Course Design Process

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Step 1: Kickoff Meeting Semester 1 Week 3

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During this meeting, all faculty who will be beginning course development in that semester meet as a group with the learning design team.  Faculty members are introduced to their learning designer and other faculty authors, and hear an overview of the course design process.  In this meeting we will also review the University's Copyright Agreement for Instructional Materials and Courseware, and the Penn State Quality Assurance eLearning Design Standards.

Step 2: Online Course Semester 1 Week 4

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During this one week, fully online course, faculty developers will learn about the basics of online pedagogy and consider how to incorporate online learning best practices into their own courses.  Throughout the course, they will be building a detailed course schedule for the course they are developing.  This document will be an important roadmap for their course design; including a lesson outline, readings or other materials required for each topic, as well as learning objectives and aligned learning activities for each lesson.  Faculty developers will also have the opportunity to become acquainted with available technology which they may want to incorporate in their own course as well as have the opportunity to see examples of courses designed by others.  At the end of the course, the faculty member sends their completed course schedule to their learning designer in preparation for the initial design consultation.

Step 3: Initial Design Consultation Semester 1 Weeks 5-7

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After the online course is over, the faculty authors begin to meet one on one with their assigned learning designer. In the initial consultation, they will discuss the designer's recommendations on the course schedule, including alignment of lesson objectives and assessments, technology suggestions, resource allocations, and any other course design ideas.  The learning designer will provide an overview of and access to the online classroom environment (Canvas) and develop a schedule for the course development taking place in step 4.

Step 4: Course Development Semester 1 Week 7 - Semester 2 Week 12

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This is the longest step in the course development process and will involve continuous collaboration between the learning design team and the faculty author.  A well-designed course schedule is key to a smooth course development process.  Generally, one lesson will be fully developed and reviewed by the designer and faculty author first (including all learning activities and assessments) to provide a template for the rest of the course.

In week 3 of semester 2, the Faculty Showcase meeting is an opportunity for faculty who are halfway through through the development process to meet as group, describe their courses, ask questions and share ideas.

Step 5: Course Review Semester 2 Weeks 13-15

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This step is a comprehensive quality review of the entire course, ensuring that all quality standards are met, including navigability, accessibility, copyright compliance, etc. and that the course is complete and ready to for the first offering.

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