3 Things I Learned Working with Subject Matter Experts in my First Year as an ID

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 key lessons that I encountered in those early days continue to guide my work. Continue reading “3 Things I Learned Working with Subject Matter Experts in my First Year as an ID”

Student Centered Faculty Training

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

A Mile in a Student’s Shoes Builds Empathy

In the context of teaching and learning online, Continue reading “Student Centered Faculty Training”

Make your eLearning More Authentic

Have you noticed that our culture is beginning to value authenticity over authority?

We’re tired of being told. We want to be asked.

We’re tired of overly-complicated wordsmithing. We want clear and concise information.

We’re tired of not knowing. We want to be kept in the loop.

Authenticity is what we all crave. Continue reading “Make your eLearning More Authentic”

Who is Your Audience?

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?”

Three Ways to Become Student-Centered

Our eLearning Team is moving toward student-centered learning in our courses. This approach is often miles away from how the course existed in the past, or how the subject matter expert envisions the online course to be.

I have found three ways to help our team and SMEs move toward becoming student-centered in all of our course development projects.

First, provide onboard training for online/blended instructors. Next, build interaction into every course. And finally, establish and sustain teacher presence while facilitating the course. Continue reading “Three Ways to Become Student-Centered”

So you want to be a subject matter expert?

Sure. You’d be glad to develop an online course. How hard could it be? You’ve been teaching for years now. This should be easy. Maybe you can focus on the project next weekend. Continue reading “So you want to be a subject matter expert?”

Course Development: It’s not magic

It’s tempting (and common) for members of the academic community to think that converting a face-to-face course to an online or blended course produces a special brand of magic. It’s just not true.

After building over 100 online courses, I have come to believe that the process is anything but magic! Of course, I’m always looking for that one spectacular experience…but honestly—even if it is spectacular—it involves hard work.

It is good old-fashioned respect and communication that seems to be the magic—not the new 5-week format, the online portfolio, or the 5-star learning management system. Of course technology needs to be there and work well, but it’s the human involvement that makes it sparkle. The next time you face a course development, incorporate these five tips for success! Continue reading “Course Development: It’s not magic”