Last summer, TCDC worked at record speed to design and deliver an intensive workshop, Online Course Design and Delivery, now affectionately known as OCDD. In this workshop (initially three days, now extended to five), participants take on the role of student to experience a well-designed online course that uses both synchronous and asynchronous modes of facilitation and participant engagement.
TCDC is offering the OCDD twice in May and highly encourages those on NID to attend. While we have all been teaching online for over a year, the course will help you reflect on your online . More than anything, the OCDD offers you the experience of being in your students’ shoes, developing empathy and perspective for their experiences as well as giving you the occasion to meet with instructors from across the college and be inspired by share experiences and ideas with those in other disciplines.
We will also offer the OCDD in mid-August, which is a great opportunity for new instructors at the college not only to prepare for their fall courses, but to meet new colleagues from other departments.
Adopting backward design and Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) approaches alongside the Rapid Prototyping framework of instructional design enabled us to design the course and improve the curriculum with each iteration.
What has remained consistent are the following six, achievable outcomes. We are confident that upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
- select assessments, activities, and content that align with their course learning outcomes;
- list multiple ways to foster and support online student engagement;
- use Langara-supported forms of technology for learning online;
- contribute to and participate in online discussion forums;
- articulate several effective online teaching practices; and
- plan their online courses in order to build them in Brightspace.
Over the course of five days, participants meet those outcomes by reading texts, watching videos, listening to podcasts, posting and responding to peers in discussion forums, meeting in three 1-houir lives Zoom sessions, and contributing to a learning journal.
Since June 2020, we have offered the OCDD eight times, to 10 cohorts, with 225 Langarans from across all areas of the college’s instructional faculty and staff participating.
66% of participants have received Certificates of Completion. We’ve awarded 103 certificates to those who completed over 60% of the tasks in the Brightspace course and 46 Certificates “with Distinction” (for having completed 100% of the tasks)!
Kurtis Stewart, an instructor in the Professional Photography program, recently shared his certificate with Distinction via Instagram with a great reflection of his experience in the OCDD.
While we have solicited feedback from within the course (in a mid-point survey), we have also received unsolicited feedback from participants with their accolades and suggestions for improvement. We continually reflect upon this feedback to improve the OCDD for the next offering.
Here are some participants’ thoughts regarding the course:
“I thoroughly enjoyed the course – and learned a lot. As a first-time instructor (teaching this Spring), the course has helped me develop my curriculum to not only better provide a rich course that I can benchmark to ensure I am reaching my goal (i.e. learning outcomes), but it also enabled me to learn some new online tools and I am hopeful that will engage my students in the learning.”
John Boylan, Instructor, Continuing Studies
“I found the course super useful, both from the content and noting my response to being an online learner. … After the course I redesigned my course Brightspace sites, also the course activities and assignments, to make them simpler and more clear. … I was surprised by how important the course leaders’ energy is to the enjoyability of the experience. Our course leaders put in a lot of energy and it showed. … I found the self-intro videos we posted surprisingly effective. … The Adapting Assignments for Online Courses was super-useful. I successfully used some of the ideas in my classes. … Being a student in the course and not the instructor reminded me how important it is to listen to students.”
Lucinda Atwood, Instructor, Business Management
“The course was a lot of work, but so worth attending. The instructors were exceptionally organized, thoughtful, and efficient with everyone’s time. I learned so much in just one !”
C. Chambers, Langara School of Management
The OCDD was initially designed in an emergency to meet the needs of those facing the very real and sudden transition to remote teaching; however, TCDC will regularly offer the OCDD as online and blended instruction continues to be part of our instructional repertoires.