Memories Don't Leave Like People Do: Supporting Enduring Course Design Approaches With Reflective Practice

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session Blended Equity and Inclusion

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Brief Abstract

Faculty development programs seek to identify and manage process approaches that support the design of quality online programs. This paper reviews the policy of reflective practice for supporting memory that sustains the training long after faculty has designed their first online course.


Flo Williams works as a faculty instructional designer at the University of Central Florida. In this role, she engages in pedagogical faculty support. Her work with faculty includes faculty coaching, mentoring, and designing and developing online and blended courses. Her volunteer efforts support quality and sustainable engagement practices in the Higher Education Milieu.

Extended Abstract

Faculty sometimes systematically go through online faculty development programs because their departments mandate them, or training and development is a clause of their hiring contract. However, they are often unable to implement the strategies learned outside of the structure of the program. The reflective process aims to help faculty use reflective/reflective practice approaches within the program as an exploratory pathway to course design.

The guided discovery approach of asking leading questions using a reflective lens will help faculty use the structure to draw conclusions and select the best strategies in their course design practices. Reflective practice allows faculty to review their courses and ask what, why, how, and when as they check their course elements and think of the students and level of the system where they need to teach. Course objectives guide the curriculum, but the faculty determines the strategic selection of teaching and learning approaches and questions for effective teaching. 

The aim is to have faculty implement these same practices in their course delivery and later design courses using the principles of discovery and exploration. Students stand on dual sides of a coin that is a love-hate relationship with learning. Faculty who can flip the coin to engage students in the process, have them come back, and make connections with real-world situations are already ahead of the game.

The reflective approach reduces follow-up faculty questions regarding course design since the system provides faculty a framework guided by their curriculum and teaching plan. Further, student success is positively affected when students see the connections within the curriculum.