What do you do when you don't have enough instructional designers?

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The past year has created unprecedented workload demands for instructional designers. Simultaneously administrators require quality online courses. This presentation is a case study of what one institution did to scale and provide a model of course development both during COVID and beyond.


Seth has been with UVU for over five years and currently serves as Director of Instructional Design Services. He received his Ph.D. from Brigham Young University in Instructional Psychology and Technology. His research interests include Open Educational Resources (OER), learning analytics, and instructional design management.

Extended Abstract

This past year has brought attention to the challenge of scaling instructional designer efforts to meet demand. Stated workloads vary from institution to institution, but every institution has limits to its instructional designer capacity. Solutions have varied with some using workshops to scale (Bartlett and Warren, 2021) and the use of vendors remains a possibility for some institutions (Garrett, Legon, Fredericksen, Simunich, 2020; Kilgore and Diaz, 2020).

This session is a case study of a large public university that leveraged its faculty to participate in the quality review process with the teaching and learning center. Participants in this session will engage in a live Delphi consensus exercise to discuss ideal and practical instructional designer workload.

Organizationally, each school/college at this institution has a faculty committee specifically tasked with online/blended learning. For instructors unable to meet with an instructional designer, the committee requests the start of a special build process from the teaching and learning center. Only experienced online faculty are permitted to start the build process and the process is something they choose to do.

The build process consists of three major milestones. Each milestone the faculty committee and teaching and learning center issue approval. First, faculty are required to generate a course planning document articulating instructional alignment. Second, once the course is developed, it is reviewed by faculty using a modified SUNY Online Course Quality (OSCQR) rubric. Third, during the pilot semester, the faculty must implement a student feedback survey at the mid-semester point and provide a reflection on the responses received. Attendees will receive copies of the course planning document, quality review, and student feedback survey. 

Since its inception during COVID, this course development model has been used to develop over 30 courses. This build process continues to be used as a supplement to the instructional designer-focused strategy of the institution. Attendees will take away a model that could be used whole or in part at their institution. 


Bartlett, M. and Warren, C. (2021). Rapid Online Teaching and Learning (ROTL), leading with action during a worldwide pandemic. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 24 (1). Retrieved from https://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring241/bartlett_warren241.html

Garrett, R., Legon, R., Fredericksen, E. E., & Simunich, B. (2020). CHLOE 5: The Pivot to Remote Teaching in Spring 2020 and Its Impact, The Changing Landscape of Online Education, 2020. Retrieved from the Quality Matters website: qualitymatters.org/qa-resources/resource-center/articles-resources/CHLOE-project

Kilgore, W. and Diaz, V. (2020, August 3). Upskilling instructional design talent: Preparing for quality online learning. Retrieved from