Re-Imagining Course Development: The User Friendly Way
Lauren Griffiths and Amy Cook are re-imagining course development in an effort to help ensure students have a great online learning experience.
Lauren and Amy both work for the Centre for Teaching & Learning <https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/employees/centre-for-teaching-learning>. The organization's purpose is to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at Mohawk through building connections and providing resources, leadership and expertise to the college community. Staff at the centre help guide and support faculty in course development.
Through their project Re-Imagining Course Development: The User Friendly Way, Lauren and Amy aimed to produce a refined course development tool to ensure course development and redevelopment is pedagogically sound, organized, and engaging, to facilitate and support student learning. The tool will be adopted by the Centre for Teaching & Learning and promoted throughout Mohawk College to support and facilitate teaching excellence.
Charged with developing several courses in a short timeframe, the researchers developed the tool to help faculty deliver the course smoothly, according to student expectations and learning engagement standards.
"The tool was developed in response to a need and we thought, 'Why not test it out?'," said Lauren. The two hired a research assistant (also a student at Mohawk) to help collate and summarize resources from hours of research about online learning, accessibility, sound online teaching practices, and student actions and expectations regarding online academic instruction. A small sample of students and educators completed pre and post-course surveys and in-person follow up interviews to offer their thoughts about the design of the course they took.
As for outcomes, Amy and Lauren would like to see the templates and course development tool integrated and adopted into Mohawk's online and blended courses, with the long-term goal of the tool being used to support face-to-face learning.
"In addition, further research on developing online learning spaces would be beneficial to (the centre) because Lauren and I focused on something very specific, and there are so many different areas that you could go in this space," said Amy.
IDEAWORKS is Mohawk’s hub for applied research and innovation. Learn more about how you can get involved in research through IDEAWORKS at www.mohawkcollege.ca/ideaworks