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Course Design with Academic Partnerships

Submitted by on August 6, 2012 – 6:51 pmNo Comment

ChartRecognizing that enrollment expansion generates new challenges in maintaining standards of academic quality and rigor, our consultants work hand-in-hand with department leaders, individual faculty members, and campus instructional designers to develop accelerated courses that satisfy the high expectations of the faculty and meet the learning needs of the students. Consultants facilitate course design in two ways. The first is facilitation of the transformation of existing campus-based courses to online formats. The second is facilitating the review of existing online courses for quality standards, alignment of objectives and assessments, and continuous improvement. During a Course Blueprinting Workshop, we guide faculty through a set of comprehensive reflective activities to identify key learning objectives and leverage the university LMS platform to design high-quality instructional and assessment components. Moreover, AP consultants independently review courses and provide specific, research-based feedback to course authors and instructors, and will assist in analysis of student data and feedback for course improvements. Our process for course design, which supports both new and existing online instructors, is outlined below:

1. Construction of Common Course Prototype In collaboration with department chairs, online learning and instructional designers at your organization, Academic Partnerships will create a course prototype in your LMS that supports quality online course delivery. This template provides a university-branded “look and feel” to students for all the courses in a given program, another of the important distance learning best practices.

2. Course Blueprinting Session Whether a professor is converting a campus-based course to the online format, compacting the course into an accelerated format, or reviewing a previously-designed course from a fresh perspective, the process begins with identification and articulation of key course outcomes and performance objectives. In keeping with instructional best practices, these objectives become the framework around which all other course components are woven and the standards by which student learning is measured. The objectives are also aligned with professional state and national standards if such exist. The session also includes sharing of research-based best practices for selecting and designing assignments and grading rubrics, formative and summative assessments, and interactive instructional strategies. As the faculty members review or create their course design, Academic Services shares how the Quality Matters rubric and other online standards provide research-based guidelines for student learning. The session can be followed up with mall-group and one-on-one assistance in crafting relevant and rigorous courses resulting in successful online learning.

3. Virtual Course Design Support As professors continue writing or revising their course content, Academic Services team members support them virtually via email, phone conferences or webinars. This can serve to review the tasks and best practices for faculty and also to “onboard” new online instructors. The consultants will also work with University instructional designers to map out processes to jointly support faculty on an ongoing basis. The consultants are members of online education organizations and regularly share relevant resources with university faculty and instructional designers.

4. Common Course Template LMS Training The Academic Services team, in conjunction with the university Instructional Designer(s) and/or university LMS support personnel, conducts a workshop in which faculty members are trained in the processes for uploading their content materials into the common LMS template. This provides faculty members the autonomy to “own” their course content and make any mid-course adjustments that are needed.

5. Course Review and Feedback Fully-trained members of the Academic Services team review each course and provide feedback according to the guidelines in the most current Quality Matters rubric, other online standards, and criteria created from extensive experience working with distance higher education courses. Other periodic reviews may be conducted at the professor’s request, including using student performance data and student survey results to improve the effectiveness of the course. The overarching goal of the Academic Services team is to assist your faculty and staff in the creation and delivery of the highest quality and most effective online courses for your students. Would you like to find out more about any of the AP Curriculum Support Services course design assistance? Please fill out the form below and we will follow up with you. [contact-form subject=”Request for assistance” to=”[email protected]”] [contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Request for assistance” type=”textarea” required=”true” /] [/contact-form]

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