important quality instructional design is, and the tools to actually make that happen. With one instructional designed at the institution, every faculty cannot receive the personalized design services necessary to recreate an online or hybrid course. The toolkit enables faculty to put into use ready to use methods and strategies for designing their quality online course.
At Cuyahoga Community College, access to a quality education is a key component of the college’s mission. Improving the course design and consequently improving the student experience expands access as students have a more positive experience with their education, come back for the next semester, and work to graduate with a degree or certificate.
Minimal. The toolkits were distributed both virtually via zip files, and face-to-face in workshops as simple printed packets.