(Re)Designing blended and online engagement: A course redesign program for enhancing the digital learning experience

This page outlines details about VIU’s Blended and Online Learning Course Redesign Program running from December 2017 – May 2018. 

Facilitators: Kathleen Bortolin, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialist, Stephanie Boychuk, Learning Technologies Support Specialist, and Maxwell Stevenson, Associate Director, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning.

REGISTER Deadline by November 29: https://survey.viu.ca/blendedonline.aspx

Course Redesign Program Overview

This 3-day course redesign program is an opportunity for faculty members to review and (re)construct one of their online or blended courses.  Working alongside their peers, and in a blended format, participants engage in activities that highlight essential course design principles and that encourage participants to apply those ideas to an upcoming online or blended course.  This particular course redesign program is focused on effective online and blended learning, and pays close attention to designing online activities using a variety of online tools available to instructors at VIU.

By the end of the workshop, participants create the basic structure of their blended or online course with a focus on integrating engaging online teaching strategies into that course.   This course redesign program is offered in a blended format (face-to-face and online) in order to give participants the experience of being engaged in the very environment that they will be using in their course.  Like any of our course redesign program, participants will have the opportunity to share feedback and ideas about online teaching, and be inspired with new ideas from their peers.

Outcomes – By the end of this program, faculty members will be able to:

  • Write clear and measurable learning outcomes for their course
  • Engage with and analyze a variety of online tools available to instructors and students in VIULearn, and determine which of these tools align with course learning outcomes, course learning activities and assessment and evaluation methods.
  • Design and integrate online artefacts and learning experiences for an upcoming course
  • Develop relevant policies that address the expectations of fully online environments or a variety of blended environments
  • Identify formative and summative assessment activities that demonstrate meaningful alignment with articulated learning outcomes
  • Reflect on the experience of a being a participant in a mini blended course, identifying advantages and challenges experienced and applying this reflection to the shaping of the course

Schedule and Time Commitment

  • Before December 6: Advance Preparation Time (meet other participants online, complete a selection of readings/videos, engage in a few online activities that prepare participants for the upcoming f2f session)
  • Wednesday, December 6: Day One of Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (cohort-based, 7 hours)
  • Thursday December 7: Day Two of Institute (online), 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Friday, December 8: Day Three of Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (cohort-based, 7 hours)
  • Spring 2018 or Fall 2018: Undertake all Benchmarks as outlined below for Phases 1, 2 and 3 (some group, mostly own teaching activity and some engagement with Centre staff – see time breakdown below)

Three Phases of Blended and Online Learning Course Redesign Program

The Program is composed of 3 phases/parts:

  1. Advance Preparation:It will be essential for faculty to complete some readings and preparation activities in order to fully experience and gain key insights into the work of the workshop.   In this online preparatory session, faculty members will introduce themselves to the group, access resources related to course design, and engage with those resources through structured online activities . Before December 6, participants independently complete the online component.  This will take approximately 3-5 hours and you can schedule to do on your own before December 6.
  2. Workshop Institute: A three-day intensive learning session. During these days, faculty members will engage in a variety of activities that structure and inform the course design process. We will look at crafting effective learning outcomes, creating meaningful assignments that align with those learning outcomes and making assessment tools (grading tools, rubrics, etc.) for those assignments. It is expected that you will be able to have full attendance at the Workshop Days (Wednesday, December 6 and Thursday, December 7).  Approx. 21 hours. In addition, you will be expected to work on a substantial assignment which takes the form of redesigning a course for online or blended learning. Possibly a couple of hours of homework each night (December 6 and December 8). Outline for three-day workshop:
  • Day 1 (face-to-face): Reflecting on the Pre-workshop Experience; Building Community in Online Environments; Reviewing Principles of Course Design; Engaging Students Online; Using Constructive Alignment for Course Design
  • Day 2 (Online): Engaging in Synchronous and Asynchronous Environments; Exploring and Designing with Online Tools (VIULearn)
  • Day 3 (face-to-face): Reflecting on the Online Day; Assessment and Evaluation; Designing and Using Rubrics
  1. Implementation: Benchmark activities as listed below for Spring 2018 or Fall 2018 follow-up.
  • Feedback from Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning
    Facilitators will meet with you in the days before implementation in the semester, to provide final feedback on the elements of the course being designed. Approx. 1 hour in a meeting you schedule at your convenience before your class starts.
  • Implementation of the Course
    Your redesign/enhancements in assessment and evaluation components will be put into action following participation in the Institute. No additional time as you will just teach and implement course as you normally would.
  • Mid-Term Survey of Students
    By midterm of the Spring or Fall semester, you will administer a survey of your students targeting their response to course components you have enhanced. Approx. 10 minutes of class time, about 30 minutes of meeting time with facilitators to go over results.
  • Classroom Observation by Centre Staff
    Sometime early to mid-semester of Spring 2018 or Fall 2018, you will invite one of the facilitators to observe one class either online or in the classroom. The observation process for you and Centre staff follows the procedures in the “VIU Guide to Peer Observation and Feedback for Reflective Practice.” Approximately 30 minutes pre-observation meeting, 1 hour of class time, 30 mins – 1 hour meeting afterwards to debrief.
  • Idea Exchanges with Colleagues
    You and the group of faculty members in this Course Redesign Program will convene during the following semester to share experiences and lessons learned from the changes you are making to your classes. Approximately 2 hours total
  • Written Reflection
    At the completion of the Spring 2018 or Fall 2018  semester, you will capture your learning in a 1-2 page summary of the experience and assesses the impact of the experience on your professional practice. This written reflection will demonstrate the accountability of the changes you made and could be used for promotions, reports and marketing efforts (but no names or identifying components will be included). Approximately 1 hour total on your own you email to one of the facilitators.

Questions: Kathleen.Bortolin@viu.ca or Maxwell.Stevenson@viu.ca

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