Scaling Course and Faculty Development Through Human-Centered Instructional Design

Concurrent Session 8
Streamed Session

Watch This Session

Brief Abstract

This session explores how Anderson University's (SC) Center for Innovation and Digital Learning uses an innovative human-centered instructional design process to support teaching and learning initiatives in mobile, blended and online learning. Furthermore, this approach empowers faculty in the development process and promotes best practices for teaching and learning.


Andria Carpenter serves Anderson University as the Director of Continuous Learning and facilitates courses in the Anderson University MS Instructional Design and Learning Technologies (IDLT) graduate program. She completed the MS Adult, Occupational, and Continuing Education degree (K-State), received Instructional Designer Certification from OLC, and is a participant in the 2019 IELOL. She enjoys being part of a learning community where tradition, innovation, and learning intersect, and where teaching and learning are commonly embraced as reciprocal.

Additional Authors

Josh Herron is the Dean of Online and Continuous Learning at Anderson University (SC). In addition to previously serving as an online campus administrator at another institution, he has been a full-time faculty member, led faculty development initiatives, and served as an instructional designer. He has a Ph.D. from Clemson University and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has completed Penn State and the Online Learning Consortium's Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning and has been the recipient of the UPCEA South Region Emerging Leader Award.

Extended Abstract

Anderson University (S.C.) is a comprehensive university with a combination of professional and liberal arts programs serving about 3,200 students with a growing online population and a residential emphasis on mobile learning. For the past decade, the university has experienced record enrollments each fall, with this year’s enrollment about an 232% increase from five years ago. This enrollment boom has made the institution “the fastest growing private university in South Carolina and the 18th fastest growing in the nation according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.” In the past two years, over five new online or blended degree programs have been developed and deployed and fourteen new professional programs are slated to be launched in the upcoming academic year. Subsequently, this growth has spurred Anderson’s largest need yet for development of a robust program and faculty development plan to support the development of new courses and new faculty.

During this enrollment boom and period of growth in academic programming, Anderson University has become a leader in integrating educational technology among its peers, having now been recognized as the #2 Most Innovative School by U.S. World News and Report, a South Carolina Center of Excellence for Mobile Learning, and an Apple Distinguished School. A centralized, strategic approach to faculty development and learning technologies support – now housed in the Center for Innovation and Digital Learning (CIDL) – has been key in reaching these accolades. Empowering faculty and streamlining processes has been key in maintaining quality digital teaching and learning experiences amidst the growth despite the CIDL’s small staff size (4 at the time of this proposal).

The development of the aforementioned new academic programs, an LMS transition, and the streamlining of processes and programs led to a 154% increase in faculty development attendance and 177% increase in number of unique participants over the past two years. The size of the office’s personnel has remained the same, however, with only this year the hiring of two new staff members to begin in the next academic year.

Adopting new and creative approaches to course and faculty development and empowering faculty through engaging workshops has led to the ability to sustain such growth. This summer, the CIDL is holding its largest faculty development program yet, the Course and Program Design Institute that combines three of its signature faculy development programs. Those programs encompass courses being designed to a) integrate mobile technologies (e.g., iPads and iPhones), b) blended courses, and c) online courses. With whole-group and breakout sessions led by the three staff members, the 38 participating faculty members will leave with new strategies and perspectives for (re)designing their courses and programs in ways that promote student engagement and relevancy across the mobile, blended, and online course formats.

The overarching goals of the Course and Program Design Institute are threefold. First, engage faculty members in human-centered design (HCD) thinking activities in order to promote a holistic view of teaching and learning across the entire campus. Using HCD strategies enables faculties to seek and explore innovations in pedagogy, technology and adopt and bring those into their individual course design processes. Second, the Institute equips faculty to use an instructional design approach to identify when, where, and how to integrate those innovations as well as develop courses using evidence-based approaches to support student learning. Third, the workshop is designed to empower faculty members to work individually and together across disciplines and schools/colleges in order to create design and learning leaders across the Anderson campus.

The presentation will discuss practical and specific advice from our center’s experience in developing and supporting a large number of faculty with a small staff amidst growing demand for digital learning. The presentation will also review the center’s structure and strategies for funding the necessary technologies, resources, and faculty incentives.


  • Presentation participants will be able to identify potential strategies for scaling faculty development and support that foster digital innovation for all types of faculty.
  • Participants will be able to recognize ways to streamline processes and events to engage and empower faculty during times of enrollment and program growth.

Presentation and Engagement Methods

The presentation will incorporate easy-to-use live polling throughout to encourage reflection by participants on their initiatives and guide presenters based on audience needs. During the discussion portion of the presentation, participants will discuss their institution's struggles and strategies around innovation initiatives. We'll have guided questions ready to spur discussion as needed.