Sustainable Course Design

Table of Contents

What is sustainable course design?

Sustainable course design means designing your course in D2L for the greatest transactional distance. This means developing an online course with design components that can be selectively hidden and released to fit the modality and schedule of your course which allows the course to be used in different modalities like face-to-face, hybrid, synchronous and asynchronous.  

sustainable design

What’s the benefit of using sustainable course design for faculty?

Time! When faculty design a course based on sustainable design concepts in D2L, they save time because they build a course which is flexible and needs minimal tweaking, based on the modality they need to teach in. So, for example, an online asynchronous course can be turned into a hybrid course, by turning off (hiding) recorded lectures online in D2L and taking up those concepts in a FTF classroom or having learners watch/listen to recorded lectures at home and exploring/collaborating on concepts through project and group work, in a classroom, thus flipping your class.  

Important features of sustainable course design  

Always include a course syllabus and schedule with details that are important for learners to know before, during and after the course is over.  
Including a course alignment map which outlines the course and module level objectives, designing, and developing assessments that are aligned to these objectives and providing content in the form of textual /audio lectures, video lectures, images, scholarly articles, websites, and resources (YouTube, TEDTalks etc.), that help learners work on assessments and support them in meeting their learning goals. A course alignment map provides a birds eye view of how objectives, content, assessments, and activities are aligned / related to each other and helps instructors align their course to student learning goals. It also helps them structure their course in D2L.  
Creating presence in your course: This begins with outlining a communication and Feedback plan which helps create teaching, cognitive and social presence in a course, These are important components of any course design, no matter what modality you choose to teach in. For example, all courses must have a welcome announcement prepared for day one of the course which welcomes learners to the class and instructs them where to begin and what to do in the first few days of the course. Instructors can include feedback for assignments in their courses by using the rubrics and the gradebook tools in D2L. 
Accessibility: Working towards developing a course where all students are able to access the entire course without having to depend on accommodations. This means providing options through multiple means of representation, engagement and action and expression. At KSU, D2L comes with Ally, an accessibility checker tool which checks documents in Word, PowerPoint, PDFs and HTML for accessibility and provides students with the opportunity to download these documents in alternate formats like pdfs, mp3 files, electronic braille etc.  
Using D2L to develop a course and including these sustainable design components will help instructors save a lot of time while tweaking a course for any modality. It will help them get through course reviews easily and help them build more transparent and accessible courses for all students.

DLI offers the Sustainable Course Design Workshop to all faculty at KSU. To register, please visit: Sustainable Course Design Workshop (SCDW)


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