It’s June 2020, and we just emerged from an unprecedented semester at the small midwestern university where I work as an Assistant Professor and Instructional Designer. Our semester-end faculty meeting brought together 90 professors who had just ended a semester of teaching they never in their wildest dreams could have imagined.
In the midst of all the details, I like to stop and consider how I can make each course I develop more effective than the last. There’s always a new angle or strategy out there to consider. I’m sharing 3 ideas here and I hope you’ll try them out.
Kurt Hoffman is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Spring Arbor University (SAU) in Spring Arbor, Michigan. He has two Master’s degrees from Arizona State University: Master of Public Administration and Master of Social Work. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Humanities, with a concentration in the anthropology of human flourishing and the philosophy of social issues, racism in particular. Kurt lives in Concord, Michigan with his wife and three children.
The first online course I developed and facilitated was Fundamentals of Speech. I was determined to get it right, because I had graduated from an online program and understood first-hand the pitfalls and frustrations students go through with a weak facilitator. In the very first week of the course I realized that it takes a lot of work to facilitate well! The second thing I realized was that it was so worth it—and so rewarding.
Since then, I’ve developed and facilitated many online courses, and enjoy being the eLearning certification trainer for new online and blended faculty at Spring Arbor University.
In my first year as an instructional designer (ID), I worked with college faculty to develop the courses they had taught face-to-face into online courses. I was eager to dive into my new role, create successful courses, and stick to a 3-month timeline for each project.
A few years ago, a friend stopped by for a visit. When it was time for her to leave, I walked her to the front door where we chatted a bit. I slipped on a pair of black flats sitting in front of the door and continued talking. We exhausted our good-byes, and my friend grew silent.
Finally she said: “I’d leave if I could have my shoes!”
It turns out we had the very same shoes, and I had slipped HERS on by mistake! #embarrassing
Instructional designers agree on one fundamental concept of course design: you must know your audience. This article focuses on an emerging audience and proposes a not-so-new strategy for designing eLearning that works for it. Continue reading “Who is Your Audience?”