Video response to the problem of practice
You presented me with a mission…. a problem of practice… to redesign a 1200-student, 8-instructor, 6-section, fully face-to-face introductory business course into a blended learning course. And to have it ready to launch by Fall 2015.
Here’s a video highlighting my approach to this problem of practice. Very briefly, it’s a combination of: design thinking, backwards design, and adopting the communities of inquiry conceptual framework. You’ll find the transcript below the video. In addition, I included a diagram elaborating on how the communities of inquiry conceptual framework would guide the design of the BCOR 1000 blended learning course.
You presented me with a mission…. a problem of practice and asked about my strategy for approaching this situation.
As an Academic Design Strategy Manager, I look at this problem as a design problem and approach it with a design thinking mindset.
Step 1: Discover
What is the core problem the team of academic technology consultants and I are trying to solve?
To answer this, we need to consider the problems the face-to-face course is currently facing and the course objectives… and ask ourselves: How might we design a blended learning environment that will engage students in this class and make the content more meaningful to them?
But design problems are complex and need to be guided with a conceptual framework to inform the design process. The framework has to align with the course goals, the needs of the students, the needs of the instructional faculty, and the needs of the administration. That’s why the communities of inquiry conceptual framework is fitting to guide the redesign of BCOR 1000.
Step 2: Define
Now the academic technology consultants, the faculty member assigned to help us, and I need to the take this problem of practice apart and identify the different challenges we’re faced with. We need to ask the faculty member a lot of questions about the current face-to-face course. I would also recommend that a few of the consultants sit on lectures to get the full course experience.
Step 3: Interpret
After an exhaustive brainstorming session (or two), I would ask one AT consultant to work closely with the faculty member and consider how the redesigned course would look like. What learning goals would be accomplished online? Face-to-face? What is the role of the online activities?
Step 4: Ideate
Keeping in mind the communities of inquiry framework, the next step would be to to come up with different ways to:
- engage students and help them make meaningful connections with the content
- provide clear guidance for student-to-student interactions
- help faculty members play an active role in the students’ learning and help them design for instruction and learning activities to promote learning in the face-to-face and online environments
I recommend that the online tasks be challenging, authentic, and collaborative to keep the students engaged. Their purpose would be to help students make connections to what they’re learning during the face-to-face lectures.
Step 5: Prototype
At this stage, the course starts coming together. I recommend that the AT consultant follow the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric in the redesign process. Following these standards of excellence for online course design will ensure the success of the blended learning course. I also recommend that the academic technology consultant enlist the help of the media expert and the universal design expert on the team to help create accessible instructional multimedia.
Step 6: Test
Finally, when the redesigned course is ready to debut in 2015, we need to be ready with a plan to evaluate its success… to learn what’s working and what’s not … and then to improve.