The Role of the Instructional Designer in Driving Innovation in the Online Classroom

Concurrent Session 5

Brief Abstract

An exploration of how an instructional designer can support faculty members and encourage the use of innovative online teaching methods.

Extended Abstract

This session, best conducted as a small table conversation, will explore the role of the instructional designer as an expert in instructional methods that supports instructors who are subject matter experts but may not have a strong understanding of what makes an online course effective.

Often, instructors are assigned online sections of courses and are under the impression that the experience will be a streamlined way of teaching that does not require as much input on their end as do traditionally-taught courses. By relying on an instructional designer who is focused on online education, the instructor can settle into a role of subject matter expert and spend their time focused on providing what they are best at, exceptional quality material aligned to the course goals. The instructional designer then determines the best ways to present that material using proven online methods and emerging innovative approaches.

The goals of the session are as follows:

ï At the conclusion of the session, all participants will understand the benefits of working with an instructional designer.
ï At the conclusion of the session, faculty participants will be able to interpret their role as a subject matter expert.
ï At the conclusion of the session, instructional designer participants will be able to explain their role as drivers of innovation to individuals at their institution.

During the session, participants will be asked to briefly explain how they view instructional designers and whether or not they are relied upon heavily at their institution. They will be given examples of innovative techniques that have been utilized in online courses at my university and how the instructional designers were responsible for getting them incorporated.

The session is designed so that both instructional designers and instructors will benefit equally since the overall focus is on exemplary course design, which requires input from both parties. Administrators would benefit as well if they are interested in learning about the importance of instructional designers although the focus of the session will not be on administration.