Templates: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How!

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

Successful use of templates across differing faculty and situations at an institution can be tough! We will share success strategies for developing and deploying course development and LMS templates promoting quality and consistency. We will discuss the considerations that helped us decide the who, what, when, where, why, and how!

Sponsored By


I am a Graduate Instructional Design Specialist at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communications, minor in Psychology, from Clarkson University and a Master of Education in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts - Boston. I have been working in online higher education for over 15 years and have experience as an Instructional Designer, Multimedia Instructional Designer, Instructional Systems Engineer, facilitator, and faculty member. Some areas of focus have been multimedia creation, accessibility, Quality Matters, project management, and faculty and staff professional development. I am certified in Accessible Information Technology, Quality Matters (QM) Peer Reviewer, QM Master Reviewer, QM Coordinator, QM Face-to-Face Facilitator, and QM Online Facilitator and also am an OLC Online Facilitator.
As a graduate instructional design specialist at Clarkson University in New York State, my passion is creating engaging, diverse teaching and learning experiences for students and faculty. I am recognized as an Open SUNY Fellow Expert Online Instructional Designer and am also a certified Quality Matters Master Reviewer; I have reviewed or observed hundreds of online and blended course using various checklists including the OSCQR. I am a member of the MERLOT Teacher Education Editorial Board and a MERLOT Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire. Since earning my NYS teacher certification and a Master’s degree in Educational Computing from Buffalo State College in 2000, I have enjoyed teaching in higher education. Also I have had the pleasure of using my entrepreneurial skills to start several businesses, the most recent being Mobile Tech Mentor, computing services for those who need a little help. I have presented at a wide variety of venues over the last 10 years or so, such as ADEIL, Online Learning Consortium, Sloan-C International Online Learning, Sloan-C Blending Learning, ELearning Consortium of Colorado Conference, SUNY Online Learning Summit (SOL) (DOODLE), Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference (TLT) and the Conference on Instructional Technologies on topics such as Enhance Your Online Course and Engage Your Students with Video; Add Zest to the Final Project!; Adventures in Energy Course Redesign: Can You Say Solar Photovoltaic?; Online Course Quality; Emerging Technologies for Online Learning and Opening the Gate: How You and Your Students Will Benefit from Open Educational Resources; Course Redesign Made Easy with SoftChalk; Using Macromedia Captivate to Create Online Tutorials, and Small Business Development – Online Environment & Program Level Quality and more.

Extended Abstract

Successful use of templates across differing faculty and situations at an institution can be tough! A year and a half ago, our institution hired two instructional designers for the first time to provide support to faculty developing online courses and implement quality in the online programs. As instructional designers with over twenty years of experience collectively, we know the importance of organization, consistency, and quality in online courses, but needed to find a way to implement quality and support across different programs, faculty members, and situations. One of our first tasks was to implement the Quality Matters Program, which gave us standards to use to measure and build our courses. Next was developing and deploying templates that supported Quality Matters and would work to benefit both our faculty and students. This presentation will cover the who, what, when, where, and most importantly the how and why of our approach to templating.

We’ve created syllabus, course outline, and module development templates to guide faculty through the development process for a new online or hybrid course. These templates are based on Quality Matters Standards and take into consideration the many different ways that a faculty member may go about developing a course. Our syllabus template alone meets thirteen specific review standards from the QM Rubric!  By following these templates during the course development process, faculty benefit from saving time and frustration, and students benefit from being able to take a high quality courses and have a positive experience with online learning and our institution! We will show and discuss these templates and give session participants the opportunity to obtain these templates for their own use.

Next, we will share our learning management system templates. Great consideration, planning, and testing went into the development of these templates, as we have many different types of online courses. We developed one template for all courses and one for new courses that also included all of the elements from the template for all courses. Many of our decisions to add certain elements to the template were the result of a student survey with over 750 responses, which we will showcase. We will share success strategies and a checklist for developing and deploying these templates that promote quality and consistency.

Throughout the presentation, we will be engaging the audience by asking for their input through polls and brainstorming tools and will share the results live during the session. Questions and comments on the presentation topic may be submitted throughout the presentation through a live short-answer poll. We will leave time at the end to answer as many questions as we can, but since we will have a record of the questions submitted, we will ask anyone interested in learning more or hearing the answers to remaining questions to provide us with their e-mail address and we will be in touch after the conference.