Rethinking Course Design for All Terms: Mastering the Calendar

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session Equity and Inclusion

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In this session, Lead Instructional Designers and Faculty showcase how they are using innovative Instructional Design models and creative solutions to tackle the challenges created when running online courses in shortened terms. 



As a Lead Instructional Designer at Ocean County College in Toms River, New Jersey, I work to design and manage the distance learning master courses within the Arts and Humanities areas. I also have over a decade of teaching and adult training experience within the corporate world and in higher education. Both within my work as an ID and as a parent, I advocate for students with disabilities by focusing on Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility compliance. I've published dozens of articles and research in journals such as: 'Does Remote Learning Work?' International Journal of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Vol. 8. Issue 8. 2021. and 'Dumping Kids with IEPs into General Education Classrooms is Not Inclusion' remains a viral piece that has been shared over 3 million times. Other creative works have been published by Scary Mommy, Pop Sugar, Age of Awareness, and Finding Cooper’s Voice.
Jack Kelnhofer, College Lecturer at Ocean County College, holds three Master’s degrees (Master’s in Teaching, Masters in Business Administration, and Master’s in English) and is the winner of the 2014 Ocean County College Teacher of Excellence Award. Mr. Kelnhofer has been a key leader in OCC's Global Mission by providing course instructor training for multiple Universities in and around Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Kelnhofer has developed more than twenty master courses for his institution including the Blended Instruction training currently used in partner institutions in North Africa.
Dr. Young was a Psychology Professor for over 20 years and came to instructional design through her love for adult learning theory, online education and good course design. She has held positions at multiple Universities within the US and abroad specializing in course design and curriculum development. She has been at Ocean County College for 10 months.

Extended Abstract

As higher education moves into the future, it is important to consider how changing economic and social trends shift student priorities in education. Degree-seekers and students aiming to add workforce value often need to complete courses in a variety of timeframes. As our institution helps to support students in their goals of achieving their degrees faster, the department has been tasked with designing courses that can run in both a traditional term and a short term. As the COVID 19 pandemic brought all students to the online modality, the team dedicated itself to finding new technologies and adapted 

pedagogies to maintain high levels of academic achievement across all terms that focuses on being student-centered when delivering dynamic online courses.

Throughout this process, we have learned that designing courses to meet learning objectives as opposed to focusing on seat time has proven to result in a higher quality student experience overall.  By using instructional design models to re-think our approach to our catalog of Master Courses, we started designing for a 7-Module course as opposed to a 15-Module course. This gives students the opportunity to earn their degrees faster without being overwhelmed and it gives the traditional college student the opportunity to take the same course at a slower pace. Using this process benefits both our students and our faculty.

In our new process, Using Blooms, Backward Design, and more—we approached the learning objectives of the course and design assessments that touch upon the levels of cognition needed to meet those objectives. Our new courses are highly interactive, engaging, remix OER and utilize the elements of Universal Design for Learning. It has also led to strong partnerships between SMEs and Instructional Designers. This presentation will share how we began transforming our big, bulky courses into manageable learning experiences that give students a differentiated approach to achieving their learning goals.

Conference attendees will have opportunities to share their own questions and concerns in delivering courses in shorter terms, and try their hand at re-evaluating a module to meet learning objectives, academic standards, and student engagement. By considering a topic and all of the possible areas of content that relate to that topic, participants will have the opportunity to share with others and receive feedback on how they might approach determining which content specifically addresses the learning needs of mastering that objective associated with the topic at hand.

The Lead Instructional Designers and Faculty will present real-life examples of re-thinking modules and with input from our talented faculty, we will share our experiences with conference attendees, providing a roadmap for success to meet the changing needs of students when designing for success.