During my time as an instructional designer for eLearning Design & Services (eDS) at Indiana University (IU), I’ve had the opportunity to design a variety of online courses and projects with faculty and staff who served as subject matter experts. These include but not limited to academic course offerings, just-in-time resources, and training courses. With each course/project, I collaborated with a professional team of instructional designers, graphic designers, web developers, and technologists to design, develop, and deliver them.
Below, I’ve put together 3 samples to showcase my work and ability for you to explore. In each of the samples, it will open Canvas in a new tab for you, which will allow you to interact with the learning materials and activities.
Prospective online students today are wanting to get a better understanding of what it would be like to be an actual online student at a university. Being able to provide that preview experience was an objective that the Office of Online Education at Indiana University (IU) wanted to provide when they approached our team at eDS. After meeting with our partners, my team and I conducted a review on what other universities were doing, identified driving questions and motivations from our partner’s prospects, and developed a layout to create a marketing tool to meet this objective. The team included myself, two instructional designers, a graphic designer, and an eLearning services consultant. My role as the primary instructional designer on the project consisted of project management, working with our partners in understanding the request and the content needed for the project, creating the learning content format for the project, and working with our graphic designer in creating the graphics needed for the project.
Out of our planning, we created a course within Canvas, IU’s learning management system (LMS), called “IU Online Course Test Drive”. Delivering this product within the school’s LMS would allow students to get an authentic feel the IU Online experience and being able to preview where they would be doing most of their learning during their online educational journey. We decided to give students two pathways to explore the IU Online experience. The first pathway, called “The IU Online Experience”, would allow students to explore some frequently asked questions about what it is like to be an online student at IU. The second pathway allows students to explore sample modules from actual online IU courses. The sample provided is from “The IU Online Experience” pathway.
When I first started with eLearning Design & Services, one of the first courses I helped design was a course on economics and philanthropy, offered at the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy. The instructor for this course had taught this course in a blended format before, but this was his first time teaching the course online. Because of this, our team was asked to help him take his course and redesign it to be delivered in a 100% online format. To accommodate the instructor’s schedule, we had to design and build the course while it was being taught. Additionally, the instructor wanted to include weekly discussions where students would apply what they were supposed to be learning from their materials. As an associate online instructional designer, I was responsible primarily responsible for building the online course under the direction of an Online Instructional Designer, as well as providing feedback and design considerations to the instructor.
In working with the instructor, I learned early on that part of the school’s identity is in connecting people with the community by telling their stories. I saw an opportunity to replicate the school’s identity in the discussion topics by giving students a story to connect with the topic. Additionally, I thought that creating a story for the discussion topic would 1) make the activity more authentic for the students and thus making the learning activity more authentic, and 2) allow us to provide an opportunity to implement one of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL); multiple means of representation. To accomplish this, I took the material for one of the discussions that the instructor provided for us and redesigned it for him. This way, he could get a better idea of how he could take his existing assignments and add a simple element to create a more authentic and engaging discussion for his students.
Shortly after working on the Economics & Philanthropy course, I found myself working again with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Another faculty member teaches a course for undergraduate students that are completing an internship for class credit in their major in Philanthropic Studies. Wanting to create a more engaging way for his students to showcase their internship experience, he reached out to my team for assistance. He and I worked together to identify what he wanted his students to demonstrate and how they could best present this in a meaningful and authentic way.
Prior to our collaboration, this faculty member had his students submit a comprehensive paper that details the student’s internship responsibilities, learning goals, and reflections. However, he felt that students could capture their experience in a more enriching way if the deliverable was not tied to a paper format and could be more representative in an authentic way. Many of his students were taking on more responsibilities in their internship, such as creating and posting content in social media, designing flyers, recording videos, and he found that a paper format was lacking the proper format for students to display their work in a meaningful form. After identifying these gaps and exploring what the instructor wanted his students to be able to do by the end of the course, we decided to have his students create a website for their portfolio.