July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
New Engineering Educators
Institutional assessment has become increasingly important for quality assurance as course delivery methods hybridize and instructors leverage diverse online tools within Learning Management Systems (LMSs). Educators face multiple challenges while teaching variations of delivery methods in their courses. Some of the challenges are course content design, learning new technologies and LMSs, and effective communication. However, instructors, particularly junior faculty, are rarely included in detailed individual-level course assessment practices, as these evaluations are traditionally completed by program leadership. Exacerbating this, as institutional assessment cycles run every five to ten years, the time gap between assessment reports creates rife opportunity for courses and programs to become misaligned concerning learning objectives, activities, and assessment methods. This paper reports on an institution-specific assessment tool, based on Quality Matters-informed criteria, created to ensure course-level quality assurance for online, in-person, synchronous, and asynchronous course delivery styles. This formative tool functions as a dashboard and is currently being used in the School of Engineering as well across other schools at the Institution. Results of the reported self-study point to several benefits to using the formative dashboard tool, such as training junior faculty in-course assessment, development, and expectations, maintaining programmatic alignment in learning objectives, and maintaining quality and equivalence within the native institution LMS regardless of online or in-person teaching modality. Junior faculty employed this tool to improve course design and became habituated to developing measurable learning outcomes, while external evaluators and program leadership used the same tool as a summative metric of course standardization. Program leadership could easily determine differences when courses were taught by different instructors and suggest best practices for course improvement. Leadership could also see where new faculty needed assistance in developing and structuring their courses.
This formative dashboard tool also facilitates total course data capture within the native institutional LMS, ensuring that student grades, course activities, video recordings, and course engagement behavior can be analyzed and acted upon. Encouraging faculty to use the native LMS along institutional guidelines also benefits students, who quickly acclimate to standardized course structures. Student privacy is also protected when course content and interactions are housed within the LMS, an important federal criterion to meet as online courses proliferate.
Prioritizing standardization with regard to instructional design and student experience will become more important as course modalities hybridize and proliferate. This paper would appeal to new and experienced instructors, program assessors and coordinators, administration, and in general, curriculum developers.
Eggleston, A. G., & Rabb, R. J. (2021, July), Faculty Development and Instructional Design Through a Quality Matters Tool for Online and Hybrid Course Assessment Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37178
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