Start with Success: Incorporating Quality Matters™ into Your Master Template

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

University of Maryland, Baltimore County deploys a standardized LMS template to all courses.The choice to deploy a pre-populated template isn’t an easy one to make, but it can be successful if strategically planned with course design standards and faculty input to meet the needs of a diverse student population.

Presenters

As eLearning Manager, Dr. Mariann Hawken oversees several Blackboard applications at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and provides support for faculty course development activities. With more than 20 years of experience in educational technology, Mariann is a Blackboard MVP and a certified Peer Reviewer with Quality Matters. Past activities include distance education policy development and comprehensive faculty training programs for online/hybrid course redesign.
Holly Owens is an Instructional Technology Specialist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Holly started her education career as a K-12 educator and her love for technology led her into her current role as an Instructional Technology Specialist in higher education. She is the team’s clicker expert and also coordinates training opportunities for UMBC faculty and staff. Holly serves as the secondary point of contact for Blackboard administrative tasks. Holly has an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology and a Masters in Distance Education. Holly has a passion for online course design and helping others gain their 'tech confidence.'

Extended Abstract

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) deploys a standardized template to all courses in its learning management system. The UMBC template includes common content to support technical requirements, LMS orientation, academic and institutional resources, and accessibility. Faculty feedback is considered every semester when the template is revised, and instructors have the option to use, remix, or delete any content.

The choice to deploy a standardized template with pre-populated content may not be an easy one to make for an institution. System administrators and instructional designers face protests about academic freedom because of a perception that a template restricts choice. Faculty protests regarding academic freedom may arise because of a perception that a standard template restricts choice. Some institutions, however, may have rigid requirements and expectations for course designs, which dictate the exact structure of a course. Others may simply want to encourage a particular format or provide valuable information to users.

Deploying a master template can be successful if strategically planned with course design standards such as Quality Matters™, as well as faculty input to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Further, careful application of content settings with embedded guides help faculty make choices to benefit the course design and instructional style. Most importantly, a master template ensures users have consistent access to important content about institutional resources.

This session is ideal for instructional design staff and instructional technology staff who support course development or learning management systems. Participants attending this session will learn about 1) identifying common elements of a master course template and the Quality Matters™ standards that can be used to support faculty course development and student success; 2) describing strategies to effectively and easily manage content across any and all courses in the Blackboard system, and 3) identifying the SIS data integration fields appropriate for deploying content at course shell creation.

Slides and web resources will be posted on the conference website and shared during the session.