Taking the Guesswork out of Online Course Design

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

Come see the templates Babson College created to get faculty started with online course design.  Our instructional designers use these templates in collaboration with faculty to optimally choreograph students' learning at the course, week, and session levels. We will share this process using specific examples from Babson's new fully online MBA electives. Take a dive into the templates to better estimate faculty time and ensure you stay within proper credit-hours to meet accreditation requirements.

Extended Abstract

It is never easy to estimate the time it takes to develop a course.  This holds even more true for online courses.  It involves seat-time, credit-hours, engaged academic hours and a number of other factors.  Even after calculating all of that, you still might not really know how long it will take you to go from concept to storyboard to finished product in any given learning asset. Getting these numbers right is important for the students, for the faculty, and even for accreditation.  

Babson has developed three distinct templates to help in this process.  Through research, trial-and-error, and experience, Babson has put together these tools to help both the faculty and the support staff.  While it is still an iterative process, starting out with these templates helps to ensure we are all working together with the same (and realistic) expectations.  

During this session we will demonstrate how we have used these templates to work through the process of designing online and blended courses in collaboration with faculty.  We will also discuss how it has helped with our accreditation process.  Finally, we will get a chance to work within small groups to try out these documents with some known content of your own.  The small groups will work together to iterate on a template for an online course to come up with a rich and accurate development plan that can easily be translated into a syllabus, course outline, and even a fully online course.

This will be a joint presentation by Babson's Associate Director of Academic Technologies as well as a faculty member (TBD) who has taught online and blended courses in Babson’s undergraduate program.  The presentation portion will be guided by detailed examples, allowing participants to ask questions at key points. This session will also allow users to work with the templates in a small group setting and report back for additional feedback/suggestions from the presenters.

By the end of this education session, participants will be able to:

  1. Accurately estimate resource needs and timeframes for online and blended content development
  2. Develop usable templates to estimate and create the proper amount of content based on seat-hours and faculty development hours
  3. Suggest engaging content development options (tools and technologies) for faculty designing online and/or blended courses