Field Experts Provide Context to Content in the Online Environment
Concurrent Session 2
Leading higher education textbook publishers have long-incorporated subject matter experts into their online ancillaries using media to carry industry-relevant messages. Research indicates this practice helps students make a real world connection to the material. In industry-related fields, in particular, the voice of an industry expert gives context to content.
Inspired by the affordances of technology and the quest to make online information technology course experiences more human, the Information Technology program in the Business and Industry department at Haywood Community College has introduced the voice of the industry expert into its curriculum.
In a series of information security courses, instructor Brad Hughes and instructional designer Cheryl Fulghum bring the real world into the online classroom with the help of local security experts. The program reaches out to security specialists and network administrators within a 100-mile radius to create brief introductions and mini-lectures for the concepts, units, topics and projects in the course.
A network solutions field expert turned college instructor, Hughes knows the importance of providing students with a foundational understanding of industry concentrations. He provides a rich media introduction for each module, explaining learning objectives and creating anticipation for the industry expert’s segment. Connecting the material to a field expert creates meaning and context. Building a robust curriculum, inclusive of field experts as guest lecturers, consultants, and mentors, improves performance and qualifies successful graduates.
The presentation will provide an overview of the project as a new course model, including the timeline of concept to implementation. Resources will include a template for communicating with field experts and a project spreadsheet showing the division of labor between instructor and instructional designer. The session will conclude with a 10-minute Q&A. Guest access to a sample course will be provided during the presentation and made available to participants after the conference, upon request.