Building Bridges of collaboration for Successful Course Design
Concurrent Session 2
In education, you often hear the phrase “Content is King”. Yet, during the course design process, the content can also become a major limitation when trying to develop innovative, high-quality learning experiences. In these circumstances, the development clock runs out while design teams wait for the prized content. When the content is received, there is often little time left to review and implement any revisions. While this is not always the case, this scenario happens more often than we prefer.
Designers are focused on helping faculty understand the processes and procedures which are proven methods for developing quality education. Designers share tools such as blueprints, timelines, learning design models, technologies, links to sample courses, etc. all in an effort to facilitate content creation. In the end, the result is often the same. The course design process encounters multiple delays and design teams rush to put it online in time for students to access. Integrations of new technologies and innovations fall by the wayside.
Faculty want to gain an understanding of what it actually means to create an online course. During the initial consultations, their minds are buzzing with a million questions they are hoping to find answers to.
- What is the time commitment for creating an online course?
- What is it exactly, they are supposed to be creating?
- What technologies are available to make the course engaging for their students?
- How are they going to create the content given all their other responsibilities?
- What will their course look like when it’s finished?
To address these questions, faculty are provided with a plethora of documents, links, and other resources intended to support the course design and development process. These resources address a number of questions, but other questions are unresolved because they depend on the content.
Not being able to obtain answers to all of their questions can leave some faculty feeling confused. Others can feel the entire task of creating the course falls on their shoulders with the only task being writing the content. As a result, they may disengage from discussions with designers and cancel meetings. The course creation process stalls as they work to create content on their own while managing numerous other teaching and research priorities.
We’re all invested in reaching the same goal - providing students with a high-quality learning experience. But different visions, approaches, and working styles lead to an unproductive dynamic. The only way to move past this is by building bridges of understanding and collaboration.
In the fall of 2018, the models and protocols for traditional course design were set to the side and a new approach was implemented. A radical shift in the dynamic occurred. Faculty became fully engaged in the content creation process. Meeting cancelations became a thing of the past. There were no more missed deadlines. Faculty left consultations feeling energized, the time was productive, and most importantly they felt the collaboration resulted in a higher quality course for the students.
It was through this approach that designers and faculty were able to establish a deeper level of trust and to form more meaningful, collaborative relationships. With this foundational bridge in place, faculty were able to explore avenues of design strategies, pedagogical approaches, and new opportunities for innovation. This opened up a new world of course design practices to faculty and ultimately enhanced the student experience.
Session attendees will:
- Learn the key steps of this new approach for course design.
- Discuss the new approach for course design collaborations with their peers.
- Describe either the strengths, weaknesses, or opportunities of the new approach with their peers.