Instructional Design Summit - Part 3: Collaborative Content Design: An Ideal Vision for Course Creation

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The Collaborative Content Design (CCD) model provides learning designers with a new strategy for engaging faculty in a meaningful and productive course design process. Attend this session to gain an understanding of the model and to explore several of the principles yourself. 



Penny has designed online courses since 1997. She is currently a senior instructional designer for the Penn State World Campus. Her research interests include student perspectives of quality and how this impacts the design practice; and the use of games and simulations in online instruction. She has presented at various regional, national, and international conferences and is a former chair of the Quality Matters Instructional Designers Association. She co-authored the book MindMeld: Micro-Collaboration between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts with Jon Aleckson.
Megan Kohler is a Learning Designer with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has presented at international conferences, such as Open Ed 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, the International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Online Learning Consortium in Orlando, Florida. Megan relies on her training and experience as a professional actor to create a fun and engaging experience within her presentations and design work. Among her professional accomplishments, she is recognized for her work as the lead instructional designer and project manager on Penn State’s highly-rated Epidemics MOOC. She conceptualized the MOOCs by Design Webinar series and served as the pedagogical lead for the Penn State Digital Badges Initiative. She continues to explore interesting opportunities focused on improving the online learning experience for higher education.

Extended Abstract

As designers, we rely on numerous tools, documents, and strategies to try and engage faculty and other experts in the course design and development process. Blueprints and course maps are often the mechanisms used to facilitate conversations and to ‘jump start’ the process. Yet we encounter varying degrees of success with these standardized methods since the experts we collaborate with are all unique. They may have several goals, interests, and working styles which need to be considered during the design process, which traditional models may not accommodate. 

Over the past several years, our community has been exploring new and stronger methods for enhancing the course design and development process such as design thinking, the Agile Method and Relationship-Centered Design. Further reinforcing the mindset that more effective methods could exist. The implementation of these strategies combined with a passion for design and a desire to establish positive collaborations drove us to completely rethink the course design process. 

All the previous tools, methods, and approaches were set to the side and an exploration into a more organic approach was pursued. The result is an approach known as the Collaborative Content Design (CCD) model. The CCD model creates a dynamic which guides faculty and other experts through the design process in a more engaged and supported manner. The model helps establish the faculty/designer relationship, then shifts to support enhanced collaboration, and culminates with a focus on student learning and engagement.

Plan for Interactivity

Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the phases of the model then engage in a series of application exercises to solidify their understanding and ability to apply the new information. 


Attendees of this session will be able to:

  • Discuss challenges of traditional design models
  • Describe the phases of the CCD model
  • Evaluate opportunities for improved collaboration with content experts