Improving Course Outcomes: Lessons Learned

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Since 2004, Soomo has worked with many colleges and universities to increase student success through innovative course design. Today, we’ll share a few of our favorite lessons learned from each stage of our process: pinpointing problems, designing solutions, building courses, equipping faculty, supporting course delivery, and analyzing course performance.


David Lindrum is the founder of Soomo Learning, home to a merry band of innovative curriculum developers who collaborate with college educators to improve course outcomes. David has worked with instructional designers and faculty at hundreds of schools to develop and evaluate countless pedagogical strategies. Today he designs courses, mentors course designers, and asks everyone who will listen, “how will this help students and how will you know?” David is always open for recommendations on a good place to find breakfast.

Extended Abstract

Effective course design is a complex process. When a particularly troublesome course lands on the desk of a course designer, it’s hard to know if this one will see the biggest impact from design thinking or faculty training, from increasing engagement or improving alignment, from switching to more accessible content or directly addressing mindset.

This presentation will provide some context for the myriad solutions buzzing about, reminding faculty and designers that the challenges of your particular course will play a prominent role in choosing which strategies you use to address them.

While the process itself is at least as old as ADDIE, we’ll be sharing the best of what we’ve seen working recently in each of these five phases, and diving into a sixth phase we find essential to improving outcomes.

This session will be especially helpful for people who want to make effective use of all they’re learning at OLC and everything they’ve been reading about learning science, cognitive psychology, and instructional design. People new to course design may find the framework to be the most helpful part, but even seasoned course designers will likely benefit from some of the insights shared about each stage.