Designing an effective online course begins with integrating learning outcomes throughout the course design. This workshop will provide a road map for seamlessly incorporating learning outcomes into the course design beginning with the design phase and continuing through the evaluation phase. The GPS we will use in this workshop is a course design model that has four phases: (1) Design, (2) Build, (3) Teach, and (4) Revise. The model aligns the learning outcomes with the course learning activities, facilitating the community of learners, technology assisted tools, and assessment. The model is a “backwards design” in the sense that it starts with identifying the desired learning outcomes first and then identifies the course components conducive to the attainment of these outcomes. This model also focuses on student-centered principles (Weimer, 2002) as well as integrative (Huber & Hutchings, 2004) and transformational learning (King, 2005). After an introduction, participants will actively engage among their peers according to age groups or subjects taught to complete a sequence of learning activities designed to allow participants to experience each phase of the course design model. The following learning outcomes will provide a framework for the workshop outline.
At the conclusion of the F2F & online workshop, participants will have:
- Draft a minimum of one learning outcome to focus on a desired destination.
- Demonstrated the application of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy incorporating active verbs to establish learning destinations.
- Identified a new source for course design inspiration.
- Identified two activities that can be adopted for their course to foster a community of learners.
- Designed an evaluation rubric for a minimum of one learning activity associated with their learning outcome.
- Identified how this process can be applied for a variety of learners and subjects.
- Evaluated a peer’s learning outcome alignment/design matrix.
- Applied the backward course design model to a course they are developing or revitalizing.
Activity 1- Destination Targeting: Each member of the group will draft a new or revised learning outcome and share it with another member of their group. The group will utilize a learning outcome rubric to determine the effectiveness of the outcome.
- Learning Outcome Rubric
Step 2 - Designing alternative routes: During this portion of the workshop we will challenge the participants to seek alternative learning activities. How might we deliver course content to focus on the needs of the students? We will propose strategies for design and development of learning activities/experiences (curriculum), learning communities (fostering collaboration), processes and tools (technology assisted strategies), and educational system strategies (accreditation or national standards). We will illustrate how these strategies might be realized and provide several resources for design inspiration. Before devising specific activities, we will challenge the participants to answer the following questions:
· How much do you want your learner to actually learn? How complex do you want their comprehension to be?
· How proficient should the learner be at the end of the course? (Design for how learners learn)
Activity 2 – Building the Experience: Each group will brainstorm different learning activities for each of the learning outcomes identified in Step 1. The Alignment Matrix will be utilized as a roadmap for identifying the appropriate activities that are foster on 4 key characteristics:
· student-centered learning
· sound pedagogical practices
· facilitate a community of learners where students collaborate and assume responsibility for their own learning incorporating emerging technology tools/enhancements
Step 3 - Evaluating Destination Arrival: Selecting Assessments/Rubrics
The participants will conclude by integrating the learning outcomes in the evaluation rubrics for the learning activities. It is essential that the students are made aware of the learning outcomes for the course and how these learning outcomes will be assessed during the evaluation of the assignments and quizzes/tests. Several sample rubrics will be provided to the appropriate groups, such as the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU) Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) Rubrics to Communicate Effective Assessment of General Education.
Activity 3: Participants will design an evaluation rubric for a learning activity identified in step 2.
Instructors typically evaluate learning outcomes through one or more graded items (i.e., assignments, discussions, projects, student presentations, papers, quizzes, exams, etc.). The use of a rubric allows the students to pre-evaluate their submissions and reinforce the learning outcomes. Guidelines for the development of rubrics will be reviewed. The process related to this evaluation element looks for evidence of different types of formative and summative assessment measures, a thoughtful and continuous improvement approach to assessment, as well as student opportunities for identifying areas for course improvement (American Association for Higher Education, 1991; Anderson & Elloumi (Eds), 2009; Sewell, Frith & Colvin, 2010).
After the workshop concludes, participants will be encouraged to utilize the process reviewed in this workshop to design a minimum of one learning outcome for a course, identify learning activities targeting the desired learning outcome and complete the Alignment Matrix. These will be posted on the Workshop Canvas Instructure course page where the session leaders and their peers will provide feedback and recommendations for improvement. This peer review exchange will be helpful to workshop participants to provide an alternative source of feedback to effectively measure the quality and organization of the course design, the engagement of the learning activities, and the sense of community.
I. Alternative Route: Fostering Learning Communities
II. Alternative Route: Technology Enhancements
No matter what stage or phase of course development you find yourself, this workshop can help you navigate the maze of tasks that are needed to design, build, teach, evaluate, and revise your course. It begins and ends with your learning outcomes. Learning outcomes have become the new banner cry for many learning institutions, yet many teachers lack the resources and training to effectively incorporate their learning outcomes across each phase of the essential elements of an online or hybrid course.