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Photo: University of Arizona
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | August/September 2017
online teaching opportunities, while also setting expectations high. Since then, ODL has grown from zero courses to almost 400 and from eight people to 23 in the first two-and-a-half years of its existence. The group includes not just instructional designers and administrators, but also videographers, technical support staff and experts in graphic design, website
development, quality assurance and project management. Gunder and several members of the ODL shared their story at this year’s OLC Innovate conference, during a session they titled, “Ready for Takeoff? Don’t Forget Your Toolkit — Successful Onboarding of Instructional Designers and Faculty.” According to Gunder, the pace of growth in the program
presented several challenges:
How to get new ODL team members up to speed with their work;
How to bring new faculty into the fold; and
How to help “legacy instructors” — those who have been teaching online for “years” — improve their instructional practices.
To address that span of needs, ODL came up with an asyn- chronous toolkit that people could go into and take what they needed for their own onboarding experiences. Thus was born the “Online Course Design Primer,” built within the university’s learning management system, D2L’s Brightspace.
Toolkit Contents
The Primer currently consists of four broad modules: The initial planning process;
Course mapping;
Building an online course; and
Continuous improvement.
The first module was particularly important (and personal)
to Senior Instructional Designer Matt Romanoski. When he joined the team, he replaced a colleague who had taken another position while leaving several courses incomplete. When that person left, handing over “a list of six people that I’ve got to develop a course with,” Romanoski wondered what to do. That experience convinced him that changes
UA’s Online Course Design Primer

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