In the interest of creating high-quality courses and programs, University College requires instructors to complete planning documents as outlined by the Center for Online and Digital Learning. This preparation is how we ensure that students experience a well-designed course complete with high-quality engagement with the content, with each other and with the Instructor.
According to UC Requirements, each 8-week course needs to have a minimum of 190 minutes per week of engaging, interactive asynchronous content. This is in addition to the weekly 90-minute live session.
To assist Instructors in reaching this goal, the following course development requirements are intended to increase the quality of the online experience for our students. Please note that requirements here are directed towards achieving the 190-minute of interactive content for each week. These are in addition to readings, individual homework and other independent work.
Req1 - Weekly Script
Instructors will provide a written script for each week of the course. Mininum 4-6....
Think of a script as the “lesson in your head” that you can write as you would plan for a lecture. It serves our team as the blueprint on which all important decisions can be made. The Instructional Designer, along with the video and graphics team, can then decide how best to present your information. Is it not assumed the script will be entirely recorded in our professional studios but it is possible if that is determined as the translation of your content.
We encourage instructors to share with our team how they envision the content being delivered. The script can contain comments and notes for what you would like to include along with your written words (ie..images, graphics etc...)
Our team will meet with you to answer all questions early in the process. It has been our experience that well-designed scripts of your expertise result in a higher quality experience for students. Additionally, it is a more efficient process.
Sample scripts from Instructors (Link)
References to contact?
Enrollment in Blackboard Sample Course
Req2 - Weekly Recording
15-20 minute video (minimum) per week of instructor or instructor-driven content covering a specific, topic, skill or learning for each week. If you have slide-based presentations the team will help record for upload into Kaltura which is the video host integrated into Blackboard. The recordings will require the instructor to provide additional questions and in-line questions/quizzing.
Content and Peer Engagement Category
Req3 - Instructor Options
These strategies can be accommodated so they can be performed outside of the synchronous sessions. Talk with your Instructional Designer as to what tool will be effective in capturing the student interactions. In order to achieve engagement with the content, please choose x from the following x solutions/strategies to employ within your course design:
- Interactive Lecture - Produce/curate video content weekly with the goal of making students accountable to the content contained in the video by using the Playposit tool or Kaltura for student feedback. Playposit is a tool which allows the instructor to insert questions with the video that student will be required to answer to continue on with the recording. Well-designed multiple-choice, free-response questions or other interaction embedded in the recording can be counted towards the weekly goal of 190 minutes of asynchronous activity.
- Discussion Boards - Use of a discussion board allows for student-to-student contact but doesn’t guarantee engagement. Engagement comes from the intended design as created by the instructor. ( Discussion Strategies ) For more, go to the Design for Learning site for a general description of 4 types of discussions. All discussions will require a rubric for evaluation.
Video Responses - Posing questions to students and having them respond by creating a video response can be very engaging for some learners. Use of the discussion board with the Kaltura mashup would allow for students to respond via video rather than text. The use of flipgrid for student responses is an easy to use web-based tool that fosters interaction.
Video Assignments/Group Projects - Create assignments with 2 or more students working together in which they meet via Zoom or some video tool that records their interactions. Structure the assignment in which the student needs to produce something tangible that can be graded or given credit.
Teams - Assign tasks and content-related activities to a team of students. Incentivize teams through competition in which recognition (and credit) is given to the teams which perform the best on a given task.
- Think-Pair-Share - an activity sometimes used for initial content engagement. Students share what they think and where, when, or how they might have heard about a concept, person, idea or related event. Evaluation of these initial discussions is generally informal, according to a rubric emphasizing participation, and contributions and occasionally focusing on insights and relationships. The activity can be performed by your student pairs using any number of collaborative tools such as a discussion board, online meeting room, google tools or other third-party tools. First, students think individually then they pair-up to compare and contrast their individual ideas. Lastly, their observations are made available to the entire class for discussion/feedback.
- Classic Jigsaw - Establish groups of 3 or 4 students. Break a topic down into important component pieces and assign each group to the parts you have identified. During the week, groups will be required to meet and record their interactions using Zoom or Collaborate. Students discuss, research and become "experts" on their topic and need to collaborate online to create some tangible product to be shared with the entire class.(ie...graphic, infographic, presentation, recording, quiz questions, etc..etc...)
- Third-Party Technology - If you have an educational resource you would like to use with your course, please let us know. Important in the selection and use of any third-party website/tool is whether or not the resource is considered accessible. This would include eTextbook supplementary materials. Some popular tools include Voicethread, Poll Everywhere, Kahoot, Padlet, Bubbl.us just to name a few. UC does not have a budget for subscriptions many of which can be used for free. Talk with your Instructional Designer and Program Administrator regarding any resources outside of university-supported tools.
- Role Play - taking on a specific stance, persona or role is a personal way to simulate a scenario related to your content. Students can be assigned a role as they research or investigate the content and then be required to record themselves as they individually, in pairs or in small groups respond to a series of questions
- Case Study Dialogue - Real-life situations can help students learn how concepts and theories meet application. Assign your students to case studies and then work in pairs or teams to complete a shared google document of open-ended questions you have offered only after they have effectively outlined the case together. For more detail see "Using Case Studies"
- "Mad Libs" Excercise - students fill-in the blanks with the appropriate term missing. The goal would not be humorous but rather to construct knowledge in pairs or teams although having some creative fun with this might help to build social presence and community.
- Presentations - student-created recordings with detailed guidelines as well as a well-designed rubric. Identify important topics and subtopic to report on. Share their products with the class then work in teams or pairs to identify the relationships between the presentation by creating a graphic depicting that relationship.
- Sequence/Rank Order - Do you have content in which it's vital for students to understand the sequence of steps in a process? Consider asking the students to identify the correct sequence and order of it and identify the importance and relevance of it by identifying what would happen if it occurred out of sequence. Use a rank order of importance scale for more subjective content in which students explain to one another their reasoning.
- OTHER - Please describe any technique or tool you have used or would like to use to foster measurable engagement.