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Using a Collaborative Design Model for Developing Quality Online Courses

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Supporting Faculty in Course Development and Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Caitlin A. Keller Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Caitlin Keller is the Instructional Designer for Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her primary role involves partnering with teaching faculty to create and develop courses in the online, blended, and face-to-face environments. Caitlin serves as the designer, facilitator, and instructional design consultant for the Faculty Institute for Online Teaching program. Caitlin holds a Master of Science degree in Learning Technologies and Instructional Design from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Lebanon Valley College.

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This work-in-progress paper addresses the development of effective design partnerships as a follow up to the initial success of a faculty development pilot program targeting quality design in online courses. As the university began delivering distance education over thirty years ago and transitioned to web-based, online education sixteen years ago, the faculty have most typically approached course design autonomously with minimal background in pedagogical practices, particularly those geared towards effective online learning. The pilot program allowed for more formal training in online pedagogy, but there is still area for growth in the quality of course design. As the push for online educational opportunities continues to grow and the demand for quality increases, the university has invested in instructional design resources to help develop online courses through a collaborative design model, moving away from instructors developing their courses autonomously and in seclusion. Adopting a collaborative course design model requires a cultural shift for faculty in how they approach their course design and facilitation processes. Instructors who have participated in the quality design in online courses pilot program have been targeted to work one-on-one with an instructional designer to work in collaborative partnerships to make improvements to their existing courses or to design new courses. Data will be collected via surveys and interviews of faculty participants on their experiences, as well as observational data from the instructional designer and from evaluating courses based on a quality assurance rubric both before implementing changes and upon completion of an updated or new design. It is expected that implementing a mechanism for fostering strong partnerships between instructional designers and instructors will lead to higher quality online courses and will help the shift for future design processes to be more collaborative in nature. The added support could also have implications for higher adjunct faculty retention and higher student satisfaction. Ultimately, a more effective course design model will be formally introduced for faculty teaching online to best support the development of quality online courses at the institution.

Keller, C. A. (2018, June), Using a Collaborative Design Model for Developing Quality Online Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31191

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