Course Design/Re-design Using the Inverted Triangle Method

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

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Brief Abstract

The design/re-design process for an online course can be overwhelming. Using the Inverted Triangle Method provides a way for faculty and/or course designers to tackle the design/re-design of a course in a logical manner. The Inverted Triangle Method uses a top-down, broad-narrow approach to course design/re-design.


Katie Bridges is an Instructional Designer and Lead Quality Matters Coordinator at Georgia Highlands College in Cartersville, Georgia. Bridges earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Baker University in 2001 and Masters of Education Instructional Technology from University of Maryland University College in 2010. Bridges has a passion for instructional design, course development and design as well as curriculum design and development. Bridges is working her doctoral program at Valdosta State University.

Extended Abstract

When faced with the challenge of designing a new online course or re-designing an existing online course, it is not uncommon for faculty to feel completely overwhelmed. The most commonly asked question is, “Where do I start?” Building on the famous words of General Creighton Abrams, Jr., “when eating an elephant take one bite at a time,” the Inverted Triangle Model was created. The Inverted Triangle Model (ITM) provides a manageable way for faculty and course designers to tackle the design or re-design process of a course in a logical manner. The ITM uses a top-down, broad to narrow chunked approach to the course design and re-design process.

The audience will be broken into groups and each group will be given a set of “puzzle pieces” that they will be required to put together to the best of their ability. Each group will display their completed puzzles before the presentation starts. During the course of the presentation, the correct completed puzzle will be assembled and the audience will have a blank handout that they can fill in with the correct puzzle pieces. The purpose of the activity is to show the order of the design/re-design can vastly affect the course design/re-design process.