Course Redesign: Scaffolding and Collaboration
Concurrent Session 2
This session will explore the redevelopment of an undergraduate course at The University of Arizona Global Campus. Specifically, we will look at collaboration with associate faculty during course redesign and how scaffolding supports student success.
Designing courses that engage online learners to achieve the highest level of mastery of course learning outcomes is at the forefront of online course development at The University of Arizona Global Campus. In Spring 2021, full-time faculty in the Department of Education and Liberal Arts had the opportunity to redesign one of their core courses, ECD315: Curriculum Planning and Design for Early Learners. In the online classroom, the presentation of learning activities, guidance, and assignments holds a teaching role. Just as on-ground teachers must reflect on their teaching and student learning, online teachers must reflect upon course content. “Reflective teaching is a process where teachers think over their teaching practices, analyze how something was taught and how the practice might be improved or changed for better learning outcomes” (Mathew et al., 2017, p. 127). This course redesign sought to use reflection to strengthen the course material.
Additionally, during the redesign, the full-time faculty connected with associate faculty familiar with the course to seek their feedback. Adjunct faculty members are valuable members of higher education, and universities should provide them with “opportunities to participate in decision-making” and providing input in curriculum and course design (Ridge & Ritt, 2017, p. 58). Both the reflection and collaboration provided the opportunity for a more meaningful and scaffolded course to support student success.
Since this was the redevelopment of an existing course, the subject matter experts utilized existing data from the class to inform their approach. This data allowed the subject matter experts to see where the course needed more scaffolded support for students to master the course learning outcomes.
Throughout this presentation, we will explore this process and highlight specific examples of how scaffolding and collaboration allowed for redeveloping a course that would increase student mastery of learning outcomes. Similarly, the co-construction of content by full-time and adjunct instructors alike sought to deepen the partnership between these groups while increasing the self-efficacy and sense of connection to the university for the participating adjunct instructors. Through intentional collaboration, adjunct faculty partner as key stakeholders (Ridge & Ritt, 2017).
Participants will engage in conversations and hands-on opportunities with their peers and presenters to learn about scaffolding courses. Participants will leave the session with practical strategies that can be used immediately for developing comprehensive and effective courses and curriculum.
Mathew, P., Mathew, P., & Peechattu, P. J. (2017). Reflective practices: A means to teacher development. Asia Pacific Journal of Contemporary Education and Communication Technology, 3(1), 126-131.
Ridge, A., & Ritt, E. (2017). Adjunct faculty as key stakeholders in distance education. Journal of Faculty Development, 31(2), 57–62.