Expanding digital learning programs: a course development solution built on relationships and creative solutions

Concurrent Session 10

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Institutions struggle to meet the course development demands of expanding digital learning programs. We have successfully increased our capacity to engage faculty university wide in the course design process by developing a true understanding of our campus partners’ needs and exploring an interactive process to define various support models. 


As Program Manager for the Digital Learning & Design (DLD) team Maggie is responsible for coordinating resources and support between the programs that DLD develops courses for and the design, media and tech teams within DLD. Prior to joining Digital Learning & Design, Maggie was a Senior Instructional Technologist at Drexel University's LeBow College of Business. She is a Google Certified Innovator and Educator. Maggie has presented at national conferences on active learning, empowering student feedback and bridging the gap between faculty and students on technology use in the classroom. She has an M.S. in Learning Technologies and Graduate Certificate in eLearning Leadership from Drexel University and a B.S. in Business Administration from La Salle University.
As Senior Director of Digital Learning & Design, Sheridan Center for Teaching ant Learning at Brown University, Catherine leads a team of instructional technologists, instructional designers and media professionals who partner with faculty to develop engaging learning experiences. Catherine enthusiastically engages faculty, students and colleagues in strategic initiatives to meet the university’s mission. Catherine has presented at national and international conferences on topics such as accessibility in higher education, digital transformation and organizational change.

Extended Abstract

Session topic and relevance to community: 

Institutions struggle to meet the course design and development demands of expanding online, blended, and digital learning programs. After understanding the needs of our campus partners and exploring several iterations, the Teaching and Learning Center found a way to increase capacity to engage faculty across the university by implementing different course design support models.  We will share the story of how we built relationships with campus partners so that we could effectively identify strategies to meet their program goals and advance their work. We identified trends and patterns in our support solutions and from that we created our model. Given the ever changing environment of higher education, we have had to remain flexible so that we can respond to new strategic directions of the leadership at our institution. We will share lessons learned from recent multiple organizational changes driven by the desire to meet individual faculty needs, campus partner needs, and institutional priorities. Organizational structures vary from institution to institution. How has your institution changed over the past few years? How has it impacted attitudes towards course delivery? In this engaging session we will share key takeaways from what we have learned and provide you with the opportunity to engage with other participants to share your challenges and ideas. You will leave with new ideas and prompts for consideration so that you can connect with colleagues and campus partners at your own institution.   

Level of Participation/interactivity:

Four Corners Activity (Facilitated twice; once in beginning, once at end): To engage participants the presenters will display the question for all to consider. Each corner of the room is assigned one answer. Participants are asked to go to the corner of the room that has the answer they agree with most. If they think more than one answer is correct, they should pick one of the corners they agree with most. Once in their corners, participants should discuss with others why they chose that corner to help clarify their thinking, sharing thoughts and experiences that support their response. We will return to this activity at the end of the session to have participants walk away with at least one idea.

Session Goals/Takeaways:

Participants will learn how to...

  • Understand ways to engage with campus partners to explore their course development needs and challenges in order to better support them

  • Strategize different course design support models to meet the needs of their institution 

  • Explore ways to continuously collect feedback from campus partners and iterate solutions 

  • Remain flexible and optimistic in response to change including new strategic directions from university leadership and organizational changes