A Course Development Collaboration Model for IDs and Faculty

Concurrent Session 1

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Brief Abstract

A new model is presented that provides structure for collaboration between instructional designers and faculty members, both of whom have varied experience and competencies.  Experience and skill sets exist on a continuum from beginner to advanced, and predictably impact the expectations, collaboration, product development, and delivery of the online course.  


Michelle Mentzer (EdD) is currently an Instructional Designer at Indiana State University Online. Previous to her employment here, she was in the Engineering Management Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Prior to this she was the Director of the Instructional Resource Center for Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She has developed for and taught in community colleges and universities both stateside and internationally. She has over 16 years of academic experience from the perspective of an academic administrator, online center director, faculty, and an instructional designer. This gives her a unique and systemic perspective of course development. She has lived around the globe while being married to a military member (now retired). She and her husband have a small farm in Indiana. She enjoys systems thinking, teaching and training faculty members, online program development, and all things Apple.

Extended Abstract


Each institution has unique expectations for the relationships between instructional designers and the faculty they work with. Within

each institution, each online learning group is unique in its needs and expectations. It is often difficult to gauge how to coordinate

course development projects, particularly if you have new staff and/or faculty that you are working with for the first time. What if

you had a flexible model that allowed for differences within institutional administrations, instructors, and staff that led to clear lines

of communication and level of desired assistance with online learning staff members? This proposed model demonstrates how the

levels of instructor autonomy and the levels of instructional designer engagement are integrated. We are all trying to meet high

standards of course development in limited amounts of time. This model is helpful in quickly determining how and when the

instructional designer can assist the instructor, regardless of their level of perceived autonomy in course development. Consider with your

fellow online learning specialists how to have a flexible instructor and instructional design relationship that results in a well-designed

course within a reasonable amount of time. 


Participants will gain awareness of the integration of instructional design engagement and faculty autonomy in a practical working context.

Participants will learn the advantages of informed and intentional pairing of instructional designers and faculty members based on expected product complexity and scheduled development time and be able to apply them to practical collaborative efforts.

Participants will be able to self-identify competency levels for the purpose of defining the most appropriate collaborative pairing.

Participants will identify which course creation documents would be helpful, and will identify how and when to use them wisely, if used at all.


Participants will recieve a hard copy of the slide deck, and will recieve digital copies of the course creation documentation (about 15+ pages of Word documents).

Format of Presentation:

The session is an interactive and engaging presentation of the basic underlying assumptions (the competencies and skill sets required for appropriate online course development, the need for faculty engagement, the desire for faculty autonomy, the integration of engagement and autonomy).  After the inital introduction of the model, this presenter would like to invite the participants to brainstorm the value of the new model, how it could be applied, and the potential methods and questions to gather data to test the model by potentially surveying faculty and instructional designers.

For committee viewing only, the basic model can be found at the link below. Please do not share.