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Online Program Development Framework

The Instructional Design Studio has developed this framework for program development with four foundational goals in mind:

  1. Program longevity
  2. Excellent educational experiences for students and faculty
  3. Program financial viability
  4. Long term student success

This framework puts into practice a number of recommendations put forth in the 2013 Alternative Delivery Task Force Group 1 recommendations, as well as current best practices used to create successful online programs at other quality institutions. The Instructional Design Studio sees this framework as a guide that can be used to start discussions on the expectations and needs for individual programs and courses.

The Cohort Model

When planning an online program, the Instructional Design Studio encourages program heads to use the cohort model – keeping the same set students together of a series of courses helps build a sense of community and belonging among the students. This sense of community can both improve retention and provide an opportunity for students to support each other, both emotionally and technically.

For these same reasons, the Instructional Design Studio encourages a cohort model for the programs themselves. Through the development process, IDS will host regular meetings for program heads and for active faculty (faculty either teaching or building online courses in their program). These program cohort meetings will provide an opportunity for those teaching online to share their experiences – their successes, challenges, concerns, and best practices – with other faculty teaching across the University.

To create a community that is large enough to provide a diversity of experience, but small enough for the Instructional Design Studio to manage, IDS seeks to develop a minimum of 3 and maximum of 4 programs simultaneously.

The Program Development Schedule

1. Program Head Meeting

To be held a minimum of 3 terms before the first course offering

Attendees: Program head, Instructional Design Studio representative.

Purpose: To help IDS and program head plan the development schedule for the program.

Discussion topics:

  • Benefits of the cohort model
  • Program pace, course sequence
  • Faculty selection
  • Overview of program development framework
  • Program goals and outcomes, e.g., what students should know and be capable of at the end of this program
  • Objectives by class, showing progression toward achievement of program goals


2. Faculty Calibration Meeting

To be held a minimum of 2 terms before the first course offering

Attendees: Program head, all faculty who will be teaching in program, lead designer for program

Purpose: Program head and faculty discuss the vision for the program, discuss development framework, introduce lead designer, answer questions and address concerns.

Discussion topics:

  • Program vision
  • Program goals and objectives
  • Standards for the program that touch each class (community building amongst students, active learning, etc.)
  • Program development framework
  • The role of the Instructional Design Studio in general, the lead designer in particular

3. Introduction to Teaching Online Course

10-week hybrid course to begin no more than 1 week after Faculty Calibration Meeting

Attendees: All faculty who will be teaching in program

Purpose: Familiarize faculty with the basics of developing and teaching a high quality online course that actively engages and promotes a sense of community among learners; provide faculty with the experience of being a student in an online course

4. Course Development Process

Successful completion of Introduction to Teaching Online required

Development scheduled with faculty with consideration for program course sequence.

At the outset of development process, designer and faculty will develop with a milestone list to help both parties stay on pace for development completion

Courses must be fully developed and reviewed a minimum of 4 weeks before first offering

Regular meetings with designer (frequency to be determined by faculty and designer)

Faculty teaching or developing courses in the program to attend regular development cohort meetings chaired by program head and hosted by IDS (frequency to be determined by program chair and lead designer)

Faculty teaching or developing courses in the program to attend program cohort meetings

Courses will be available for Detroit Mercy to use for a minimum of 3 cohorts (open to negotiation)

4. During course offering

Lead designer will maintain a presence in course to provide instructional technology support for students and faculty as needed (unless teaching faculty request otherwise)

Faculty have option to continue regular meetings with lead designer

Regular meetings with Designer (frequency to be determined by faculty and designer)

Faculty teaching or developing courses in the program to attend regular development cohort meetings chaired by program head and hosted by IDS (frequency to be determined by program chair and lead designer)

5. Course review / debrief

To be held a maximum of 2 weeks after final grades are due

Attendees: Teaching faculty, instructional designer

Purpose: Discuss what worked well in the course, what areas need improvement; schedule redevelopment as needed

 

Permalink Last updated 11/06/2017 by R. Davidson

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